Back to Nature: Residents Cherish Community’s Resources
By Margaret Gates, Custom Content Editor, LNP
May 17, 2017
Charles Longenecker doesn’t give up easily, especially when it comes to preserving nature.When the retired Lancaster Mennonite biology teacher moved to Landis Homes 12 years ago, he decided to reintroduce native plants to Leaman Woods, a natural area of the community’s south campus that had been overrun by invasive garlic mustard.Without a water source, some of those new plants died. Still others were lost to some well-meaning groundsmen with a weed whacker. So Longenecker planted more.Then came a paving project a few years ago to create a path that would make the woods more accessible to wheelchairs and motorized scooters.
Volunteer Group Cares for Campus
In 2016, a volunteer group of residents formed, naming themselves the Friends of the Woods and Wetlands. They volunteer time, talent and expertise on behalf of the flora and fauna on the Landis Homes campus. The group sees its mission as nurturing a diversity of native plants to support the ecosystems of Leaman Woods, Kurtz Run and the connecting wetlands. The group also spends time studying relevant environmental issues and makes recommendations of practices consistent with good stewardship of the natural world on campus and beyond.
The Friends of the Woods & Wetlands has several working groups:
· Birding – maintain birdhouses and track bird sightings
· Butterfly – encourage use of plants that attract and support butterflies
· Flora – nurture and diversify native plants
· Fauna – introduce and monitor frogs, tadpoles and minnows in ponds and wetland pockets
· Invader – control invasive plants
· Mapping – map trees and birdhouses by latitude and longitude markings
Earth Day 2017 Focus — Sun Energy
Earth Day, which promotes the importance of environmental issues around the world, will be celebrated at Landis Homes on April 25. Two bus loads of residents will tour neighboring Mennonite Disaster Services headquarters on Airport Road, Lititz, to learn about solar energy in a practical way. Solar power can be used to generate electricity or to heat water. Widespread use of solar panels reduces dependence on fossil fuels. At the Mennonite Disaster Service office and warehouse, 80-85% of the electricity is provided by rooftop solar panels.
Additional earth day activities include a Used Book Sale from 8:00-4:00 p.m. in the Westview Community Room, and Vegetarian Dinner in the Azalea Room from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Both events are open to the public.
Access to the Great Outdoors
by Ann Mead Ash
originally published in Town Lively, Dec. 28, 2016
On November 15, 2016, 200 residents, team members, family members, and administrators gathered at the entrance of Leaman Woods. The group dedicated, blessed, and opened a new paved pathway to make the area more accessible to all, along with a gazebo for use by residents and their families and guests. Organizers of the effort to create better access to the woods cited the benefits of spending time in a natural environment. “It is widely accepted that a walk in the woods can be great for boosting one’s mood,” said Linford Good, VP of Planning & Marketing.
Friends of Woods and Wetlands Nurture Retirement Home Ecosystems
Posted by Mennonite Creation Care Network, July 2016
As stewards of their surroundings, Landis Homes Retirement Community in Lititz, Pa., has grown to cherish its natural resources. This community, which relates to a number of Mennonite groups, believes that its environmentally sensitive areas and rural, character-defining features must be conserved in order for its facilities and the broader community to flourish in the future.
Many residents at Landis Homes not only support these efforts, they bring it upon themselves to participate. Recently a resident group formed on campus called the “Friends of Woods and Wetlands.” This group is an informal organization of residents who volunteer time, talent, expertise and effort on behalf of the flora and fauna associated with the Landis Homes campus.
Retirement communities thinking green, not gray
By Stephen Kopfinger, LNP Contributor
This article was published in the LNP on May 18, 2016
At Landis Homes, the outside is coming inside to help the retirement community sustain — and even grow — with the cooperation of man and nature.
And at Masonic Villages, what comes from the earth helps feed the kitchens, teach city-raised kids how vegetables come to their table and even help nourish the grounds of the Elizabethtown residence for active retirees.
As with many businesses and communities, there was a time when few thought of working with Mother Earth on their very properties to furnish food, save water, shape the land and even influence the design and climate controlling of buildings. That’s changing, as retirement communities, to use the popular term, “go green.” Read More
Preserving and Protecting While Expanding
This recent article by Larry Guengerich, published on the American Institute of Architects Website highlights Landis Homes commitment to caring for the natural environment and how we see this focus as an important part of how we live into our guiding value of stewardship. Read here
Maryland Conservationists Tour
A group of persons involved in conservation and regulation of natural resources in Maryland visited the restored stream and floodplain on November 5. It was a beautiful day to tour wetlands.
Pollinator Bees Come to Campus
Resident Don Ziegler, along with assistance from others has brought and created homes for pollinator bees to enhance the natural areas of this campus.
Please Link here to see Horizons Spring issue article: A Personal Passion Blooms on Campus
Link here to see Don’s answers about his hobby at: Frequently Asked Questions
Think Regionally, Act Regionally
The Landis Homes stream and floodplain renovation was featured in the January/February 2015 issue of Pennsylvania County News Magazine, a publication of County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. Read article here.
What Happens to Landis Homes’ Trash
Landis Homes’ hauler, Republic Services, takes trash to a transfer station located on Harrisburg Pike, just outside the Lancaster City limits. The transfer station serves as a central drop-off location for waste haulers who collect refuse within Lancaster County. The material is delivered by independent private haulers, loaded into transfer trailers and transported to the Waste-to-Energy Facility. The transfer station reduces truck traffic on the county’s highways by serving as a waste delivery consolidation point. For every five garbage trucks that enter the facility, only one transfer trailer is needed to haul compacted waste on the final leg of its disposal journey.
Lancaster County’s solid waste is taken to the Waste-to-Energy Facility where it is burned. Burning reduces solid waste volume by 90%. So for every ten truckloads of waste taken to the facility, only one truckload of ash comes out, which is then used as daily cover at the Frey Farm Landfill. The Waste-to-Energy Facility also generates electricity from the combustion of the non-hazardous solid waste. Steam generated during the burning process spins a turbine which creates enough electricity to power approximately 30,000 Lancaster County homes. In addition, ferrous and non-ferrous metals are extracted for recycling, removing them from the waste stream.
EnergyWISE Consulting Features Landis Homes
Landis Homes’ energy and water conservation efforts were recently featured in EnergyWISE Consulting’s newsletter Energy Wisdom. To read, click here. VP of Planning, Linford Good, says, “Conservation of resources is one of the ways Landis Homes lives out its guiding value of stewardship. It has been rewarding to receive recognition from several local, state and national groups for projects that position Landis as an ecofriendly community”
Mennonite Creation Care Network
Mennonite Creation Care Network is a group of Mennonites caring for and restoring God’s Creation. They work to develop congregations that grasp God’s love for all the earth, households where decision-makers routinely consider environmental impacts, s chools where students of all ages learn to connect with the natural world, church agencies that choose advocates to keep creation care prominent and the broader community, shaped by creative approaches to transportation, housing, food, waste disposal. You can learn more about the Network at their web site.
Student Research Paper Features Campus
Millersville University student Amanda Lyda writes:
“Landis Homes, located in Lititz, is a non-profit retirement community, which is home to almost 800 residents. With much to offer older residents, Landis Homes takes on eco-friendly initiatives throughout their community. From recycling programs to hybrid homes, Landis Homes encourages staff and residents to live green.”
See her full research paper here.
Green Infrastructure Improvements
Our green infrastructure improvements were featured in the February 23, 2014 Lancaster Sunday News supplement, “Our Lancaster County 2014”. Click here to view article.
Bluebirds Returning to Landis Valley
Brothers Warren and Norman Shenk joined forces to install bluebird boxes around the Landis Homes campus over the past year. This follows Warren connecting with the local Bluebird Conservation group and finding out about the decline of bluebirds in the area where he grew up. With advice from another resident, Roland Yoder, he also learned how to build and install the houses to create bluebird trails. Warren built 34 houses and enlisted the help of his brother, Norman, to install them around campus, and especially in the new flood plain area which is a particularly good habitat. They have already seen local bluebirds checking out the new additions.