"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth.
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than any place else on Earth."
Dorothy Frances Gurne
The Wildscape Guild's purpose is to provide a beautiful and welcoming outdoor environment at St. Francis' church for all God's creatures—including humans. We seek an awareness of God's presence in fellowship, in silent meditation, and in all the sensual joys of planting and harvesting in the care of creation. We are filling the grounds with native and adapted plants that will support birds, butterflies, and other wildlife as well as saving water and preventing erosion. We hope to make the gardens a living classroom to encourage the love of the outdoors in children at the school.
The most recent addition to the grounds is a Meditation Garden near the columbarium. Plants mentioned in the Bible have been included in the plan, with signs indicating the Biblical source. A fountain and benches provide a pleasant environment for meditating on God's love and care—and listening for his voice.
In the future, we plan to add water catchment storage tanks with additional drip irrigation and wildlife water source. Additionally, in the Fall of 2015 we plan to begin a Monarch Waystation habitat project to be eventually included in the Monarch Waystation Registry, an online listing of Monarch Waystations worldwide. The purpose of this habitat is to provide food, shelter, and nursery plants to support migratory Monarch butterflies, whose numbers are in steep decline in the United States. See www.MonarchWatch.org/waystations
Work on the St. Francis' Wildscape counts as required volunteer hours for anyone who is aiming for status as a Certified Master Naturalist, which is a designation sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Agrilife Extension Service.
We meet weekly, weather permitting, on Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until 11. During hot weather, we move the meeting times earlier so as catch the cool of the morning.
Every few weeks we plan a "field trip" to a nursery, garden, garden shop, or other venue. We plan to eat lunch and just enjoy each other's company in shared interests.
Please contact the church office for details about volunteering for this ministry.