Environmental Sustainability

While the term sustainable means maintaining the current status, at Kendal~Crosslands Communities, it means even more. Sustainability and Stewardship are part of our core values. Therefore, we must preserve and protect the environment for our local community and the planet. Residents and staff work to minimize our impact on our natural environment and, where possible, restore nature. Residents augment efforts by forming an Energy Committee on each campus that sets goals for reducing our carbon footprint.

Butterfly in the Kendal at Longwood Meadow

Community in Action

As with all of our core values, Kendal Crosslands believes sustainability is more than just a policy goal – it’s something we have to act on every day in order to be forward-leading environmental stewards. Our projects include:

-Sustainable Building Practices

The newer cottages at Kendal at Longwood were built to Gold LEED-certified standards. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Leadership is the keyword — — leading-edge standards and a voluntary one that is cutting edge and the gold certification was the highest accomplishment under LEED standards at the time of construction.

-New Cottages and Apartments with Higher Standards

The cottages and apartments that were built beginning September 2021 on our Crosslands campus target the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) certification. ZERH focuses on efficiency, durability, and indoor air quality, and the energy efficiency requirement for ZERH is stricter than the minimum allowable level in LEED, and up to 30% more efficient than regular building codes. This project also has solar panels to further reduce their environmental impact and enhance sustainability. Scott Pusey, of Steven Winter Associates, a well known leader in helping builders meet sustainability standards, was part of the group ensuring the builders are meeting the ZERH standards throughout construction. You can read more about it by clicking here.

-Energy-Efficiency Programs

In addition to our long-term sustainability programs, we are always looking to improve our environmental impact by introducing new ways to save energy and reduce use such as:

  • Energy-efficient and water use upgrades throughout campus to lower environmental impact. Click here to learn more about the program
  • Addition of Electric-car charging stations on campus to encourage the use of non-emission vehicles. Click here to read more
  • We are also working to ensure that all new replacement home systems, from the HVAC systems, water heaters, lighting, and more, are replaced with more energy-efficient systems to gradually lower our overall energy usage and demand. Click here to find out more from Seth Beaver, Vice President, Resident Services.
  • A resident group analyzed our string trimmers, leaf blower, capital, and operating costs. Switching from gas to electric versions was shown to have a payback period of under four years and significantly reduced energy usage/carbon footprint.
  • We make all community vehicle purchases through a sustainability lens and currently have two hybrid vehicles and three electric golf carts that our Facilities and Grounds staff use. Our autonomous electric lawnmower named “Mo” is trimming a large Crosslands lawn.
  • Kendal~Crosslands purchases voluntary PA Tier II RECs from 100% of the campus’s anticipated load of electric use.
  • Hundreds of residents cooperate in the “peak alert” project each summer. Not only does it help the electric grid and reduce air pollution, it save Kendal~Crosslands Communities thousands per year in grid fees!
  • Completed three Energy Audits of our historic farmhouses and invested in energy saving upgrades.
  • In conjunction with resident energy committees, we conducted a year-long comparative analysis of energy use in a newly renovated cottage against a standard cottage to ascertain energy conservation needs for future renovations.
  • Installed solar garden lighting in strategic location.

-Preserving the Existing Environment

* Many of our residents are dedicated conservationists, seeking to help preserve our natural environment and even return areas to a more natural state where possible, caring for meadows, creating native-plant preserves, and spending many hours removing invasive plants.

* The Environmental Services Department does its part to help the environment! They replaced the disposable duster mops and started using washable microfiber dusters, and the Laundry Department implemented a washable linen bag to deliver linens that replaced plastic bags.

* A former “Golf Lawn” has been made into a lush, blooming meadow, for example, and rare ferns have been transplanted along a nature trail to help preserve and foster these native plants, as they may have existed in years past.

* Ongoing tree planting projects seek to help preserve the wetlands and help improve water quality. Recently we planted over 146 trees and shrubs on the campus between Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands.

* This past Spring, residents planted a Sunflower garden. One of the goals was to bring beauty and hope to campus as the pandemic seemed to wane, but the flowers also will help provide cheerful bouquets to residents throughout the community and seed for local wildlife.

* And, several years ago we hosted a herd of goats who were a welcome addition to a retirement community. They were an environmentally friendly way to eradicate weeds.

* Residents created an indoor hydroponic garden to supply our dining hall with greens. Using locally-grown greens will avoid the carbon-related issues of fertilizer/pesticide manufacturing, harvesting, transportation, and refrigeration.

* Speaking of dining, our Culinary Department recycles fryer oil. Our robust recycling programs regularly include more than the standard plastic bags and #6 plastics.

* With over 10 miles of hiking trails in our woods, teams of residents help to maintain a network of trails.

See Our Work In Action

Discover our Walking Trails

Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands have over seven miles of walking and hiking trails, giving residents the opportunity to enjoy the environment throughout campus while enjoying birds and other wildlife on campus.

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