Landscaping Project and Fund Raising

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The effective use of property and buildings is crucial to the mission and ministry of St. Matthew, and the cost of maintaining buildings is a major part of our budget. Our facilities are the most visible part of the church and help shape the image of our congregation in the mind of the community. The impression of our church to visitors and members alike is to a large degree based on the appearance and condition of our buildings and grounds.

Recently, concerns about the current landscaping plan have arisen from members, the Property Committee and the Congregation Council. Some shrubbery has no foliage and some has overgrown onto the sidewalks. There are areas with little or no plantings, while some bushes have grown so large they are hard to trim. Plants 20 to 30 years old dominate the landscaping.

To address these concerns, the Property Committee solicited three bids from reputable landscape and design firms to improve the appearance of the grounds and simplify maintenance. Congregation Council has awarded the bid to Shiloh Landscaping and Design. (Click here to see the scope of work and drawings for the landscape design.)

Shiloh’s plan will dramatically change the look of our church grounds. Details about the project, scheduled to begin in September/October, can be viewed on the screen in the Gathering Place. A stone border, matching the stone in the church building, will be placed in front of the plantings, primarily to keep mulch from creeping beyond the beds, and to enhance the overall look. Mulch areas will be reduced to a width of about 5 or 6 feet which will also lower costs of future applications. The plantings have been carefully chosen to add color to the grounds throughout the growing season. Hedging on the alley side and Franklin Street will remain.

Although monies from the Capital Improvement Fund could be used to underwrite the project, one generous family has issued a challenge to the congregation. They have kindly offered to match any funds raised, up to $8,000.

Toward that end, donations and/or pledges should be placed in an envelope marked “2017 Landscaping Project.” These can be delivered to the church office or placed in the offering plates during Saturday night or Sunday morning services.