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Our Lady of Good Counsel Update

Friends of the Living Earth,

I hope this message finds you well. Last year, it was announced that the School Sisters of Notre Dame would be divesting their property at Our Lady of Good Counsel. Recently, the announcement came that a potential buyer of the property has been identified and the sisters would be relocating to Shakopee, MN. SSND founded the Good Counsel campus in 1912 and have deep roots within the Minnesota River Valley. While the news was anticipated, it isn't easier to think of the incredible loss this community will feel with their departure.

Many have asked what this means for the Living Earth Center and its Community Garden. Since our humble beginnings, we have known that transition was imminent, and while there remain some unknowns, we do know the following:

  • This gardening season will likely not be impacted. Many things are still being decided, however, we have been ok'd to move forward growing this year. Negotiations are currently underway for the Garden to remain at Good Counsel somewhere on the property. When more information is available, we will update our gardeners, supporters, and volunteers.


  • Living Earth Center will continue even when the sisters are no longer physically located at Good Counsel. Because of the ongoing support of our donors, Living Earth Center has a solid financial foundation. It will continue to grow within the Greater Mankato Community, nurturing environmental and social sustainability regionally. What makes a community garden different from other spaces is the exchange of energy and interconnection between people. The spirit of the Garden will endure regardless of where we plant our roots.


  • Living Earth Center will continue to be a SSND Sponsored Ministry and maintain a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between the congregation and LEC in which the SSND charism and educational vision are embedded characteristics of the organization. The School Sister’s legacy will remain through our embodiment of care for the Earth and each other.

Above all, we are grateful for your continued support as we face these new transitions as opportunities for growth and humility. Now more than ever, we will need your support, compassion, and positivity as we adapt to the changes that are to come. Please keep the community of School Sisters close to your heart as they navigate an incredibly difficult transition.

With gratitude always,

Laura Peterson
Executive Director
Living Earth Center