Severe ecological changes across the Sahel have created a difficult environment for agriculture and rural village economies. Rural communities, while small in scale, are creating new ways to transform their degraded environment. Their small size allows them to develop location-specific strategies to manage and improve water, soil and agriculture. This article focuses on two Sufi communities (daaras) in Senegal that integrate environmental work and spirituality. Religious organizations are influential in Senegal, as is the idea that labour is a part of both personal spirituality and shared religious teachings. As agriculture continues to be disrupted because of climate fluctuations, creating a habitable environment relies on applying region-specific agricultural science, and working through local structures. These conceptions of labour, along with the religious structures that support their work, make environmental projects spiritually significant, and also transformative for agriculture in a challenging environment.