Homestead Village Receives Campus Sustainability Planning Grant

Homestead Village a Recipient of a Campus Sustainability Planning Grant

pineapple icon

By Les Helmeczi, HV Resident

Homestead Village is one of three Lancaster County Life Plan Communities to be gifted the opportunity to learn about and plan sustainable landscapes on their campuses.  The approach includes: facilitated visioning sessions with residents and management staff, preparation of a custom Green Masterplan by Land Studies Inc. to be made available as a guide for native landscape alternatives for each facility, a follow-up presentation in the spring of 2023 of the said custom Green Masterplan, and some continuing support for each community which might choose to make use of the plan or portions thereof in coming years.  It’s even a possibility that additional grant monies may be available to assist in funding portions of the Green Design Plan with which our community desires to move forward.

Partners in this Green Sustainable planning project include: Lancaster Clean Water Partners, Lancaster Conservancy Community Wildlife Habitat, and Land Studies Inc. The entire project is funded by the Kentfields Foundation whose mission is to preserve the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding environments by increasing land and water protection and restoration.

Homestead Village’s Environmental Action Resources Committee (EAR) has been instrumental for a few years toward providing environmental resources for residents through our HV library, establishing volunteer recycling efforts in the Cottages and the Mews (so far) to collect recyclable materials no longer collected by the larger community, encouraging residents to reduce their use of single use plastics by purchasing reusable meal containers and cloth bags for use with carry-out meals, encouraging the compost vegetable scraps at the Church of the Apostles garden, to name just a few of our interests.

Most recently we have become aware that the use of native plants in the landscape adds to the biodiversity and stewardship of our planet.  Native plants attract a variety of birds and butterflies by providing habitat and food sources as well as year-round beauty. Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer breeding birds in North America should inform us that our current landscape designs are ineffective for supporting a healthy environment for wildlife of all kinds. We hope to create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems by adding the plant communities that sustain food webs, sequester carbon, maintain diverse native bee communities and manage our watersheds at least a bit better. Native plants do all of this better than plants from other continents, and much better than our usual lawns (often known as green concrete).

This is not to say we dislike the way our various campuses look now.  We would rather help make our communities at least a bit more sustainable and more eco-friendly, through native vegetation, with an added bonus of providing lower cost maintenance for our communities and curbing some of the storm water runoff to assist in protecting the Chesapeake Bay.  If we do something like this at our residences we can participate in what is coming to be known as Homegrown National Park, a network of viable habitats to provide vital corridors connecting the natural areas that remain. Such an approach can empower everyone to play an important role in the future of the natural world.

Residents are taking the lead in helping shape a more sustainable future here at Homestead Village for our children and grandchildren as well as the larger communities around us. When you move to Homestead Village, you can share in building a legacy for ourselves and especially those who come after us.

Learn More Form

Connect With Us to Learn More

Want to explore an extraordinary way of retirement living?
Fill out the form and begin your journey.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Skip to content