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Genesis Land Conservancy

Abstract The Genesis Land Conservancy is a registered charity and non-profit organization devoted to conservation and sustainable agriculture. Designed to be a community land trust, Genesis seeks to replace the market-driven practice of treating land as a commodity with a more ecological approach based on an understanding of land as God’s creation. After acquiring land through purchase, donation, or bequest, Genesis holds it in trust by leasing it under the condition that it be tended respectfully, responsibly, and for the benefit of all creation. With the goal of promoting sustainable agriculture in particular, Genesis works to support small farmers by making land available to those who otherwise could not afford it, by encouraging wise land use practices, and by helping farmers with long-term land-management. It also helps donors—be they individuals or institutions—secure their land by ensuring its tenure under ecological and sustainable management. By providing a secure land base through the conservation of land, Genesis promotes sustainable rural communities, healthy ecosystems, wildlife protection, and the alleviation of poverty and scarcity. At present, Genesis manages nearly 1,800 acres of land in Saskatchewan, including its model farm, the Marysburg Project, which is funded by the Bruno Ursuline Sisters; the Sisters of St. Elizabeth; Humboldt; and the Order of St. Benedict, Muenster. This thirteen-acre demonstration site in Marysburg consists of an 800 square foot strawbale greenhouse facility powered and heated entirely by the sun, a tree and bush shelter belt, an organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) garden, fields and pastures that are maintained through rotational growing and grazing, and a soil-replenishment compost project. Genesis is currently managed by Earthcare Connections, a nonprofit organization that is sponsored by the Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Anglican, and United Churches for the purpose of providing education about sustainable agriculture.
Religion Christianity
Geographic Location Canada
(Saskatchewan)
Duration of Project 1996–Present
History

The Genesis Land Conservancy was established in 1996 under the auspices of Catholic Rural Life Ministry and the Saskatchewan Inter-Church Committee on Agriculture. The Rural Life Ministry coordinator, Paul Brassard, played a key role in the initial development of Genesis until his death in 1998, after which the management of Genesis was transferred to Earthcare Connections. The Marysburg Project started in 1996 with the allocation of funds for a hands-on sustainable agriculture project by three religious Orders: the Bruno Ursuline Sisters; the Sisters of St. Elizabeth; Humboldt; and the Order of St. Benedict, Muenster. The land was leased in 1997 and preparations for the project began. Construction of the strawbale greenhouse began the following year. A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project was initiated, and in 1999, the site was certified organic. At present, the Marysburg Project’s CSA is no longer running, but produce from the organic garden will be sold locally or donated to a food bank during the 2003 growing season. In 2001, Genesis initiated a scholarship program to support student work in the areas of sustainable agriculture and rural development at the college or university level.

Mission Statement "To keep in trust and to preserve for the future the vibrancy of our Saskatchewan heritage of the land and all it holds."
Partner Organizations Bruno Ursuline Sisters
Earthcare Connections
Order of St. Benedict, Muenster
Other contributing religious congregations
Long-Term Goals None Listed
Bibliography None Listed
Additional Research Resources None Listed
Contact Information The Genesis Land Conservancy, Inc.
Box 2800
Humboldt, SK SOK 2A0
Ph:       306.682.2407
Email: (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)