Care of Earth

We have come to know Earth as sacred in itself

Congregational Land Ethic

In 2004, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill affirmed a Land Ethic Statement  committing themselves to making all decisions in light of their impact on Planet Earth, especially decisions about land to which they hold title.

Falling Waters Preserve

In 2010, the Sisters entered into a partnership with Scenic Hudson to create a land preserve on property owned by the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill. The site, 149 acres of pristine woodland along the Hudson River shoreline in upstate New York, is known as Falling Waters Preserve.

A local Saugerties environmental group, Esopus Creek Conservancy, assisted Scenic Hudson with improvements to existing riverside trails and the creation of new trails in designated areas of the property. Benches and gates made from natural materials were installed at scenic spots along the hiking trails, creating rest areas which invited hikers or retreatants to contemplate the beauty surrounding them.

At the formal opening of Falling Waters Preserve in 2011, Sister Mary Murray, president of the Dominican Sisters, remarked: “It is a privilege to be in partnership with Scenic Hudson and the Esopus Creek Conservancy in providing the opportunity for visitors to enjoy this beautiful and unique spot along the Hudson River. Sharing this gift is a way in which the sisters hope that all who visit will experience peace, serenity and a taste of God’s great love.”

For the Dominican Sisters, protecting the Saugerties/Glasco land with the conservation agreement and cooperating in the creation of Falling Waters Preserve were actions taken in fidelity to the promise they made at Chapter 2004:

We pledge to consider the effect that (our) decisions will have on the Earth Community now and for generations to come

At the conclusion of their original five-year agreement in 2015, the Sisters agreed to sell the property to Scenic Hudson who will preserve it in perpetuity, protecting this magnificent mile-long stretch of Hudson River shoreline.


The Dominican Sisters of Sparkill are founding members of Religious Organizations Along the River (ROAR), a network of religious congregations and organizations formed concerned with sustainable and regenerative use of land in the Hudson River bioregion.

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