The IHM campus offers a rich contemplative landscape of meadows, courtyards, a pond, woodlands, constructed wetland, walking paths, gardens, a labyrinth, a cemetery and green park space for quiet moments.
We often retreat to nature for healing and renewal. The Motherhouse grounds offer a rich contemplative landscape – and we consider the grounds to be one of our Sacred Spaces.
Every year, Southeast Michigan loses about 13 square miles of farms, fields, wetlands and woods to development.
One of our priorities was green space – preserving and enhancing our gift of Nature. Our campus is home to native trees more than 100 years old, which provide historic and ecological value to the community and root us in place by keeping us connected to the web of life.
We converted 11 acres of lawn to meadow and prairie, improving the bio-diversity of the site and protecting existing natural habitat. (In 2010, The National Wildlife Federation declared the grounds as an official “Certified Wildlife Habitat” site.) The reduction in costs associated with mowing lawns results in lower consumption of non-renewable energy. In the parking lots, vegetated swales handle the storm water runoff.
Constructed wetlands, imitating natural wetlands, purify water coming from the Motherhouse’s gray water system.
By emulating nature’s drainage systems, close to one million gallons of water is diverted annually from the municipals storm sewer system. Vegetated swales manage storm water runoff and restore and protect habitat by the presence of native grasses and wildflowers.