McWhinney strengthens environmental stewardship and wholesome residing in Centerra
By David Crowder and Celeste Smith
At Centerra, the 3,000-acre Master-Planned Church in Loveland, giving back and sustaining effective community service are key principles that will help strengthen the connection to the wider Northern Colorado region. As the lead developer of Centerra, McWhinney is constantly looking for ways to support those in need and involve local residents in a fun and safe way. This spring, Centerra’s community building efforts focused on sustainability and healthy living. They have partnered with northern Colorado residents for environmental-focused events and helping those in need.
Sustainability is a central value at Centerra. On this Earth Day and throughout the spring season, Centerra sponsors several events aimed at sparking a passion and focusing on conservation across the community.
Centerra recently hosted a spring cleaning event, in partnership with the High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC) and The Lakes, inviting volunteers to clean open spaces along the path system, canal and lakes. Volunteers of all ages supported the effort, including Centerra and Loveland residents, HPEC staff, and McWhinney staff. The group covered HPEC’s 76 acre property and collected a full truckload of sacks of debris from the open space and waterways around Equalizer Lake and Houts Reservoir.
HPEC, based in Centerra, is also currently holding its annual Native Plant Sale to kick off the spring season. Sales are open online through September 6th and feature a variety of native plants priced between $ 5 and $ 6 that help save water and support native wildlife, especially pollinators. The sale will benefit the non-profit organization and its efforts to preserve and restore Colorado’s unique native biodiversity through the use of native plants in landscaped and open spaces.
In recognition of last year’s conditions, Centerra also wanted to help residents and guests celebrate a health-conscious lifestyle. For this reason Centerra works together with the UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center and has carried out three blood donation campaigns at the Railway Flats, HPEC and The Promenade Shops locations. In the Front Range, blood donations have decreased due to recent snowstorms, exacerbating the bottlenecks already felt across the country during COVID-19. The blood donation drives, which were in line with COVID-19 safety and social distancing protocols, collected a generous number of units, equivalent to saving 51 lives. On June 1st and July 2nd, McWhinney will continue efforts to donate blood with UCHealth by providing two additional community rides on the trails at Timberline and the Cycle Apartments in Fort Collins.
During the blood donation, Centerra looked for ways to help local community groups and retailers affected by the pandemic. After a challenging season of cookie sales due to the impact of COVID-19, the master-planned community supported a local scout troop in Loveland by buying cookies and giving a box to each blood donor. Additionally, each donor (21 years and older) received a free beer pint voucher from the local Loveland Breweries, Grimm Brothers, and Loveland Aleworks.
Centerra also sponsored the annual Loveland Classic 5k / 10k Race, which raised funds for the Thompson Education Foundation. McWhinney staff hosted a table where attendees handed out boxed water. The boxed water donated by McWhinney’s multi-family department enabled convenient and safe disposable consumption. The boxes are made from 100% recyclable materials.
The Sounds of Centerra concert series will also return for the thirteenth time on July 9th. Residents can sign up for the free concerts that take place every Friday in July at Chapungu Sculpture Park, which gives the community a chance to regroup safely.
Through these deliberately and carefully planned community engagement events, McWhinney sees firsthand the powerful impact on empowering the community spirit. Providing leadership in the community has always been part of Centerra’s legacy and remains an elevated priority given the challenges that remain as we recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
David Crowder is Vice President, Community Development at McWhinney and General Manager of Centerra. He manages and oversees the strategy, vision and execution, as well as the development and management of the 3,000 acre master-planned community.
Celeste Smith is the Senior Marketing Director at McWhinney. Through her marketing and community engagements in McWhinney’s real estate, she helps build a sense of community and create unforgettable experiences that the developer communities are known for.