HONORING OUR LADY’S MESSAGE OF PEACE, WE WORK AND PRAY FOR THE UNITY OF ALL PEOPLE, AND FOR TRUE AND LASTING PEACE ON EARTH.
Prayer Garden Design Features
GENERAL LAYOUTThe Prayer Garden consists of three principle areas:1.The “Grotto Area” which contains the platform with the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the array of sponsorship bricks in the areas adjacent to and surrounding that platform.2.The “Patio Area” which is covered with concrete pavers and occupies the largest area of the Garden. Two small areas with surrounding plantings project from the main part of the patio and are intended to provide slightly more privacy than the rest of the patio. These special areas are provided with one or two metal benches to encourage persons to pause and contemplate as they look toward the Grotto. Enough space is provided near each bench to accommodate a child’s stroller, so a mother can sit with her child next to her as she rests, prays or meditates.3.The “Planting Areas” which border the other two areas of the Garden adding beauty and encouraging a feeling of unity with the natural world. The Alden Lane parkway is considered to be a part of the Prayer Garden, and the landscaping of that parkway includes a number of elements that are found elsewhere within Prayer Garden area.To view a drawing of the Prayer Garden showing details of these design features, click here.SECURITY CONSIDERATIONSThe location of the Prayer Garden immediately adjacent to public areas on several sides requires that definite steps be taken to define it as a special space and to insure that the area itself and persons utilizing it are secure at all times. At the same time, it is essential that the Prayer Garden offer a welcoming and serene prospect to everyone within and outside of its boundaries.To address these competing requirements, several steps have been taken:1.Security cameras view the entire Prayer Garden area.2.Motion sensor lights are in place to provide illumination at low-light times, and, in conjunction with the security cameras, provide safety to individuals and protect constituent parts of the Prayer Garden itself.3.There is unobstructed visibility to all parts of the Prayer Gardens from all directions in the surrounding areas.4.To protect planted areas and provide for ease of movement of people as they visit the Prayer Garden, there need to be recognizable but unobtrusive boundaries. The church building forms one of these boundaries. There is also a low wrought iron fence along the two sides that adjoin paved public areas. The fence guides people to enter and leave the Garden through one of two designated gateway areas.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTThe main environmental concerns associated with the Prayer Garden are related to water runoff and utilization.1.The large areas of concrete pavers in the Patio Area and sponsorship bricks in the Grotto area are installed on top of a compacted but porous layer of baserock, with the joints between the pavers/bricks filled with porous polysweep sand, rather than being cemented into place. This allows rain water to be absorbed into the ground below these large areas.2.All trees and other plantings are of drought-resistant varieties requiring a minimum amount of irrigation.3.The irrigation system itself is a drip system, which reduces the amount of water used and also results in significant reduction in operation costs compared to a conventional sprinkler system.
SYMBOLISMA number of the items selected for incorporation into the design of the Prayer Garden emphasize our religious beliefs and the special place of Our Lady of Guadalupe in those beliefs. Symbolism is a very powerful tool in creating a spiritual atmosphere.
For specific information about the incorporation of religious symbolism into the design of the Prayer Garden, click here.