Dedicated to caring for the earth
at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Holy Wisdom Monastery is home to a diverse ecosystem spread across more than 130 acres of restored prairie, woodlands, wetlands, gardens, orchards and more. Nurturing partnerships with Dane County, Madison Community Foundation and others who value caring for the earth has always been important to us.


Middleton’s Eco-Friendly Nuns

Listen to Sisters Mary David Walgenbach and Lynne Smith share their passion for caring for the earth in an interview on Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Life.  Listen now (starts at 15:40)

Mary David’s interview is also available, with partial transcription, on the Wisconsin Life webpage: Benedictine Sisters Weave Faith with Environmental Care


Wisdom Prairie Project

In September 2012, we acquired a 53-acre cornfield which we are committed to integrating and restoring to native prairie and oak savanna to help improve the water quality in Lake Mendota. In March 2015, we successfully met our goal of raising $1.9 million to cover the acquisition and initial management costs to restore this 53-acre parcel to native prairie and oak savanna. The main goals of the project are:

  1. Conserve valuable open space along the north side of Lake Mendota in a rapidly developing area;
  2. Reduce runoff of pollutants, especially phosphorous, into the Lake Mendota watershed due to this parcel’s proximity to the chain of lakes;
  3. Partner with Dane County to construct a bike trail to serve the cycling community on the north side of Lake Mendota.

Friends of Wisdom Prairie

The Friends of Wisdom Prairie support group started in 2014 to help maintain and restore the land at Holy Wisdom Monastery through donations and volunteer activities, and to learn about caring for the earth. Greg Armstrong, director of land management and environmental education, oversees the restoration efforts and provides opportunities for the Friends to learn how to care for the earth here and wherever they may be. In addition to planting prairie, the latest work includes removing invasive trees and readying the land for the creation of an oak savanna.

Friends enjoy:

• Walking and working the land
• Volunteer opportunities in ecological land management
• Hands-on land management
• Guided tours to learn about seasonal changes on the prairie
• Dinner lectures at the monastery by noted speakers
• Outings to visit other natural areas and learn how they care for the earth
• Periodic updates
• Membership meetings to further the organization’s purpose and socialize with other Friends.

Join today!

Help support the environmental efforts at Holy Wisdom by becoming a Friend of Wisdom Prairie. Register online and join today!

For more information, contact Greg Armstrong at garmstrong@benedictinewomen.org, 608-836-1631, x123.