Creating outdoor spaces for parishioners.
On September 13, 2018, over 100 employees from Ruppert Landscape’s Lilburn and Mableton, GA and Raleigh and Charlotte, NC branches worked together with parishioners to transform the grounds of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Stone Mountain, GA. The majority of the places for meditation and prayer were indoors, so by beautifying the landscape the church leaders hoped for us to build outdoor spaces in which to meditate and connect with the inner self, nature, and other parishioners and community members.
About 70% of Corpus Christi’s congregation is comprised of immigrants and refugees from 47 different countries who speak over 14 different languages. Some of the parishioners also took part in the day’s activities, so this event provided a unique opportunity for people of many different cultures and backgrounds to work together to transform the church grounds into a welcoming environment for reflection and community-building.
Ruppert worked with Corpus Christi to ensure that the site improvements aligned with their master plan for the newly refurbished church building with an overall goal of encouraging parishioners to enjoy the property’s amenities. Site improvements included planting trees, shrubs, and perennials, laying turf, improving drainage, repairing concrete/pavers, and weeding, pruning, and mowing existing landscaping on the 7-acre site. In total, over 800 man-hours were donated to bring this project to fruition.
This corner of the property has high vehicular visibility, yet the stone wall with signage for the church had become hidden by the overgrown and outdated plant material.
The slope planting adjacent to the gymnasium entrance and side parking lot for the church had become inundated with weeds after a recent sewer repair project. This included numerous stumps from past tree removals. The slope was cleared of the existing weedy vegetation, the stumps were ground, and the trees surrounding the parking lot had their canopies raised to increase visibility of the property as well as improve night lighting of the parking area to make it safer. The overall plant scheme is meant to be low-maintenance and drought tolerant once established. The bed was tilled and amended with 10 yards of compost and fresh mulch was spread throughout the planted area.
The area behind the sanctuary had a very thin stand of turf, leading to erosion on the slope due to compacted soil. In addition, the grade was sloped towards the building, leading to water intrusion into the building. The downspouts from the building were connected and the collected water piped underground through PVC pipes, releasing the water within the adjacent parking areas. The grade was adjusted to slope away from the building and a 2’ band of gravel was installed along the foundation. The turf areas were tilled and amended with compost for the installation of Bermuda sod, and new bed lines were created around the large trees with mulch installed to help minimize maintenance on the slope.
Since its completion, parishioners have sent us notes and emails letting us know how much they are enjoying the landscape improvements that were done. They are able to spend more time outside worshipping, gathering and enjoying the benefits of feeling like they are one with nature.
The renovation took place as part of the company’s “Field Day” event, which enables employees to give back to the community, combining charitable giving, training, and friendly competition amongst branches.
Judges' comments on this project:
- A lot of companies don’t take the time for these community service projects. It speaks well for the industry and represents us well.
- Significant amount of time and materials they put in to this.
- I know that church, it was pretty rough.
- They understood that the building is really pretty striking and they just got out of the way.
- Good job with the design.
- To do that amount of work on one project, it’s huge.
Ruppert Landscape provides commercial landscape management services to property owners and managers throughout the eastern United States. The practice of accountability with all members of our team results in a quick response to client requests and high-quality services that can increase the value of any landscape investment.