With guidance from an ecologist who has designed more than 5,000 wetlands projects around the world, Bellarmine environmental studies students reclaimed two wetlands on the large Passionist Earth & Spirit Center property near St. Agnes Church on Newburg Road, adding hedges, shrubs, trees and other plants native to Kentucky.
They are now some of the largest urban wetlands in Louisville. But over the years, they had been farmed or drained with ditches. “We’re restoring these to improve water quality, to help the environment by improving the habitat for wildlife,” said Tom Biebighauser, a wildlife and wetland biologist who worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 34 years and now devotes his time to wetland restoration and training.
The Earth & Spirit Center, whose mission is “to cultivate a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship,” also partnered with St. Agnes school, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the project.
Photo by Walter Parker ’15