Good landscaping, lighting add beauty and security : Friday, Oct. 1, 2004
October 1 2004 by Jane Paige

Good landscaping, lighting add beauty and security : Friday, Oct. 1, 2004
Friday, Oct. 1, 2004

Good landscaping, lighting add beauty and security

By Jane Paige
Special to the Recorder

Landscaping and site lighting are extremely important to the appearance of a church. According to Robert Knowles, author of the church-planning guide, Successful Church Building, a well-landscaped church will present the appearance of being prosperous and growing.

"The type of landscaping will also have a large effect on maintenance," Knowles said. "Take into consideration the care of the vegetation as well as the appearance. Develop a budget for landscaping and be careful to work within the budget. Landscaping is an area of the building program that can be very expensive if not carefully watched."

Tips for successful landscaping plans:

1. Meet with the architect to discuss his or her opinions for landscaping the property.

2. Visit landscape nurseries to gather information on plants and grasses that will perform well in your climate and can be maintained within the budget.

3. Visit the agricultural extension office in your area to gather information on plants and grasses that do well in your area.

4. Take soil samples from the site and have them analyzed to determine what plants and grasses will perform best or what may be added to help performance.

5. Inspect the landscaping once it has been installed to make certain it is as agreed upon by the architect and building committee.

On a church site, plants can also be used to screen unattractive surroundings and frame the church property, according to Gwenn E. McCormick in Planning and Building Church Facilities.

Tips for selecting plants:

1. Select slow-growing plants that require minimum trimming.

2. Use plants that do well in the climate and require a minimum of special care.

3. Use ground cover plantings rather than grass in small or isolated areas.

4. Use masses of a few kinds of plants rather than a wide assortment.

5. Avoid isolated plants in lawn areas.

6. A mowing strip between shrubbery beds and lawn areas will reduce maintenance time.

7. Properly install plant material and apply mulch to retain soil moisture and retard weed growth.

8. Select plants whose natural growth form is best suited to the overall design.

9. If color is desired, flowering shrubs and trees require less care than flowerbeds.

Well-planned lighting can emphasize architectural features and landscaping and give the church significant visibility at night, according to McCormick. Lighting also is important for security.

"Parking areas, walkways and entrances should be well-lighted, using a variety of light sources," McCormick said.

Tips for establishing a lighting system:

1. Meet with local electricity company to ask its input on the lighting design for the exterior of the property.

2. Discuss site lighting with your architect to receive his recommendations.

3. Meet with lighting contractors to ask for their input and recommendations for lighting the exterior of the building and site.

4. Inspect the exterior and site lighting once it is installed to determine that it is what the architect and building committee approved.

10/1/2004 12:00:00 AM by Jane Paige | with 0 comments

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