GULF COVE — Hope Lutheran Church president Jill Mead has some big plans now that the church has been awarded a $24,000 grant to develop a park behind the church parking lot.
“(When the park is built) I think it will be a great opportunity working with different organizations,” Mead said. “We want to open this (park) for the community to do what they want to, whether if it’s walking, gathering or meditating.”
The church was awarded the grant from its Florida-Bahamas synod to develop a meditation park on church grounds at 14200 Hopewell Ave. for the Gulf Cove community. The church will match the donation and use the combined $48,000 to start the project.
“It’s based on the idea that it will be a park with a labyrinth,” said Wes Runk, pastor of the church. “It will be a gift to the community. We’ll have benches and areas for concerts, flower gardens, paths, places to worship and meditate. We may even hold jazz Mass there on occasion.”
Mead said they have an idea of what they envision the park will look like, but they will attempt to finalize plans in a meeting July 7 with church congregants. “We want to take baby steps,” Mead said. “We want to clear the nonnative plants there so we can have an idea of what we can do. Eventually, we may want to put in a reflecting pond.”
Mead said the church has been consulting with a number of contractors, and two offered proposals.
“Eventually, we’ll need more, but (the $24,000) is a starting point,” Mead said. “As president, I would like to see that land developed and like to expand on the property.”