Requirements for a St. Kateri Habitat

September 6, 2022

I have always wanted to create my own St. Kateri habitat.

There are specific requirements that much be met in order for an area to be registered as a St. Kateri Habitat.  These requirements are listed on the Saint Kateri Conservation Center website.  For your convenience, I've included them here as well:  

"Saint Kateri Habitats and Parks should provide at least three of the following elements, plus one religious expression, as follows:

Food, water, cover, and space for people and wildlife. This includes vegetable gardens, flower and pollinator gardens, patio gardens, community-supported agriculture, forests, farms, rivers, lakes, grasslands, and healthful and safe workplaces.

Native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers to promote biodiversity, such as milkweed and goldenrod for monarch butterflies. Some non-native plants are good and acceptable, as long as they are not invasive.

Ecosystem services offered by gardens, wildlife habitats, and natural communities, such as pollination, clean air and water, carbon storage for climate regulation, and the control of invasive species. Religious faith arising from interactions with the “Book of Nature” is an important ecosystem service.

Clean, renewable energy and sustainable practices for buildings and property, gardens, landscapes, and farms, such as solar arrays and minimizing the use of pesticides and using organic or no-phosphorus fertilizer. 

Sacred and sacramental places for prayer and contemplation, such as Mary Gardens, prayer gardens, shrines, and rosary gardens. Any garden or habitat can be treated as sacramental by giving thanks to our Creator for his works and gifts.

In addition, at least one religious expression is required, which may include crosses, shrines, grottos, stations of the cross, Saint Kateri Habitat signs, or statues of Mary, an angel, or a saint, such as Saint Kateri or Saint Francis of Assisi. This religious expression reminds us that God – the Holy Spirit – is present and active in every corner of creation."

So as you can see I have my work cut out for me but do hope that this is something I can do next year. Having an outdoor space like this for meditation and contemplation would be so restorative!

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