Straw Bale House

This house, called Little Portion Green, will be used as an educational and demonstration facility to teach young and old alike how to use natural building materials, save energy and preserve the environment. The goal is to attain zero energy and to demonstrate the many “awesome ways” that will save resources by using passive solar design, solar panels, straw bale insulation with earth plaster, Energy Recovery Ventilation and many other innovative systems. Project S.T.R.A.W. is an endeavor of the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis. Sister Jane Omlor is the catalyst behind “Little Portion Green” and project manager. A Tiffin Franciscan, she formerly taught at St. Francis High School in Tiffin before moving to West Virginia. While living in Spencer, West Virginia, she organized and built a straw bale chapel. Later, she moved to Mingo County, West Virginia, and coordinated the building of the Web of Life Ecology Center, built primarily with recycled materials. A potter by trade, Sister Jane teaches pottery and manages Spirit Space Gallery and Gifts at the St. Francis Spirituality Center on the St. Francis campus.


Click below to watch our latest Power Point.

Mountaintop Removal

In Mingo County, WV, Sister Jane saw the first hand effects that mountaintop removal had on the local community.  This experience inspired her to try and live without relying on coal.  Little Portion Green is an active learning experience in the potential of green design and renewable energy.  During tours, Sister Jane is always happy to share her experience with mountaintop removal, so that others can be better educated on the issue.  The song below explains some of the effects mountaintop removal has on communities: