Alleluia! Work on the Same Love Garden at All Pilgrims Christian Church should be moving forward soon.
Pastor Greg Turk said he hoped to finalize paperwork with the city and set construction dates any day now.
“If that’s the case, then they can start breaking ground soon,” he said. If the weather cooperates, that could happen sometime this month. The project is expected to take about two weeks to complete
About two years and six months ago, the church decided it wanted to create a more welcoming outdoor space. Eventually, fundraising for the Same Love Garden began.
In total, the first phase of the project costs about $130,000, half of which is from fundraising, and the other half is from the church’s budget.
Turk said the church, easily recognizable with its large rainbow flag at Broadway and Republican, had hoped to begin work in August 2014 and then September 2015, but delays in fundraising and losing a contractor to bigger jobs with the city’s construction boom pushed the project back.
“Thankfully, now we have a contractor who’s really invested,” Turk said.
With All Pilgrims’ front yard being one of the few green spaces along Broadway, Turk said the church felt they should open their currently fenced space to the public during the daytime, following their own philosophy of being welcoming to all. The church touts a congregation made of up of people of a variety of ages, sexual orientations, ethnicities, cultures and religious traditions.
“That’s what’s most important is our desire to reflect who we are in the community,” he said.
The garden will also have a large seating area where people can enjoy their lunch or read and will be available to reserve for events.
The garden’s name comes from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” song. Parts of the music video were filmed at All Pilgrims.
The song, marriage equality in Washington and the June 2015 Supreme Court decision favoring marriage equality will be recognized with plaques in the garden.
People are still encouraged to donate. The church is planning to complete a meditation area as phase two of the project. Phase two has no timeline or cost estimation at this time, but Turk told CHS the bulk of the work is in the first phase. A $125 donation will get contributors an engraved brick in the garden’s pathway. Your brick, if you’re lucky, could be placed near one labeled “CHS Blog.”
You can learn more at allpilgrims.org/same-love-garden/.