Francesca Franchina, MS Ed. converses with Sr. Leanne Jablonski, FMI (Daughters of Mary Immaculate) about THE MARIANIST ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER (MEEC) an educational ministry in the Catholic tradition, stewarding the 100 acre Mount St. John natural areas, committed to sharing and interpreting the gift of the land with others in Mary’s hope-filled spirit. MEEC advocates environmental justice as integral to sustainable living and achieves its mission through land restoration, ecological research, service, learning and educational programs. Mount St. John is a 150 acre property owned by the Society of Mary (Marianists) a Catholic community of Brothers and priests founded by Bl. Wm. Joseph Chaminade. The first people to care for this land were hunters, ancestors of the later Indian nations, for whom this was part of the sacred hunting grounds between the Miamis. Among the first Euro-Americans to arrive in this area were John Patterson, National Cash Register (NCR) Industrialist and Inventor of the cash register and the electric starter) and his family who provided the land on which The Watervliet Shaker Community was founded in 1806. The original 80 acres of Mount St. John formed part of the East Farm of the Shakers, and was purchased by the Marianists in 1910. Learn about The Wetlands, Prairie, Fields, Meadows; the more than 140 unique horticultural tree specimens including The Kentucky Coffee Tree, Japanese Pagoda Tree, Kousa Dogwood, GoldenTrain, Hardy Rubber Tree and Smoke Tree. A list of the arboretum trees is available from MEEC; also hear about the Sacred Embrace Earthwork designed by local artist Carrie Pate; Chaminade Park, The Native Plant Labyrinth with various trees and hundreds of native flowers and Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto modeled after the Lourdes Grotto in Massabielle, France constructed with 230 tons of tufa rock from the Great Lakes. Learn how you can experience the Field Education Areas and Programs available through and your family or group can experience this magnificent facility and beautiful landscape at Mount St. John in Dayton, Ohio. See the MEEC “TOUCHING EARTH” Art and Educational Exhibit at Gallery St. John on the property through June 30th. MEEC Headquarters is located in St. Joseph Hall at Mount St. John; 4435 E. Patterson Road, Dayton, OH 45430. For more information, learning & volunteering opportunities see: www.meec.udayton.edu.