Give Inspiration This Lent

As we enter the season of Lent, a time of reflection and giving, we invite you to join the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in supporting the “Inspiration Center.”

Pittsburgh Sisters Improving Sustainable Landscaping Efforts

Posted by Kacie Emmerson

February 17, 2023

As part of their mission to care for Earth, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in the Pittsburgh area are taking significant steps to improve ecological sustainability efforts. These initiatives range from planting trees and other flora to enhance water retention and promote pollination to pursuing certification as a wildlife habitat. 

Caritas Support Services, which sees to the needs of Sisters of Charity of Nazareth residing on their property in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, recently participated in the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, a collaborative initiative aimed at planting 10 million trees in priority areas across Pennsylvania by the end of 2025

During the fall of 2022, CSS received 125 plants and shrubs to be planted on their property off of the busy McKnight Road corridor. Dormant trees were planted on several sites, including the former soccer field on the lower campus, the former practice field behind Vincentian Academy, along the upper cemetery, and various other sites around the property.

This pool, which closed in 2021, was filled in to be used as a pollinator garden at the Pittsburgh property.

In addition to the trees, over 2.5 pounds of native perennials seeds were planted at three sites around the property. The Sisters and staff are cautiously optimistic about the growth of these perennials, which will add native pollinator habitats. Last year, mowing on the property was reduced by 25% to promote the healthy growth of native plants, and a mason bee house was added to the pollinator garden with plans to add more.

Some efforts are already proving fruitful with the increased presence of wildlife such as American Goldfinch, pollinators such as snowberry clearwing moths and honey bees, and beneficial insects such as ladybeetles, native Carolina praying mantis, and hoverflies. Wild turkeys, red and gray foxes, and a small herd of deer have also been seen on the property. CSS looks to have the area certified as a wildlife habitat but needs a sustainable water source to do so. They will attempt to locate a suitable site for a water source in the spring. 

With several pollinator-focused efforts underway, CSS is also applying to become a Certified Pollinator Garden through the Penn State Extension program and a representative has enrolled in the Pollinator Steward Certificate program, which provides education on pollinator species and habitat management. They will continue to increase food and shelter for pollinators through planting and reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides.

“We hope our efforts will inspire others in our community to take steps toward sustainable landscaping practices and make a difference in our environment,” said a spokesperson for Caritas Support Services.

1 Comment

  1. camille panich

    May all of your wonderful efforts come to fruition and be examples for the local community and beyond.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…

Easter Egg Hunt at Nazareth

Easter Egg Hunt at Nazareth

Join the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth for an Easter Egg Hunt on April 1. Free egg hunts for ages 0-10. Special prize eggs for each age group! Bring your basket!

Maryland Volunteers Head to Belize

Maryland Volunteers Head to Belize

Nine volunteers from St. John’s Hollywood, Maryland, left for a mission trip to Belize on Sunday, March 26. This group is collaborating with Hand in Hand Ministries there to build a house for a mother and her three children. On Saturday, the team received orientation from Brenda Gonzales, SCN, and Laverne Schaefer, SCNA, after which a commissioning ceremony was held during the liturgy at St. John’s.

Sisters Complete Construction of Convent in Nongdiwah

Sisters Complete Construction of Convent in Nongdiwah

Sisters teach at the village school and empower women and girls by providing educational opportunities throughout seven local villages. Their commitment to making a difference in the lives of those around them is truly inspiring.