Loretto Carbon Reduction Fund Recipients
The Loretto Carbon Reduction Fund was established in honor of Loretto Sister Anthony Mary Sartorius, who throughout her years as Motherhouse service coordinator planted countless trees, bushes and flowers at Loretto Motherhouse. The fund offers small grants of up to $1,000 three times a year. Past projects have included installing an electric car-charging station at the Loretto Motherhouse, creating pollinator gardens in Ohio and tree planting in the U.S., Pakistan and Guatemala.
This year a couple of grants supported local gardens: Preservation Farm and Garden in St. Louis, Mo., and Sacred Earth Community Garden in Louisville, Ky.
Preservation Farm and Garden is a neighborhood garden in St. Louis. The land has been stewarded by Tia Byrd, local farmer and activist, for nine years. With the grant funds Tia was able to purchase an irrigation system for the property. Drip irrigation can prevent soil erosion and lessen greenhouse gasses that contribute to the carbon footprint. The irrigation also makes it easier to share the space by connecting the water catchment system to the irrigation.
Sacred Earth Community Garden in Louisville, Ky., is a nonprofit that provides an outside space for nature-based therapy for people living in a food desert in Louisville’s West End. Sacred Earth Community Garden’s mission is to work alongside Voices of Survivors, a group made up of family members of victims of gun violence. Many survivors were afforded the opportunity to collaborate with the Loretto Community previously by attending a retreat at the Motherhouse. The Carbon Reduction Fund grant money made it possible for them to purchase three fruit trees, two Asian pear trees and a persimmon tree, two raspberry bushes and blackberry and blueberry bushes, which will be planted in the spring, as well as passion fruit bushes. They also were able to buy compost and fresh garden soil. The youth built a compost bin so they should have homemade compost from all the vegetables in the upcoming year. A 375-gallon rain barrel also was purchased.
As we enter into a time of year that calls forth reflection on the year nearly completed and anticipation of the new year ahead, we encourage you to consider making a donation to the Loretto Carbon Reduction Fund. A donation to the fund allows us to continue this vital work. We look forward to three more robust rounds of grants in 2024 that will support individuals and organizations who are doing the steady work of drawing down carbon emissions.