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 When it comes to grounds maintenance, the services required to keep a church property looking its best are no different than what any other commercial property needs. Church grounds call for mowing and edging, pruning, cleanup of leaves and debris, and sometimes planting seasonal color.

Landscapers do not mow grass at a church any differently than an office park. Facility managers on all types of commercial sites demand high quality, attention to detail and responsiveness from their landscape contractors.

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But while the landscape maintenance duties are pretty much the same, what’s very different about maintaining church grounds is scheduling and logistics. Planning when and how to perform landscape maintenance and landscaping activities at a church requires a great deal of planning, communication and understanding.

So, let’s talk about what church grounds should look for in a commercial landscaper, along with grounds maintenance expectations and what landscape enhancement projects churches value.

Timing Is Everything: Scheduling Church Grounds Landscape Maintenance

Facilities managers on any commercial property want their landscapes to look the best when people are out using or experiencing the grounds. At churches, that means delivering a “Sunday best.” Churches prefer to have their properties mowed and edged at the end of the week—before Sunday services.

Also, there can be unexpected scheduling changes at churches due to funerals, weddings and other important events. Running noisy mowers and blowers during special times at church is not acceptable. So, there may be times when commercial landscapers must change the maintenance schedule last-minute to accommodate churches’ needs.

Plus, many churches house daycares and schools, so landscape contractors must be mindful of the traffic flow during drop-off and pick-up times, and while students are learning in classrooms.

Similar to just-in-time mowing before Sunday, landscape firms that provide snow and ice removal must be on call to keep church properties clear and safe for members.

For all of these reasons, communication between the church grounds manager and landscape contractor is critical for ensuring that maintenance activities occur during appropriate times of the week.

Logistics: Landscape Crews

Church grounds might have special requirements in terms of where landscape trucks can park, and where crews can stage as they prepare for mowing, edging and other weekly grounds maintenance activities. On church properties, landscapers must park in areas that allow for traffic flow in and out of parking lots and driveways. They need to “set up shop” where they will not interfere with church activities.

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This requires planning with the church facilities manager—and again, constant communication. Landscapers should be checking in with the church weekly to find out about special events, school schedule changes and other happenings that might impact regularly scheduled maintenance.  

Training: Delivering Quality Landscape Service With Respect

Church facilities managers should talk to landscape providers about their teams and how they are trained. What are the company’s values, and what expectations does the landscape firm have for its employees while they are on any job?

Crews must be cognizant of church events happening on the property while they are on site. They should be considerate of congregation members and staff—anyone of any age on the property who is there to worship, serve or learn. The behavior of crewmembers must align with the respectful nature that church members and visitors have while on the property.

It’s a good idea for church grounds managers to inquire about the landscape company’s mission and the standards it holds for its employees. As with any business relationship, strong relationships form when two parties partner and share common philosophies and goals.

The Extras: Landscape Enhancements For Church Grounds

HGenhancements2.jpgFor churches looking to build on their landscape, there are several enhancements that go beyond regular, required grounds maintenance activities. One project is installing a serenity garden—a secluded green space or courtyard area with seating, plantings and perhaps a fountain.

Churches that have playgrounds for schools can improve those areas and enlist in a landscape contractor to assist with designing and maintaining that site.

Also, some churches add seasonal color at entrance landscape beds, or large container plantings near building entrances.

Maintaining Church Landscapes With Care

While churches are like any commercial property in that they need regular landscape maintenance like mowing and edging, the way in which services are delivered on church grounds can be very different. Landscape contractors must be flexible with scheduling, understanding of the church environment, and resourceful by providing enhancement ideas. Landscapers should communicate openly and often with church grounds managers so they can maintain the landscape without distracting from churches’ missions and services they carry out weekly.

Let’s talk more about how to hire the best landscape contractor to maintain your church grounds. Contact us any time at 678-298-0550, or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.

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Last modified: September 13, 2016