COMPANIONS IN THE WORLD | Creation: Care for Our Planet
COMPANIONS IN THE WORLD
Companions live their vocations through prayer and action. This blog regularly offers a selection of prayers that Companions pray each month. From time to time, we also spotlight individual or group activities that show how Companions live their vows in the world.
Creation: Care for Our Planet
By Sharon Bigot, SCHC, Greater Arizona Chapter
In 2021, when I first moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Tucson, Arizona, I fell in love with the beauty and amazing diversity of plants, animals, and cultures of the Southwest, and especially of the Sonoran Desert. I was consumed with the desire to learn everything I could about this wondrous and unique region. That’s what led me to Tucson’s Tohono Chul Park and Tohono Chul’s Docent Training Program.
Tohono Chul Park (Tohono Chul means “Desert Corner” in the language of the Tohono O’odham people) consists of 49 acres of the Sonoran Desert, with only about seven acres that have been cultivated. The uncultivated acres have been left in a natural state to show the cycles of life, for even dead plants provide shelter and food for many insects, birds, and other desert critters.
It is truly marvelous that geologist Richard Wilson and his wife, Jean, after moving here in the 1960s, were motivated in 1985 to donate their acreage to a non-profit Foundation for the Preservation of Natural Areas. At the park’s dedication ceremony, the Wilsons expressed their vision for Tohono Chul:
“We dedicate this park to those who come here, who, we hope, will not only admire and find comfort in the natural beauty of the area, but will achieve greater appreciation of the ways of conserving all our precious desert region and obtain a greater understanding of the people native to these areas.”
The Wilsons’ mission carries on through Tohono Chul’s docents and many other volunteers and their dedicated staff.
I have the honor to be the docent when the SCHC Greater Arizona Chapter tours the Tohono Chul Park on March 16, 2024, for a program on Creation Care.