Accreditation comes via resident contact to National Wildlife Federation
PARKVILLE, MD---When Oak Crest resident George Walter moved to the Parkville-based continuing care retirement community in 2010, he realized that there was more to the 87-acre campus than just the physical infrastructure. There was also a flourishing ecosystem.
Working with a good friend, Mr. Walter submitted an application during the summer to the National Wildlife Federation to designate Oak Crest as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. In November, residents and staff came together to celebrate the receipt of that designation at a ceremony, appropriately held by the pond on campus.
Brian Dorsey is the facilities manager for grounds and transportation. He notes that the National Wildlife Federation has "strict guidelines on the habitat elements that must be in place to receive the award. A property must provide food sources for wildlife. These can be supplied naturally through plants or supplemented through feeding. Also, there must be water sources, cover and places to raise young established on the property."
"These requirements have been intrinsically satisfied for years through the 'green' approach to operations to which our residents and staff have been so diligently committed," continued Mr. Dorsey. "I'm most proud that this is a grass-roots effort. The fact that we supply all of these elements implies good stewardship by Oak Crest to the air we breathe, water that we shed and the plants that support a healthy ecosystem."
Oak Crest supports numerous species of wildlife on the grounds of its campus, including deer, squirrels, foxes, geese, ducks, hawks, bluebirds, woodpeckers and catfish. There is a nature trail that is maintained by residents and staff.
The grounds team provides shelter for habitat including fencing for geese nests and houses for bluebirds. The trees planted in the Memory Forest have a wildlife benefit. The crabapple, cherry and viburnum trees offer food for birds; the oak and hickory trees do the same for squirrels. Additionally, there are feeders for fish, ducks and geese at the pond.
In 2009, a green roof was installed on the assisted living and skilled nursing buildings. The next year, Oak Crest earned a BayWise certification for effective water management and landscaping techniques. In April, 2011, the campus was named the Green Large Business of the Year by the Baltimore Business Journal.
According to its website, the National Wildlife Federation and its affiliates across the country provide answers to the challenges facing the environment and help ensure America's wildlife legacy continues for future generations. For more information, please visit www.nwf.org.
View photos of the ceremony, wildlife and campus.
UPDATE: Read more about the certification on the National Wildlife Federation website here.
About Oak Crest: Oak Crest, managed and developed by Erickson Living, is a retirement community that provides worry-free living for America's seniors-the country's fastest growing population segment. Erickson Living's financial value and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into our continuum of care, lead to demonstrated resident benefits. A robust complement of resident programs and facilities promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average. And the company's wide-ranging employee programs have earned Erickson Living numerous awards, including Fortune magazine's "Best Companies to Work For®" in 2008 and 2009.