ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Sisters of Saint Francis got into the Earth Day spirit Monday afternoon by planting a tree at Assisi Heights.
It’s part of the Sisters’ plan to help take care of the Earth for future generations and to remind us that we are all responsible for taking care of the Earth.
After a soggy morning, the rain stopped just in time for the tree planting ceremony. The planting is part of the Assisi Heights’ Woodland Stewardship Plan, which aims to remove diseased and dead trees and shrubbery, then plant new ones.
Monday’s planted tree, the Showy Mountain Ash, also known as a Northern Mountain Ash, and is a common sight along the rocky north shore of Lake Superior.
Planting the tree on Earth Day is symbolic of the additional trees that will be planted in the future.
“The trees do wonderful things for us,” said Sister Alice Thraen. “They help to hold back erosion, they shade us in the summertime, but they also give us the oxygen we need in order to breathe and they also, with their carbon dioxide, they help to remove the poisonous gases from the air so we can breathe healthier. So I would suggest that when you get an opportunity to plant a tree, please do so.”
The Sisters picked the Showy Mountain Ash for this location because it serves several purposes. The trees produce white blossoms that attract pollinators and fruit that feeds birds. The trees also provide a beautiful display of colors each fall.
Sister Thraen says they try to plant between ten and 12 trees each year, all of which are native to Minnesota.