Willow Valley Communities'
Press Release

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Sustainability During the Seasons

L-R SouthPointe Residents Chuck Beers, Susan Beers, Lynda Houck, and Holly List, with Willow Valley Communities’ Manager of Grounds, Joel Schock in the Clifford Circle Demonstration Garden.
L-R SouthPointe Residents Chuck Beers, Susan Beers, Lynda Houck, and Holly List, with Willow Valley Communities’ Manager of Grounds, Joel Schock in the Clifford Circle Demonstration Garden.

It’s hard to decide which of the four seasons is most stunning at Willow Valley Communities: winter, spring, summer, or fall. All of them have their own unique beauty that is appreciated by Residents and Team Members alike. Even through the grayest days of winter, Residents can still delight in the warmth and coziness of home — especially knowing that it is Willow Valley Communities’ maintenance and grounds teams who are responsible for snow removal!

Willow Valley Communities’ campus of 210 rolling acres is truly a gift to behold all year round. But as appreciated as our beautiful campus is, with that gift comes big responsibility.

Campus Landscape Sustainability Planning Project & the Green Master Plan

As we build and maintain our gorgeous campus, Willow Valley Communities wants to be mindful of the environment. Our campus landscape sustainability planning project will help in this effort.

Joel Schock, Willow Valley Communities’ Manager of Grounds, is working closely with Residents on this initiative. “Everything we need for our survival and well-being depends either directly or indirectly on our natural environment,” he explained. “This is important to me. I tell Residents, ‘Your backyard is also my backyard!’”

In true Willow Valley Communities spirit, Residents have volunteered and are getting involved. They are coordinating educational opportunities in subjects like pollination and water conservation, and even a trip to the Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Manheim, PA. Residents are also getting down and getting their hands dirty — all to teach and show what can be done on campus in landscaping sustainability.

The Clifford Circle Demonstration Garden

Residents of Clifford Circle at SouthPointe wanted to showfellow Willow Valley Communities Residents what could be done in their own neighborhoods to encourage sustainability in landscaping. Chuck and Susan Beers, Lynda Houck, and Holly List describe themselves as “enthusiastic nature-friendly gardeners.” They were all excited about partnering with Manager of Grounds, Joel. 

With Joel, they planned and created a Demonstration Garden using native and pollinator-friendly plants to show how a garden can be beautiful, as well as provide food and wildlife habitat. The garden has a diverse planting of specific native shrubs, perennials, groundcover, and grasses known for their support of pollinators and birds, including those that serve as host plants for butterfly egg-laying. Holly explained that native insects lay their eggs predominantly on native trees and shrubs. Birds depend on these insects for the majority of their diet and for feeding their young. 

Susan said, “I have always felt passionate about living in harmony with nature. Before moving to Willow Valley Communities, we were involved with planting natural buffers along riverbanks, helping to clean waterways. So, it’s exciting to get to be a part of Joel’s efforts.”

The other Clifford Circle neighbors have expressed enthusiasm for the Demonstration Garden in their neighborhood and are also getting involved in helping with its maintenance. “We need to do our part, no matter how small, to make the world better for future generations,” Lynda said. “We are all excited about the possibilities for Willow Valley Communities’ campus.”

Pollinators Feed the World

The colorful pollinator garden beside the Mylin House on the Lakes Campus is well-known for attracting huge numbers of bees, butterflies, insects, and birds. Resident Annabelle Simpson explained that the insects that are attracted to the garden should not be looked upon as pests.

“They couldn’t give a hoot about us!” she said. She explained how these insects pollinate and feed the garden to help it grow, and its harvest enables Willow Valley Communities gardeners to share the bounty with area food banks in the greater Lancaster community. She and fellow Resident Susan Kelly maintain this garden, and the two worked together to have it Master Gardener Certified as an official Pennsylvania Pollinator-Friendly Garden by the Penn State Extension of Penn State University.

Beautiful & Responsible

Spring Run Resident Ed Mitchell said he’s glad Willow Valley Communities is taking steps to protect the environment. “Spending time in nature is good for everyone. I enjoy hearing and seeing birds along the flower meadows and rain gardens near Spring Run. But it goes much deeper than that. Willow Valley Communities’ wetlands vegetation slows down stormwater and erosion, develops roots that direct water into the ground, and provides habitat for wildlife. That helps Pennsylvania do its part to protect the Chesapeake Bay for food and recreation.”

Willow Valley Communities’ efforts do not stop there. Joel and his team have also received a site-specific green master plan from LandStudies, a landscape architecture firm. This design will allow Willow Valley Communities to implement green infrastructure changes to improve wildlife habitat, increase native landscapes, and benefit water quality through the years.

Susan Beers expressed her enthusiasm and hope for the Sustainability in Landscaping initiative and what Joel, his team, and her fellow Residents are working on. “I believe we can make a difference,” she said, “right here in our own ‘backyard!’” 

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Quick Facts

Always refer to us as Willow Valley Communities. We are a 55+ community, not a retirement home, a nursing home, or a facility.

  • 2600 residents
  • 1600 team members
  • 210 acres


Willow Valley Communities features three campuses: Manor, Lakes, and our next generation of exquisite residences: Mosaic by Willow Valley Communities, coming soon to vibrant Lancaster City.

Manor Campus: Includes Manor, Manor North, Providence Park, The Vistas, North Garden Apartments.

Lakes Campus: Includes Lakes Manor, Spring Run, Willow Gables, Mid-Rise, Lakes Villas, SouthPointe at Lakes.

Mosaic Campus: A 20-story high-rise coming soon to Lancaster City’s Market District, will feature 146 residences with luxury amenities and will be conveniently located close to arts, museums, shops, live entertainment, and dining.

Supportive Living: Includes Meadow Ridge, The Glen, Lakeside, Cedar Brook at the Glen.

Lifestyle & Care: Willow Valley Communities offers over 100 different residence floorplans to choose from along with resort-style amenities. Willow Valley Communities is an exclusively Lifecare Type A contract community, meaning if an enhanced level of care is ever needed in the future, ra resident’s monthly service fee does not increase because of that care. This provides predictable future fees and financial peace of mind for residents, and their families.