The Ecumenical Bennedict Monastery of Middleton wins international Assisi Award for conservation efforts
Holy Wisdom Monastery of Middleton, Wisconsin, USAJuly 2017
The Benedictine Sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery of Middleton, Wisconsin, USA, received the inaugural Assisi Award for faith-based conservation at the 28th International Congress of Conservation Biology’s Opening Ceremony on July 23, 2017 in the town of Cartagena, Colombia. It is the first ecumenical Benedictine community in North America where Catholic and Protestant women live, pray and work together. Her mission is to weave prayer, hospitality, justice and care for the Earth into a shared way of life.
The Sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery, along with thousands of volunteers, professionals and co-workers, have been caring for the land on the north side of Lake Mendota since arriving in 1953, purchasing land around and restoring almost 70 ha of the original prairie and wetlands habitats. Current projects include planting an oak savannah, educational programming and workdays for the public, The Monastery building’s eco-friendly features include geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels to generate 60% of the energy needs and solar light fixtures in the parking lot, low flow fixtures, sky lights, tinted and operable windows, solar tubes, instant hot water heaters, living ‘green’ roofs and rain barrels. The goal is to eventually generate 100% of the energy needs The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Holy Wisdom Monastery a Platinum rating—the highest level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification available in March 2010.
The Assisi Award acknowledges organizations and individuals whose work demonstrates that faith-based conservation is contributing significantly to the common global effort of conserving life on Earth. The name of the Assisi Award celebrates a historic 1986 meeting where leaders of all major world religions made public declarations to protect the environment. The meeting was an initiative of the Duke of Edinburgh, President of World Wildlife Fund International at the time.