"The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy,
and after all our most pleasing responsibility.
To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope."
St. Francis of the Woods is dedicated to the Franciscan ideal of protecting the natural world as a gift, a work of art, given to our care and stewardship from the Great Spirit, our Creator. In an effort to restore, reconcile, and renew that which has been entrusted to our care, St. Francis of the Woods is working in conjunction with the National Resource Conservation Service to restore 95 acres of land to its native ecosystem as a protected habitat for northern bobwhite quail (colinus virginianus) and other native species.
St. Francis of the Woods, located near the Cimarron River, borders the cross timbers and central great plains ecoregions. Our restoration project included two major activities. First, the removal of significant encroachment of eastern red cedar (juniperus virginiana). While native to Oklahoma, eastern red cedar was historically controlled by fire. It has been identified as the number one conservation concern by the State Technical Committee for USDA Cost Share Programs. St. Francis of the Woods has removed approximately 13 acres of eastern red cedar from near the Clare Cabin. This area will be restored to native grasses and cross timber trees such as post oak, blackjack oak, and black hickory. We were able to mill some of the cedar for lumber which is being used in remodeling projects in our cabins. Second, in 2019, we completed seeding 82 acres of former farm land to native grass and wildflowers. The central great plains is home to some of the most beautiful grasses on Earth. Little bluestem, big bluestem, sand bluestem, Indian grass, switchgrass, sideoats grama, blue grama, buffalograss, sand lovegrass, and other native varieties along with wildflowers such as butterfly milkweed, Illinois bundleflower, maximilian sunflower, purple prairie clover, blazing star, and purple coneflower were all seeded at St. Francis of the Woods. We will be cutting new nature trails through the restored prairie and other cross timber areas in the coming years. And we will continue to work in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi to restore more land and sustain a native eco system for our brother plants and sister animals. We share this place with them in one great family.
To help with this on-going project, please consider donating to St. Francis of the Woods using the "donate" button at the bottom of the page or mailing a check marked "Prairie Restoration" to:
St. Francis of the Woods
P.O. Box 400
Coyle, OK 73027
St. Francis of the Woods is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.