Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Penn Township’s New Sustainability Park, Walking Path Open In Lancaster County

Environmental stewardship is behind the new Sustainability Park located at 306 Doe Run Road in Penn Township, Lancaster County.  Now open to the public, the four-acre park was developed with the cooperation of township officials, Northwestern Lancaster County Authorityand Kreider Farms.
The land, which was purchased by NWLCA and formerly part of Kreider Farms, provides access to a high-volume water well, which has been transformed into a NWLCA Water Treatment Plant Facility to provide safe, high-quality drinking water for the community. As part of the joint agreement, the three parties planned for a scenic park to surround the state-of-the-art treatment facility.
Completed this spring and open from dawn to dusk, Penn Township’s Sustainability Park includes a 1/4-mile walking trail loop that traverses through meadows, by several rain gardens, and alongside a maturing wooded riparian buffer, providing views of the surrounding valley.
Signs along the path explain numerous ways the environment is being protected at the site as well as on Kreider Farms’ adjacent land. Each sign features a take-home tip to demonstrate how environmental sustainability can be practiced “in your backyard.”
“The treatment facility’s location allows us to funnel stormwater directly into the aquifer; it’s a vital resource for us. The Township, NWLCA, and Kreider Farms recognize the importance of protecting our community’s water resources through implementation of ‘green’ infrastructure and sustainable farming practices,” explained David Kratzer, Township Manager.  “While this new facility has the technical capacity to treat the raw water to a very high level of treatment prior to distribution to its customers, our cooperative efforts seek to improve raw water quality through improving the surface water quality; thereby, reducing operational treatment costs.”
“We are happy that a former portion of our farm could be used as a valuable source of drinking water as well as a beautiful park where visitors can experience nature and learn about simple strategies for improving the environment,” said Ron Kreider, president and CEO, and third-generation family leader of Kreider Farms. “Environmental stewardship is actively supported throughout our organization, from our Bion waste treatment facility to our solar-powered chicken houses and other conservation efforts.”
Open House
On May 3 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., the water treatment facility and site will be open for tours.
Additional information about the NWLCA Water Treatment Facility and the Sustainability Park can be obtained by contacting Penn Township at 717-665-4508 or send email to:  dkratzer@penntwplanco.org.
For more information about Kreider Farms, please their website or Facebook page.

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