St. John’s Donates Bench to Chestnut Ridge at Rodale

A bench of recycled materials has been installed in an environmentally appropriate spot, overlooking a pond along the paved Rodale walking trail off South 10th Street in Emmaus.

St. John’s United Church of Christ in Emmaus has donated the bench to the new Chestnut Ridge at Rodale Senior Living apartment complex.

The Trex company awarded the congregation of St. John’s the bench for collecting more than 500 pounds of plastic bags and other recyclable “soft plastic” within six months.

It has been given to Chestnut Ridge because the complex of 126 luxury apartments is part of Phoebe Ministries.

“We wanted to donate our efforts to a U.C.C. ministry,” explained Dr. Paul Knappenberger, pastor of the church at 139 N. 4th St. “Phoebe has a 120-year history with the United Church of Christ.”

The nearly one-mile-long Rodale walking trail is part of the new apartment development, which is nearing completion. The trail will remain open to the public as well as Chestnut Ridge residents.

“We are so grateful to St. John’s UCC for this generous donation,” said Karen Sinkovits, independent living manager at Chestnut Ridge.

“This bench will allow all to enjoy a moment of quiet reflection within this beautiful setting in the heart of Emmaus.”

An inscribed plaque on the bench states: “Donated by St. John’s U.C.C.” That plaque was inscribed and donated to the church by Donna Marks, owner of Emmaus Jewel Shop on the Triangle.

It is the second bench St. John’s has earned from the NexTrex community recycling program. The congregation is using the first bench, and now plans to collect another 500 pounds of plastic in the next six months and earn a third bench from Trex.

Part of St. John’s mission is to become a green church working to protect the environment. “God calls us to be good stewards of God’s creation,” explained Dr. Knappenberger.

It takes 40,500 plastic bags to reach 500 pounds, according to Trex, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking, railings, and other outdoor products. After the plastic collected by St. John’s was weighed and reported to Trex each month, it was taken to the Weis Market in Emmaus and then shipped to Trex for reuse.

The Chestnut Ridge apartment complex is at 400 S. 10th St., opposite Furnace Dam Park.   The walking path is next to the complex and part of the same property.

More than half of the 126 one- and two-bedroom apartments have already been rented. The first residents are expected to move in within a few months.

Dr. Knappenberger had given a prayer during groundbreaking ceremonies for the new development.

Article Written by St. John’s member Randy Kraft.

For more information about Phoebe’s newest Independent Living opportunity, please visit the Chestnut Ridge at Rodale website!

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