One of the priority projects of One Heart, One Soul is the renewal of our parish garden adjacent to the Parish Centre, a place of quiet reflection, prayers, but also fellowship. Richard Te Boekhorst, Leo Volpato and Lucy Dubeckyj are the members of the advisory group providing guidance to our parish for this important work.
They recently got together to look at our existing garden to identify problems and make suggestions to update the garden. They have sent in this preliminary report:
The Team agreed that this project, once completed should be a garden as LOW MAINTENANCE as possible, providing a background for various Parish outdoor activities.
The following is not a set plan, it is a summary of the Team’s observations and suggestions.
It was suggested that the improvements be made in 2 parts. Part One could address the lawn, outdoor lighting, tree removal and trimming, and a re-do of Mary’s Garden itself. There are some existing issues with the location of Mary’s garden, namely the large Walnut tree which prevents plants from thriving, some drainage issues, the large rocks have sunk into the ground, the soil has been depleted and the rocks behind the garden are full of invasive weeds vines and other growth. Due to the amount of work it will be to correct all this, moving this garden to another location in the yard may be simpler. The team did consider issues such as protecting the new statue and relocating the security cameras should this come about.
All of the original perimeter gardens (planted 10-15 years ago) have had too many years of neglect and cannot be salvaged as they are. The team suggested that they not be replaced with new gardens, but to simplify the majority of the perimeter by just having a nice lawn to the fence line, creating tidy ringed mulch beds around existing trees and keeping actual plants and flowers to around garden features. The lawn itself is in bad shape and should be redone; and to extend the garden use into the evening, some solar post lights installed to light the path.
Part Two of the renewal could consist of adding outdoor Stations of the Cross ( perhaps weather proofing and repurposing the Crucifix previously in the Church), improving or replacing the pathway and adding a memorial wall, as well as looking at the possibility of reintroducing a couple of flower garden areas.
Your Advisory Team (Leo, Richard and Lucy)
We are coming up to the one-year anniversary of the One Heart One Soul campaign at St. Augustine’s Parish. Thanks to the generosity of our parishioners, we raised over $283,000 during the campaign last fall. Many of you are still making regular installments toward your pledged gift and we remain grateful for your support. The Parish Centre renovation will get underway early in 2021. This undertaking was made possible through the campaign. The Parish Centre, once the renovations are completed, will transform into a wonderful venue to celebrate parish life and ministry. On behalf of the One Heart One Soul committee -thanks again for helping us exceed our fundraising goal!
Kim van den Heuvel, chairman of the parish centre renovation committee reported to the Parish Advisory Committee at its August 19 meeting that she expects that work on the parish centre, the hall floor, lighting, etc. will likely not start until January 2021. Availability of contractors for the work is the principal reason. The upside to the delay is that this will allow the hall to be used for meetings and other activities of the parish (albeit under the “less than 50” rule of the current provincially-mandated COVIC-19 protocols). Although work won’t begin until the new year, the team overseeing the project are confident that the major aspects of the renovation will be completed by the end of February.
Contractors have been on site with members of the committee and we expect their bids will start to come in soon.
Parish Hall Renewal Project
Comments are welcome on this design proposal. Parish council will be considering the proposal and reflecting on parishioner feedback. A subcommittee to make a final proposal will be struck shortly to work with the designer and develop a detailed budget and arrange for contractors. The hope is to have the bulk of the work, that is the new floor and lighting, finished by late September.
One important aspect of the design is the placing of all meeting space on the ground level, expanding that space, and moving our storage to the below grade areas of the parish centre. This is in keeping with diocesan guidelines that meetings be held in “visible” areas of the parish facilities, and be readily accessible. The small elevator that provides access to the basement meeting space for those with mobility issues is currently out of service; putting it back in service will involve the installation of new machinery, not simply a repair. A full costing of that has not been provided.
Our Goal: $270,000
For further parish campaign information download the PDF below.