Land Experiences

Located on 230 acres . . .  yes, it seems evident that we would offer experiences on “the land.” However, as the Franciscan Life Process Center staff knows, “Land Experiences” first and foremost have to do with the “land of each person” and his/her needs and desires.

Land Experiences can be as elemental as becoming at ease with working outside, pulling weeds, digging a hole, raking leaves, or picking up branches or twigs.

Land Experiences can be a bit more advanced including weeding in a garden and learning what plants we leave in each plot, trimming a shrub or tree so that it grows rather than dies, learning to work with a group to put up a fence, creating a garden, harvesting an apple crop, or canning and freezing fruits and vegetables.

Land Experiences can also be specific to include working with an animal or assisting clients while they work with an animal, working with a team who does haying, creating a path in a wood lot, or planting seedlings to create a new “Christmas Tree lot.”

Land Experiences not only offer opportunities for volunteers to help in a “hands on” way, but also help to transform the interior “land” within each person.

Cris Ritsema, our Site Manager, works with individuals, and corporate, church, school and professional groups who volunteer their assistance. In addition, he works with those desiring to develop skills, work out personal challenges, or meet requirements for community service hours.

For more information, please contact Cris Ritsema at or Barb Porter at or call 616-897-7842.

On the Land

Visitors to the Center have a variety of ways to experience the land of the Center’s Lowell Campus.  From playing disc golf to praying the Rosary to strolling through the many gardens, visitors can enjoy the beauty of land and feel the presence of our Creator.

Visitors are welcome to stop by from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday or by appointment at other times.

Gebelein Baseball Diamond

Located south of the Center, the ball diamond was built in 1994 in memory of the father of Sister Judith Gebelein, FSE. Mr. Gebelein was an avid sports fan who loved playing and coaching baseball.

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Try out our Disc Golf Course that gives players various views of the property while enjoying friendly competition.

Guardian Gallery

Guardian Gallery

The Guardian Gallery, Lowell Campus features artwork from local artists, some of whom are Franciscan Artists.  New artwork is displayed every three months.

laudao si' Sanctuary

Laudato si’ Sanctuary

Spend time reflecting on the beauty of nature in our restored prairie sanctuary. Native flowers and seasonal birds inhabit the colorful fields dedicated to Mother Mary Ann Schmitz, FSE.


Nature Trails

Based on the deer runs, our trail system uses the animals’ sense of movement through the land. The trails cover a wide range of habitats and ecosystems and can be hiked in 15 – 20 minutes.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and shoes.

Rosary Walk

The Rosary Walk

The Rosary Walk is a paved sidewalk where people can pray the rosary as they walk.  Surrounding it is the San Damiano Cross outlined with plants of lavender. A recording of the rosary is played at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm each day.

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

The outdoor Stations of the Cross are located in a quiet, wooded area. Each station depicts a hand-carved scene from Christ’s carrying the cross to His crucifixion. Persons of all faiths are invited to meditate as they walk the path. This special place is dedicated to Mother Rita Brunner, FSE.