Composting Begins on the Motherhouse Campus

Sister Frances de Chantal Ulrich

Thanksgiving Day 2005 marked the establishment of the Sister Frances de Chantal Ulrich Compost Center on the Adrian Dominican Sisters campus, named for the Dominican woman "rooted in Adrian, as sturdy as the maple trees ... who understood the genesis of life and growth ... worked the soil and gathered up what it yielded," as her biography notes. Sister Frances died on Thanksgiving eve in 1977 at the age of 82.

The Sister Frances Compost Center was created in response to a recommendation made by co-workers and follows the Vision set forth at General Chapter 2004 "to challenge heresies of local and global domination, exploitation, and greed that privilege some, dehumanize others, and ravage Earth." The compost center was dedicated January 17. "Composting is a way of giving back to Earth just as Earth gives to us, and it's a way of calling ourselves to intentional living," said Kathy Erard, OP, a member of the Ecology Committee.

Sister Kathy Erard, OP,
at the dedication.

Composting is the decomposition of plant remains and other once-living materials to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that is excellent for adding to houseplants or enriching garden soil. It is a means of recycling one's yard and kitchen wastes, and is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal. Each year, 25 billion tons of soil, which took millions of years for Earth to create, are lost due to irresponsible practices.

The compost center is located next to the pole barn on the Adrian Dominican campus. It was designed and built by Richard Rodgers of the Maintenance Department. Steve Pifer, also a maintenance co-worker, will turn the compost and help maintain it.