Walsingham Academy's Lower School Learning Garden has been designated as a Saint Kateri Habitat by the Saint Kateri Conservation Center. This recognition signifies a healthy habitat for people, plants and wildlife.
In order to receive this honor at least three specific elements plus one religious expression are required. The Walsingham learning garden contains:
- Native plants
- Sacred space for worship
- Native species
"The program is named in honor of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the patron saint of Native Americans, First Nations Peoples, ecology, and the environment.
Saint Kateri was born in 1656 and lived much of her life around the site of the present-day Saint Kateri National Shrine and Historic Site in Fonda, New York.
Saint Kateri and the Indigenous Peoples had, and have, an extensive knowledge of natural habitats, acquired over thousands of years of direct contact with nature. This knowledge includes relationships between our Creator, people, plants, animals, landscapes, natural phenomena, and the timing of events used for fishing, hunting, agriculture, and forestry.
Saint Kateri is an eyewitness of the land before much of it would later be damaged or destroyed. Kateri offers a bridge between Europeans and all immigrants and the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, between people and all of creation, and between all people and God."