Eco-Spirituality at Cranaleith

Leslie Porreca

When driving onto Cranaleith’s property, you will notice the expansive lawn and stately historic Victorian house. You may also find Leslie Porreca in the garden or tending her beehives.

Leslie is a Sister of Mercy and licensed therapist. She also leads Cranaleith’s Eco-Spirituality program. Leslie’s work includes sustainability and permaculture activities such as recycling, composting, water conservation and buying local. With the assistance of staff and volunteers, she manages an expansive year-round garden featuring a variety of herbs and heirloom vegetables, beehives and a chicken coop.

“Fresh and nourishing,” are the words retreatants use to describe Leslie’s garden-to-table meals. An in-house gift shop features honey and beeswax products from carefully tended hives. When not in the kitchen serving conference groups, Leslie leads day and overnight retreats ranging from gardening and cooking classes to reflective and meditative retreats in nature that encourage participants to deepen their awareness of their connection to the earth. She also works with under-served populations through a partnership with local behavioral health and recovery organizations. Clients garden alongside Leslie and volunteers from the community in an eco-therapy program.

Research has found that spending time in nature is a powerful stress-reliever, lowers blood pressure and reduces depression. “We believe that earth care and human care are linked,” says Leslie. Cranaleith is open to everyone to enjoy and we invite you to come for a visit and learn what makes us such a special place.”