FSPA seeds a legacy of learning, food security, care for creation

04/23/2021 11:59 am

On Earth Day 2021 — Northside Elementary School, Logan Northside Neighborhood Association and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration joined forces in La Crosse for the groundbreaking of a new garden, seeding together a legacy of learning, healthful living and care for all creation.


Sister Anita Beskar, who led the Logan Northside Neighborhood Garden initiative, joined Northside Elementary School student Sydney at the groundbreaking of the garden.

These relationships and this garden began to germinate when the reality of food insecurity was identified in La Crosse’s Northside neighborhood. Teachers, parents, social workers, the University of Wisconsin Extension Program, La Crosse Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, the FSPA and many others came together to troubleshoot and ultimately create a blueprint for growing not only fresh produce but a heritage of community, food security and sustainability. Caring for the hungry and caring for our earth as well.


FSPA Integral Ecology Director Beth Piggush displays seedlings that spent the winter outside, germinating in a plastic milk jug

In the garden, students will plant, grow, harvest the bounty and enjoy the fruits of their labor with their families while learning on many levels about horticulture, nutrition, healthy lifestyles and sustainable gardening practices. And FSPA will carry out their initiative called Seeding a Legacy of Healing, investing the funds received from the transaction with Mayo Clinic into collaboration into making something good happen. All sisters were eligible to present a Seeding a Legacy proposal to the internal committee for consideration. Criteria included:

•    Four or more sisters determine a project for funding. 
•    The Franciscan value of “relationship” must be operative. 
•    Address broad global/national or local concerns.
•    Recipient must be a non-profit organization.

La Crosse's Logan High School technical education students have installed the foundation for the raised-bed garden that they engineered and built. Elementary students will get their hands in the earth, planting the seedlings they brought to life inside their classroom. In addition to the garden at Northside Elementary School, two others will be funded by FSPA and planted by students and the neighborhood association: Logan High School and North Community Library.


Logan High School students hard at work, preparing the ground at Northside Elementary for raised garden beds

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