Posted: April 20, 2020
Celebrations of this year’s 50th Earth Day Anniversary may be canceled across Colorado, but the current climate isn’t slowing down environmental resourcefulness at Holly Creek Life Plan Community in Centennial. The retirement community’s eight-member Green Team is still hard at work raising awareness of key environmental issues.
“We meet monthly,” shared Committee Chair Carmen Johnson, fondly known throughout the community as Mother Nature. “Our goal is to make our community as sustainable as possible and encourage habits in residents’ lives that are environmentally friendly.”
While Johnson had originally intended to host a community-wide Earth Day celebration, she and her teammates are now planning a program that can be broadcast across the community’s in-house radio station and television network.
Come April 22nd, “Mother Nature will make a guest appearance on the radio to promote Earth Day on the radio and TV,” she explained. “We will also stream videos related to Earth Day and may provide announcements and facts throughout the day.”
While Earth Day is a key opportunity for the team to shine a spotlight on environmental practices, it is just one example of the community’s much greater dedication to green principles.
“Starting new patterns is always difficult,” said Johnson. “But there is a lot of enthusiasm for the Green Team, and many people are very involved. Our Executive Director JP Marosy is a very strong supporter of our work.”
This enthusiasm is reflected in Holly Creek’s community-wide recycling program and spurred the community to find environmentally friendly adjustments for COVID-19.
“The dining staff is delivering many of our meals as carryout,” resident Dan Parker explained. “We all have a new set of hard green plastic containers, and they are using a three-stage sanitation process so we can use them again.”
Parker served as the Executive Secretary of the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts and Director of the Colorado State Conservation Board. Like many residents of Holly Creek, he remains actively involved in both green and other initiatives at Holly Creek.
“We’re even working to find a way to reuse the bags that they use to deliver our food,” he added. “Every conservation practice helps the sustainability of life.”
This dedication to conservation also plays an important part in the community’s future plans. Over the next few years, Holly Creek hopes to replace some of its older systems—such as electricity, lighting, heat/cooling—with newer ones that use a less energy and water. This year, leadership has been exploring options with Kephart Architecture, a company focused on environmentally friendly designs.
“Executive Director JP Marosy pointed out what he saw as our wider community’s greatest concerns, such as air quality and water shortages,” explained Len Segal, Director of Senior Living at Kephart Architecture. “Holly Creek is specifically thinking globally to impact locally—how they can help steward the planet well. This is originally what Earth Day was all about.”
Once social distancing measures are lifted, the Green Team hopes to hold a belated Earth Day celebration where Segal can share on additional ways to support their local and global environment alike.
Located in at 5500 E. Peakview Avenue in Centennial, Colorado, Holly Creek is owned and operated by Denver-based not-for-profit Christian Living Communities. CLC has been providing quality senior care in the south Denver metropolitan area since 1972. For more information, visit www.hollycreekcommunity.com.