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Posted on: May 25, 2023

Lancaster County Planning Commission Announces Leadership Award Winners

Lancaster, PA – On Tuesday, May 9th, the Lancaster County Planning Commission held its 3rd Annual Leadership Awards Celebration. Individuals and projects from around Lancaster County were awarded for their understanding and support for good planning, the planning process, and places2040, the Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan.

 Individual Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award – Mary Wickenheiser – Columbia Borough

Mary Wickenheiser has been an outstanding leader and has provided Columbia Borough with distinguished and committed service for 23 years. She has served on Borough Council, the Planning Commission, Columbia River Park Committee, Lancaster County Solid Waste Authority Citizens Advisory Committee, the Safe Harbor Citizens Advisory Committee, and the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail Committee.


She has worked tirelessly with local and regional leaders and with the business community. Mary’s leadership on the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail Committee has been instrumental and has helped to foster greater opportunities for Columbia Borough and for the region by protecting its natural resources, historical assets, and creating opportunities for continued growth.

 Distinguished Service Award – Ray Marvin – Bart Township

Ray Marvin has demonstrated effective leadership and a commitment to consensus building during the creation and adoption of the Southern Lancaster County Comprehensive. His effectiveness is exhibited by the creation and adoption of a Southern Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan by 9 of the 12 municipalities in the Southern End.

 He has served as a supervisor for over 15 years and has held the role of chairman for many of those years. Thinking regionally, Ray became the Bart Township representative on the Southern Lancaster County Inter-Municipal Council and is the Vice-Chairman. Ray also represents the Southern Region on the Lancaster County Planning Commission.

 Student Project Award Winners

The Lancaster County Planning Commission partnered with the Lancaster County Coalition for Smart Growth on these awards. The Coalition put up the prize money for the Student Awards.

 Leadership Award – Ephrata Eats – Ephrata Intermediate School – Grade 5

The purpose of Ephrata Eats was to engage students with local businesses through the creation of a new menu item. Students conducted a survey to identify preferred flavors and drink types for a coffee, tea, smoothie or cupcake.

 Students developed their menu item name and flavors and ingredients. Then, students developed a commercial pitch and video for the new menu item. Selected entries were featured on the restaurants’ menus for a set amount of time.

 Leadership Award – A Long Walk to Water – Clay Elementary School – Grade 3

92 students at Clay Elementary School engaged in a unit on the importance of water and the global water crisis. Students developed a simulation of the effort and challenges of those needing water across the globe.

A collection of $!300 was donated to Water for South Sudan and 72 gallons of water were donated to Ephrata Area Social Services, thereby contributing to the local community and across the globe and generating awareness of needs both locally and globally.

 Planning Project Award Winners

Leadership Award – Clean Water Projects in Pequea Creek Watershed – Lancaster Clean Water Partners

Four Plain Sect farmers and partners from public, private, and nonprofit sectors are collaborating to implement practices that improve the health of both their operation and water quality in a small tributary of Pequea Creek in Paradise Township.

 The whole watershed, community approach to conservation used here is both innovative and effective. Partners come together to share information about needs, plans, and to drive action with the common goal of cleaning up a small section of stream.

 Achievement Award – Safe Harbor Bridge Rehabilitation – Manor Township

Restoration of the 125’ high trestle bridge began in 2015 and was finally completed and opened in June 2022. The entire 0.3-mile deck was stripped down to the steel girders and replaced with 2,170 tons of concrete and wooden side rails at a cost of $9 million.

 The project was designed to be a showcase bridge with many details like glass deck windows, bird viewing binoculars, elevated viewing area, and a pavilion. The bridge, once identified as a Top 10 Trail Gap in Pennsylvania, now connects the 23-mile Enola Low Grade Rail Trail and anticipates over 125,000 users in its first year.

 Achievement Award – Quarryville Active Transportation Plan – Quarryville Borough

Implementation of the Quarryville Active Transportation Plan will assist the borough in improving its non-motorized transportation network by developing a system of non-motorized transportation connections and contributing to a more equitable transportation network for people of all income levels, ages, and abilities.

 Quarryville Borough’s vision of an active transportation system through the adoption of this Plan is to provide opportunities for more people to be more physically active, for children to safely walk or bike to school, for people to commute to work without their cars, and for local neighborhoods and destinations to be connected.

 Achievement Award – Lancaster 2040 Summit – Lancaster County Coalition for Smart Growth and Tenfold
 On March 31, 2022, a first-of-its-kind summit brought together the business, nonprofit, government and education sectors at Millersville University’s Ware Center to discuss Lancaster County’s most pressing challenges and opportunities. The Lancaster2040: Thinking Beyond Boundaries Summit asked participants to think beyond the physical and ideological boundaries that silo our efforts and to imagine what the County could achieve if we moved beyond thinking in terms of the 60 townships, boroughs, and the city that Lancastrians call home. The result was a full day of problem solving with a genuine interest in working together to achieve the best for Lancaster.

 Merit Award – Vision Zero Action Plan – City of Lancaster

This plan sets goals and defines actions to move Lancaster towards eliminating traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Vision Zero approaches safety by recognizing that humans make mistakes and streets should be designed to minimize the impacts of those mistakes.  Vision Zero is all about recognizing that safe streets are for everybody, all ages, all abilities, all means, and all modes – not just motor vehicles.

 Merit Award – Landis Place on King – Landis Communities
Landis Place on King is an innovative project in the heart of Lancaster City set to open this month. It will be a mixed-use building with 79 apartments, 41 interior parking spaces, a restaurant, and United Way offices. Located at 239 West King Street, it will provide middle market and affordable housing with services for those age 55+.

 The vision for Landis Place on King is to create a flourishing community where older adults can thrive. This project will be a nearly $28 million investment in the neighborhood and will house approximately 100 individuals. Landis Communities is also raising money to subsidize 10% of the apartments for long-term affordable housing rents.

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