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Introducing the Lavista Learning Garden June 17th, 2020
Since its inception in 2001, La Vista Ecological Learning Center has taught that how we eat determines, to a great extent, how we care for creation. That is why we were aligned with the Community Supported Garden at La Vista for 15 years. Since that project ended in 2019, we have established La Vista Learning Garden under the umbrella of the Oblate Ecological Initiative.
The Learning Garden will be a model and gathering place for novices and area participants to learn and practice:
- sustainable gardening skills like creating a garden plan organic soil preparation and fertilization crop rotation choosing vegetables and their planting times methods for harvesting vegetables growing fruit trees native flower propagation a variety of composting methods
- raising and caring for chickens
- backyard beekeeping
- cooking and nutrition
- hand-carving kitchen utensils
- DIY recycled garden decorations
Vernon DePauw is our head gardener and teacher. He is a nationally known wood carver as well as a backyard gardener, poultryman, and beekeeper. Vernon has been a presenter at the Learning Center for several years. Vernon is faithfully supported by his wife Kathy who is also a volunteer.
Sister Maxine collaborates with Vernon to plan, organize, advertise and execute programs.
Volunteers – A small group of volunteers contribute their skills.
This project has been made possible with the support, encouragement and help of Seamus Finn, OMI, and OMI Novitiate Leadership: Pat McGee, Frank Kuczera and Humphrey Milimo.
Pictures from the 2017 Pollinator Garden Fundraiser/Concert, Godfrey, IL
La Vista is a part of Oblate Ecological Initiative, a ministry of the US Oblates Province efforts on priority for the Integrity of Creation.
The pollinator garden is one of three restoration projects of La Vista. It aims to offset threats to the monarch butterfly migration, assure a diverse food source throughout the season, and provide herbicide-free nectar for a variety of pollinators.
The pollinator garden was created in 2014 in response to threats to the monarch butterfly migration and bee colony collapse. Volunteers weeded and seeded a 6,000 square foot area. An Eagle Scout troop made four benches for the garden. The garden continues to be developed each year.
Since pollinators are responsible for every third bite of food we eat, and because their disappearance creates a hole in the ecosystem, we consider this effort important in contributing to the integrity of creation.
Monarch butterflies are migrants traveling from the North to Mexico and back yearly.
Read more about the work of the Oblate Ecological Initiative at http://www.lavistaelc.org/
La Vista Celebrates Autumn Equinox September 23rd, 2014
To introduce themselves, participants told about the last time they spotted a Monarch. Maxine Pohlman, Director of the Oblate Ecological Initiative at Godfrey said, “We learned much about one another, our country or state of origin, and the presence and absence of Monarchs in our areas. Our sharing whetted our appetites for viewing the YouTube video “Plight of the Monarchs”, a twenty minute informative presentation filmed in central Illinois. We became aware of the threats to the endangered phenomenon of the annual Monarch migration, such as habitat loss, use of pesticides, and disappearance of the valuable milkweed plant.”
She added, “Next we headed outside to a patch of milkweed that has been cordoned off and allowed to grow throughout the season. As we stood there listening to a reading about the Monarch, one beautiful butterfly showed up to delight us – right on cue!”
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OEI Celebrates Earth Hour March 30th, 2014
Oblates and friends at the Oblate Ecological Initiative at La Vista celebrated Earth Hour, a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to recognize the importance of energy conservation and actions to protect Earth.
The international event is held annually to encourage individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday in March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet
The group at La Vista sang the a night prayer around the camp fire – “Lights Out La Vista – Night Prayer” (Download PDF)
Solar Cooker Sets Technology Trend at the OEI in Godfrey November 3rd, 2013
Come, Broaden Your Vision at OMI La Vista Ecological Learning Center… August 21st, 2013
Learn about the La Vista Earth Literacy Program, “Exploring the Sacred Universe,” that was held in early August. Fr. Antonio Ponce, OMI attended the program and made this video to share the experience more broadly.