Environmental Initiatives

ROARAdvocating for environmental justice is one of the Mariandale Center’s most pressing commitments. Co-Op for Earthsake is Mariandale’s multi-faceted environmental protection program that supports global and local causes, including the greatest threat: climate change.

Co-Op for Earthsake seeks to remind others that Earth is a sacred subject and living organism worth relating to as a mentor, teacher, and healer. Through direct experience with the natural world, people of all ages, beliefs, cultures and economies are invited to a range of activities from contemplative listening to work on the land.

Some of our most important environmental initiatives include:

Hope Community Gardens

IndividGardenGreatWeek2uals and families grow fresh, organic food to eat and also to share with the weekly guests of the Ossining Food Pantry, so people living in poverty have fresh locally grown vegetables at least during the summer and early fall. We honor the diversity in planting and people, bugs and critters.

Environmental Film Series

Environmental films were shared and discussed among them were films about the wonders of soil, the value of bees, the awakening of the Universe. The new series starts in early 2016.

Planting for the Pollinators

We honor eco-beneficial ways of planting at the labyrinth for the bees, butterflies, birds, soil, organisms and the contemplative walkers.

004Bee Yard

We have hosted meetings of the Hudson Valley Natural Beekeepers. We now have our own six hives and a lead beekeeper, an associate beekeeper, two back-up beekeepers, one support person and many observers watching the bees forage and bring home pollen in the)-pockets on their back legs. We delight in learning from the bees, both the mystery and their mystical aspects as we learn to grow quiet and pay attention.

Walking the Land

We have walked with a Native American woman, with our Mariandale staff, and with other Dominican women. Together we learn to listen to the sounds around and above us, the sights, shapes, textures, names and stance of the trees, the contours and texture of the land and how it speaks to us of its’ gifts and its needs. We have walked with homeless adults, persons with special needs, children and families. We witness how attentive and alive and quiet people get as they become aware of this awesome planet and how relaxed and restored they become as they relate to Mother Earth and absorb the wonders of the natural world.

GardeningEco/Art Justice

Exploring “Art as a Tool for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation” to build our community and cross-fertilize ideas and skills around relevant issues of our time. We focus on focus on immigration, refugees, and homelessness in particular. People will be invited to participate, and Mariandale will present a series of gallery displays open to the public, followed by a summit on the topic.


Mariandale cooperates with: the Croton Climate Initiative (CCI) in promoting education about emerging issues of water and gas; Through educational meetings and speakers, neighbors gathered to learn more of the perils facing us and our place on the planet; Recently, with the AIM Pipeline and the immense Climate Change issue prompted by the International Conference in Paris, we joined on as supporters of “Peekskill to Paris” to rally support for Paris and to educate  local residents about threats to our region’s safety.


  • Mariandale’s Program Specialist for rituals/presentations/readings and programs
  • Hudson Valley Natural Beekeepers for meetings and resources for our beekeeping projects
  • The OPSCC Earth Council learning to listen to the land and educate our communities
  • Maryknoll Sisters participating in rallies, prayer rituals, environmental projects and shared resources
  • Religious Organizations Along the River (ROAR) for ecosystem issues facing the river, water, air, and ground for people both near and far
  • Briarcliff, Ossinin Ministerial Association (BOMA) Working together in an Interfaith context to provide temporary weekly overnight winter housing for homeless people in Ossining.  We are also exploring more preferable long term affordable housing.
  • Ossining Green Committee for annual Earth Day Fair and resources for environmental, documentary films and speakers at the Ossining Library
  • Croton Climate Initiative (CCI)
  • EcoBeneficial for eco-smart companion planting
  • Refugee Call to Action: Landless peoples needing asylum, to be welcomed potentially into the lower Hudson Valley
  • Resist Spectra’s AIM Pipeline
  • Healing and Protecting our Land Together: A Call to Prayer, weekly, regular prayer vigils near the Hudson River, Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant and Spectra’s AIM Pipeline.
  • Care for Creation Ministry:  at Holy Name of Mary Parish in Croton on Hudson: Sustainable Speaker Series; Youth effort to ban plastic bags.
  • The New Sanctuary Coalition:  Accompaniment Training Program
  • CO-OP for Earthsake:  for the Bees, Hope Community Gardens, Bluebirds and Butterflies via Planting for the Pollnators.  We rely on an ever-growing volunteer network.
  • Ossining Food Pantry:  Sharing our fresh organic vegetables, herbs and flowers with the guests of OFP.
  • Social Media:  Engaging with millennials and others who are addressing current social justice issues with a global view using social movement for local, national and global issues e.g., Black Lives Matter, MeToo Movement, Gun Control, Climate, Nuclear via #hashtag, the New Economy Coalition, Future Church and addressing such topics as Movement Organizing the 21st Century, Voices of Creative Non-violence.

We seek to awaken an evolutionary consciousness that call for action as partners with people of all ages, races, beliefs, and economics to a relationship with the natural world that is both active and transformative; one that offers tangible hope for the future.

For more information on Mariandale’s environmental initiatives and programs, please contact Bette Ann Jaster, OP, Environmental Programs Specialist, at bajaster@mariandale.org

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