Dioceses Planning Initiative
His Holiness Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ invites us to contemplate the earth as a resplendent illustration of God’s infinite creativity and love, and a gift which we must tend to with care. He discusses the grave consequences that not caring for our common home have in a world where life’s most basic functions and needs are integrally interconnected. Pope Francis urges us to care for our home, which is rapidly deteriorating at our own hands. As we care for the earth, thoughtful land-use and land-management strategies foster a clean environment, promote public health, address social justice concerns, add beauty to the world, support life in its many species, and allow us to glorify God through our care for Creation. Pope Francis states, “In the face of possible risks to the environment which may affect the common good now and in the future, decisions must be made based on a comparison of the risks and benefits foreseen for the various possible alternatives. This is especially the case when a project may lead to a greater use of natural resources… or significant changes to the landscape, the habitats of protected species or public spaces” (Laudato Si’, par. 184).
Little is currently known about how Church lands are affecting ecosystems, health, habitat, and communities. GoodLands plans to increase our understanding of the Church’s lands and to facilitate informed landscape management and land-use planning as a means for positive environmental and social change.
Hartford Archdicoese are brighter than the surrounding areas, the green layer shows protected lands, the yellow layer (place cursor over to reveal) shows critical habitat, the orange layer (click to reveal) shows where these two layers intersect within the archdiocese.
GIS Layer Resources: Connectiuct 10ft DEM, DEEP GIS, CLEAR--mosaic; Connecticut Counties, UConn; Named_Waterbody_Polygon, ct.gov DEEP; States polygon, USGS; Connecticut state polygon, aquifer protection areas, federal open space, municipal and private open space, and DEP property, tidal wetlands, migratory waterfowl, eelgrass, natural diversity lands, critical habitat, (DEEP).
We hope to work with dioceses to develop an ecological understanding of their properties. We plan to use powerful computational tools provided by geographic information technology and community involvement strategies to map the location of each Catholic-affiliated property within each dioceses we work with. We will connect the locations of these properties to information and stories that will reveal how these properties are functioning now, and how they could potentially better function in the future through the development of sound environmental practices and concomitant social programs that promote a greater good. This process will provide diocesan officials with accurate and comprehensive information to share and dialogue about in ways they decide are most appropriate.