Landscape Beautification Project

"Lord Sanctify Those Who Love The Beauty Of Thy House"
Donate to the Landscaping Beautification ProjectAttend the Summer Garden Gala Landscaping Fundraiser

Landscape Committee Information

The goal of the Holy Cross Landscape Committee is to create and manage enhancements to the grounds and property of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church to make them as beautiful as the Church’s architecture. Some of those enhancements include adding outdoor gardens and prayer spaces, facade and entrance improvements, new landscaping and trees, improvements to the entry road and parking lots, installation of a  new entry sign, erosion control, and much more. 

2022 Progress

These projects were completed as part of Phase 1 in 2022. 

New Entry Road Sign

Installed Original Brass Sign at Community Center Circle

Entry Road Maintenance Before and After



Hillside Slope A Maintenance Before and After



Courtyard Prayer Garden Maintenance Before and After



Service Drive Maintenance Before and After



Dilapidated shed removal


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this project needed?

The sprawling grounds of Holy Cross cover over 15 acres, and over time, the grounds have succumbed to erosion, flooding, overgrowth of plants and trees, and lack of regular maintenance. The Landscaping Master Plan looks to address these concerns by reducing flooding and erosion, controlling stormwater runoff, reducing maintenance, and enhancing biodiversity with new native and naturalized trees and plants that will attract wildlife and pollinators. These projects will enhance the beauty of our church while also making the grounds sustainable and offering more outdoor socialization opportunities.

What is the timeline for this project?

Phase 1 was completed in 2022.

Phase 2 is in the planning and bidding stage and is expected to begin in September 2023.

Future phases will be updated as budgets and timelines are worked out. 

Who is on the committee?

Fr. John Chakos

Fr. Michael Kallaur

Stephen Yamalis

Rebekah Krakora

Frank Kalogeris

Stergios Kalogeris

Bill Poutous

John Hoenig

Deno Pappas

Cynthia Henry

Jim Portellos

Adrienne Dickos

Ponny Jahn

Paul Teris

Eva Elderkin

Bryan Elderkin

Dean Strambolis

Deno Kartofilis

Art DeMeo – Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Damon Weiss – Ethos Collaborative

Joe Hackett – LaQuatra Bonci Associates

Christine Tarullo – LaQuatra Bonci Associates

Jason Loaney – LaQuatra Bonci Associates

How much will it cost?

We are still collecting bids for Phase 2 of our project and have planned some exciting fundraising opportunities for the community to help in this massive and much needed project., including the Summer Garden Gala on July 29, 2023. 

You can also donate anytime to the landscaping fund on the church donations page

How can I add my input?

If you have any thoughts or ideas, please reach out to committee chair Frank Kalogeris or any other committee member. You can also email the committee at

How long will this project take?

Phase 1 of the project was completed in 2022, and included the installation of the new church sign at the entrance of the church, landscaping improvements to the entry hill and hillside slope around the base of the church and community center, rehabilitation of the Courtyard Prayer Garden, cleanup of landscaping around the service road behind the church, and other landscaping improvements. 

Phase 2 is expected to begin in September 2023, and will include a new entry prayer garden, rehabilitation of the Cross Garden, erosion control and landscaping to the hillside surrounding the church base and other improvements. 

Future passes will include the replacement of the church parking lot, new plantings in and around the parking lot, erosion control and storm drain-off, and other landscaping projects. 

Church Entry Garden

Current Conditions/Opportunities

  • Beautiful entrance to church needs a more dramatic statement
  • Roadway and pedestrian paving are the same material – no distinction
  • No seating
  • Great opportunity for gatherings, wedding photographs, etc.

Proposed Improvements

  • Add an additional walkway within the planters
  • Decorative pavers differentiate pedestrian walkway from drive lanes
  • Add stone block benches for seating that are similar color to church
  • Reuse existing plant material and add more colorful perennials
  • Up-light trees and install new decorative lights on perimeter
  • • Realign existing trees



Cross Garden

Current Conditions / Opportunities

  • Current wooden cross planter is deteriorating
  • Need location to showcase stone cross from historic church
  • Lack of pedestrian sidewalk from parking to entry doors
  • Opportunity to dramatically change entry sequence

Proposed Improvements

  • Use Belgium Block to create a more permanent cross planter (remove wood)
  • Install historic stone cross to create a “cross garden”
  • Install low wall for seating and erosion control
  • Pave dedicated pedestrian sidewalk from parking lot to church doors at base of slope
  • Use existing groundcover to fill-n around crosses, while colorful bulbs and annuals can accentuate the crosses • Install accent lighting to showcase crosses at night

Hillside Slope C (Church Office Area)

Current Conditions/Opportunities

  • Trees and shrubs removed from slope have created exposed mulch and soil
  • Weeds and groundcovers adequately holding some of slope – to be retained
  • Unattractive first impression of side of church
  • Slope will eventually erode into parking spaces
  • North side of building – limited sun
  • Opportunity to make a dramatic visual statement

Proposed Improvements

  • Install mixture of low, colorful planting to stabilize slope and hold soil
  • Preserve and reset existing stone retaining wall
  • Install large boulders to stabilize slope and create deep planting pocket
  • Plant small trees that will not obscure church or create mold on facade
  • Preserve existing large shrubs and groundcovers – install new plants around them as not to compromise integrity of slope