“The year we first went to the Maryland State Fair for Christmas Eve we were motivated as much by the parking lot as we were by the additional seats we could provide. To introduce the congregation to the idea of moving our Christmas celebration we filmed a video in which two of our high school students (at the time), Billy and Gair, playfully romped around the fairgrounds celebrating “More parking!” It was a huge hit and changed many hearts about the event.
Anyway, when we’re not at the fairground parking continues to be a problem, along with all our other space related issues. Over the past two years a group of intrepid parish leaders have been meeting, planning, and studying what can be done to maximize our potential. With much trial and error, and all the necessary (and incredibly complicated) permissions and discussion and negotiations with the County, the Archdiocese, the neighbors, as well as among our parish leaders themselves, we now have a master campus plan. In the months ahead we will be sharing it with the whole parish, getting their feedback and continuing to develop it as we dig down into the details. But, at long last, we have a plan.
And here’s the point of this blog: today we actually put shovel to dirt to begin. Admittedly, it is a modest beginning, but it is the beginning of a very big journey for us. Today we started clearing the woods on the north side of our campus. There, we will soon (hopefully early this fall) be able to provide turf parking for maybe as many as 250 cars.
Please note that the beautiful woods on the south side of the campus and along our entrance drive will remain in place, and there will be a generous wooded buffer maintained on the plot in question for both aesthetic purposes as well as a kindness to the neighbors. All we are doing is clearing away a lot of undergrowth and scruffy “junk” trees and, with lots of landscaping, creating an expansive front lawn, where, on Sundays, we can also park cars. It is going to be useful and beautiful. But most importantly, it is the first step in our big project to transform our campus.
Thanks go to literally dozens and dozens of parishioners who have been involved in various aspects of this effort. But special thanks go to our Strategic Planning Team: Chair TJ Senker, Ed Bradley, Jen Busse, Michelle Glennon, Jim Hayden, Mike Kovacs, Frank Mannarino, Roni Schultz, and Don Scata.
Here’s some our parish staff celebrating more parking…