First Congregational Church of Webster Groves


Webster Groves, MO


4,000 sf




Landscape Architecture
Natural Playscape Design

The Jubilee Garden is a multi-purpose, multi-generational landscape for the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves, Missouri. The congregation, experiencing a membership increase of elderly people and families with young children, realized an opportunity in advance of their Jubilee 150th anniversary to create a landscape statement of inclusiveness and sustainability at their front door.

The project is geometrically defined by a serpentine limestone ribbon wall terminating in a small amphitheater. This provides playful seating elements for entertaining children, accommodating small groups and large events. Circular lawns and soft-surface pads are sprinkled with movable outdoor furnishings and large foam blocks, encouraging personalization and child-directed play. Small circular break-out spaces, bordered by grassy berms, provide areas for children’s activities. An accessible walking path weaves through the garden.

The garden, replacing an underused parking lot, was strongly influenced by the congregation’s mission of environmental stewardship. The project uses pervious paving materials and collects storm-water from surrounding areas into a dry-creek bed and rain-garden. Also, native / adapted plantings are used throughout the garden to create a low-maintenance, sustainably – responsible and seasonally-expressive plant palette.