Since the late 1860’s when Father Bihn purchased the farm on which the congregation is located, the Sisters of St. Francis have valued the land and been concerned about the care of creation. In 1994, they founded the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center. The Franciscan Earth Literacy Center, commonly called FELC, is a non-profit hands-on environmental education center and demonstration facility designed to promote an appreciation and understanding of our relationship with the natural world and to encourage sustainable living practices. The Center is located on the grounds of the Sisters of St. Francis on St. Francis Avenue in Tiffin. In 2004, the FELC started Seeds of Hope Farm. The farm is a chemical free operation, raising vegetables, fruit, herbs and livestock products for the general public, farmer’s markets and wholesale customers in a sustainable agriculture system.
The FELC school programming regularly works with thousands of children annually throughout Northwest Ohio. All school curriculum is aligned with Ohio State Education Standards. Summer Day Camps will see 200 youth attend annually for week long day camps at the FELC. FELC helps to organize and program community events such as Earth Day and Fall Festivals. FELC works with Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops on various badge/patch workshops as well. Adult Education is also a priority at FELC. Workshops such as Project Wild, home composting, permaculture, natural building material workshop, wind energy workshop, and International Bird day events were all hosted at FELC for adult educational opportunities.