Landis Homes Residents Cherish Community’s Resources

Charles Longenecker doesn’t give up easily, especially when it comes to preserving nature. When the retired Lancaster Mennonite biology teacher moved to Landis Homes 12 years ago, he decided to reintroduce native plants to Leaman Woods, a natural area of the community’s south campus that had been overrun by invasive garlic mustard.

Without a water source, some of those new plants died. Still others were lost to some well-meaning groundsmen with a weed whacker. So Longenecker planted more. Then came a paving project a few years ago to create a path that would make the woods more accessible to wheelchairs and motorized scooters. In the process of paving, more plants were lost. But that hasn’t stopped Longenecker.

“I think there’s a better chance of survival this time,” the mild-mannered 84-year-old says with a smile.

That’s because there’s a movement afloat at Landis Woods, the seeds of which were planted a few years ago among Longenecker and a few like-minded residents. Residents like Roland Yoder, 81, a fellow educator who taught art and biology at what is now Dock Mennonite Academy in Lansdale.

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