Mississippi Strong: St. Catherine's Village Green Team

Published: Aug. 23, 2018 at 9:29 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2018 at 9:23 AM CDT
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Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT

MADISON, MS (WLBT) - There's a piece of earth in Madison County that's going green-er. And the Green Team at St. Catherine's Village is guiding the way.and they have a plan that will save the planet.

Well, the Green Team at St. Catherine's Village actually has several plans. And they've implemented a bunch of them.

Mary Margaret Judy is the Executive Director of St. Catherine's, and says the idea to go greener came from up above. Well, maybe not that high up, just the higher-ups in the Dominican Order.

"The Dominican Sisters have a mission for preserving God's community," said Mary Margaret Judy. "And we wanted to figure out what our roll within that mission was for St. Catherine's."

So the Green Team was formed. Barbara Dorr had worked with Keep Mississippi Beautiful and so she seemed like the logical choice to head up the team. Some projects were no brainers.

"Well, we could do recycling. They weren't recycling," said Barbara.

But hey. A THIRD grader could come up with that.

"Yea, we're smarter than a third grader," she added.

Very MUCH smarter. Recycling was just the beginning. They've planted trees as beautification and also a sound buffer from the increasing Madison County traffic. Turned off lights not being used.

Felichia Fields is the Assistant Executive Director at St. Catherine's Village. She's all on board.

"We are out of the box thinking," said Felichia. "One of the things we do with our lake that we have here is we use that water for irrigation."

"We've put some very aggressive plans for ourselves like decreasing the Styrofoam usage by 40% within the next few years, decreasing the plastic usage," added Mary Margaret Judy.

The Green Team REALLY saw the light. And suggested swapping out the old bulbs with LEDs. Used to, they had to replace burned out ones on a daily basis. Now they just shine. And have made for a brighter bottom line for CFO, Scott Kirsh.

"We've saved about 20% on our electricity bill over a 12-month period. Which is significant when you're looking at a facility the size of St. Catherine's Village," said Kirsh.

And the Green-thing has spread to beautification. Robbie Hughes' husband had a window with not much of a view until Robbie got hold of the grounds outside.

"I knew that my husband would enjoy that and if he would all of the other residents would, too," said Hughes.

Even the dirt is recycled. The poor clay soil that had to be removed for construction was replaced with good building dirt from another spot on campus. And the hole filled with the old dirt.

"Every day is Earth Day at St. Catherine's Village," added Barbara Dorr.

"I think we can make a difference," said an optimistic Mary Margaret Judy.

"We don't expect to save the world, added Felichia. "But we do expect to do our part in Madison, Mississippi and Madison County."

Save the earth a few acres at a time. And if you want to find out how to do it, just try to keep up with the Green Team at St. Catherine's Village.

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