Church Planting?? Blog Feature
Tom Shields

By: Tom Shields on January 21, 2010

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Church Planting??

Church Design | Church Construction

Churches that are planning a building project often look for parts of the project they can do themselves to help save costs and create ownership within the church family. One area that many churches take on themselves is landscaping. This may sound like an easy task; however it is important to understand the full scope of landscaping before committing to undertake the project. Landscaping goes beyond just digging a couple holes and planting a few trees.

Landscaping family 160It is important to have a clearly defined checklist of what needs to be completed. One thing that many owners are surprised by, for instance, is that erosion control is part of landscaping and is usually required by law.  This may sound overwhelming, but really it can be accomplished in a short period of time with a handful of volunteers.

As a Field Construction Manager with Aspen Group, I have seen that with a clear scope and outlined plan, “by owner” landscaping can not only save the church money, but  provides a time for fellowship and creates ownership of the project among the congregation.

Here are two examples of Aspen Group clients who did their own landscaping:

landscaping family 157

West Lafayette Apostolic Christian Church planted trees, laid landscaping mats for erosion control, and did the seeding on their new property. With approximately 10-15 volunteers they accomplished this in a couple evenings and a Saturday morning. This saved the church over $19,000.

Greenwood Christian Church had a crew of about 15 people - one paid staff person (Head of Grounds) and the rest volunteers. The team put in approximately 600-700 man-hours of work over a period of several months.  Aspen Group prepped the ground in a finished graded condition and then the church took over from there.  They planted trees and plants, seeded and laid sod in the grassy areas, and built a retaining wall on both sides of the new worship center addition, saving the church over $29,000.

With good coordination on the front end, this kind of "sweat equity" can be a blessing to all involved!


About Tom Shields

Tom Shields, General Superintendent at Aspen Group, began his construction career with Aspen in 1988. His vast construction experience gives him an advantage of not only knowing construction but also knowing the marketplace. He is committed to keeping communication lines open, which allows projects to run smoothly.