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Sisters of St. Joseph: Moving Forward in Conservation

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Conservation News
March 12, 2018

By Yvette DeBow-Salsedo

Green solutions provide for clean energy and land conservation in Brentwood

In February, the dedication of the Sisters of St. Joseph to conserve their land and the environment was noted by the reporters at Newsday. In a series of articles from February 7 through the 27, the Sister’s installation of solar and their intention to protect 27 acres of agriculture and an additional 35 acres of woodland in Brentwood was featured.

Through these plans, the 212-acre campus will provide 63% of the electricity it needs, as well as continue to provide fertile agricultural lands under lease to local farmers, as well as support their own Community Supported Agriculture farm, and protect an undisturbed woodland area with great opportunity to study and understand our natural habitat.

We offer our heartfelt congratulations to the Sisters of St. Joseph, and are so proud to have worked with them over the past three years to see their vision for conservation be achieved.

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The guiding principles for the Sister’s conservation is their Land Ethic, developed in 2015:

As Sisters of St. Joseph, our charism calls us to love of God and neighbor without distinction.  We believe that all is one and that our call is to an active inclusive love that seeks this union with God and the sacred community of life that includes all of creation – air, soil, water, plants, and animals.  We see ourselves in union with this community that we hold as the neighbor through whom God continues to be revealed. 

(You can read full the Land Ethic Statement here along with more on the Sisters and ecology.)

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“As we began to realize how precious and sparse this type of land is in western Suffolk, we realized we had a responsibility to meet the need to preserve it,” said Sister Helen Kearny, in Newsday. “We wanted to make the decision moving forward that all of our decisions would be sustainable.”

Senior Project Manager Kim Quarty and Dan Heston, Senior Manager of Agricultural Programs at the Trust have worked with the Sisters of St. Joseph on site planning and the rejuvenation of their agricultural lands — which are now leased to local farmers providing fresh, local produce to the community.  

Links to Newsday:

February 7, 2018: Sisters of St. Joseph Install Community Solar Power System

February 12, 2018: Sisters of St. Joseph Put Faith in Preserving the Environment 

February 27, 2018: Suffolk Panel Approves Farmland Purchase in Brentwood

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