Church campuses receive infusion of trees

Volunteers with local nonprofit TreesLouisville prepared to plant trees on the campus of St. Teresa of Calcutta Church in Fairdale, Ky., April 26. (Photo Special to The Record)

Over the past few weeks, about 150 trees have been planted at St. Ignatius Martyr Church, 1818 Rangeland Road, and St. Teresa of Calcutta Church in Fairdale, Ky.

Deacon Lucio Caruso — pastoral administrator for both parishes — said the tree-planting initiative aims to care for creation as well as to prepare the campuses for urban farming projects that are starting this year. 

“We wanted to plant fruit trees along the garden area to attract pollinators. We also wanted to spruce up the area and do something for the environment,” said Deacon Caruso. “We hear a lot about Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, but I said, ‘I want to do something.’ ” 

The parishes are collaborating with TreesLouisville, a non-profit whose mission is to be a catalyst for conserving and increasing the community tree canopy, according to its website.

A TreesLouisville truck arrived at St. Teresa of Calcutta Church’s campus April 26. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)

With the help of volunteers, the organization has planted about 150 trees, including fruit trees such as peach, apple and pear as well as flowering trees like magnolias and dogwoods, Deacon Caruso said. 

Many of the trees will attract pollinators that will benefit Catholic Charities of Louisville’s Common Earth Gardens program, Deacon Caruso noted.

Catholic Charities has purchased land adjacent to St. Ignatius and has leased land on St. Teresa of Calcutta’s campus for Common Earth Gardens. Both pieces of land will accommodate refugee farmers, who will tend gardens on the plots. The land is currently being plowed, and a water source is being sought for the Fairdale gardens, said Deacon Caruso. 

Reflecting on these projects, Deacon Caruso pointed out that the church is still in the midst of the Easter season. 

“It’s a time of new life and resurrection,” he said. “Trees are a sign that there will be a future. It’s a sign we’re going to be here to stay.”

Volunteers with the nonprofit TreesLouisville planted trees on the campus of St. Teresa of Calcutta Church in Fairdale, Ky., April 26. (Photo Special to The Record)
Ruby Thomas
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Ruby Thomas
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