The refurbishment of our grounds and gardens continues to grow in Grace thanks to an estimated 350 volunteer hours provided by Grace parishioners, friends from Georgetown Ministry Center, and new this year, official participation as Community Partners bywith our friends and neighbors across South Street at the Ritz Carlton.
Several significant and major projects were realized and completed before we officially blessed our grounds and community in the Rogation Sunday observance on November 9. Perhaps Peggy Lincoln, Janet Stratton and Alexander and Patricia Gordon-Cumming, whom our gardens remember, may have put in a good word to the Upstairs Office for beautiful weather as the parish dedicated the new Peggy Lincoln Memorial Garden on Veterans’s Day weekend. The effort was spearheaded by a Memorials Committee under the leadership of Janet Sale and a confluence of many favorable developments included donations over for establishing the garden.
As significant, other donations and efforts were also completed in the past year which included the refurbishment of Janet Barfield Stratton’s Memorial Garden thanks to the dedication and sponsorship of many. Other improvements to the ‘Gem of Lower Georgetown’, otherwise known as our Grace grounds, included the installation of Dog Care stations to aid pet-owners disposing of their animal products and new bike racks to continue to encourage and foster community involvement through the “Gates of Grace.”
We have also made progress in ensuring the future maintenance and management of our grounds through greater budgetary oversight. Thanks to your pledges and support, Grace Church has been able to contract for professional garden maintenance to supplement the already considerable efforts of Grace volunteers who donate their time to the gardens. Grace grounds encompass a sizeable amount of valuable city land; despite our volunteers and help, it is logistically challenging to maintain all the grounds without professional help in selected areas.
Some of the jobs completed in the past year include deep fertilization of Grace’s existing trees, trimming and pruning. We have continued to refurbish the beds with new bulbs and perennials that will expand, and we hope flourish with the continuing commitment of our Grace groundskeepers to provide many more flowers and bounty of flowers for the altar and enjoyment of our parishioners and all who come through the Gates of Grace.
We expect to continue to renovate the garden areas and continue the investment of perennial plants such as the native wildflowers being established along Rectory Alley and in other developing garden areas. This next season, it is anticipated the Rectory Garden will be targeted for refurbishment and continuing to fill in the ‘bridge areas’ of our garden areas along Wisconsin Avenue and South Street.
Grace’s Garden began in summer 2007 to provide an opportunity for the parishioners of Grace Church and the Grace’s Table guests of the Georgetown Ministry Center to “till the soil” together in fellowship for the improvement of the grounds and gardens surrounding Grace Church. For a few hours on Saturday mornings during the summer, the volunteers of Grace’s Garden work together around the grounds and then enjoy a summer BBQ and picnic. During dessert, a short bible study and discussion are held for those who are interested, to provide an opportunity for spiritual reflection among the quiet gardens that surround our church.