Last week was a busy time as Aaron’s Acres’ partnership with Pleasant View Communities was shared on various media outlets. If you are interested in learning more about this partnership and our vision for the future, please click the links below.
Posted March 3, 2020
LNP | LancasterOnline: ‘We’re fulfilling our dream’: Aaron’s Acres settles on new Manheim location, plans to expand programming
Aaron’s Acres, a nonprofit offering recreational programs to children, teens and young adults with special needs, has chosen a new home.
The 22-year-old organization plans to move into a cultural center that will be built across from Pleasant View Communities in Manheim, Aaron’s Acres executive director Risa Paskoff said. Move-in is expected in 2022.
The move, announced on the Aaron’s Acres website last week, marks the first time the nonprofit will have its programs, administrative offices and storage all in one location. It currently uses three locations for those purposes: programs are held in Manheim, storage is in East Petersburg and offices are in the Greenfield Corporate Center in East Lampeter Township.
The new center will also enable it to expand programming to serve clients ages 5 to 30, up from the current 5 to 21.
“I think it’s going to be great for the Manheim community,” Paskoff said.
The building will be constructed on Hoffer Farm, land Pleasant View owns, on North Penryn Road.
Several nonprofits expect to have space in the building, Paskoff said. Aaron’s Acres will have 6,000 to 7,000 square feet.
The full size and cost of the center is unclear. Efforts to reach Pleasant View officials Monday were unsuccessful. Paskoff said costs aren’t concrete yet, because the project is in the very early stages and construction hasn’t begun.”
Aaron’s Acres will launch a capital campaign to cover costs for the new space, Paskoff said, but a goal hasn’t yet been set.
“It has always been our goal to establish a campus that will enable us to continue to serve individuals with a wide variety of abilities and needs in an inclusive setting,” said the organization’s board president, William Zee.
“The new facility is an important next step in furthering our mission, but it’s going to take cooperation from the entire community to bring this project to fruition.”
The new space not only helps consolidate, Paskoff said, but enables the nonprofit to add activities such as farming, gardening and caring for animals to its programming.
It also plans to serve adults ages 22 to 30 at the new facility under a program called Aaron’s Acres Plus. The nonprofit currently serves about 270 kids and young adults each year.
Paskoff originally announced long-desired plans to relocate and launch a capital campaign at its 20th anniversary gala in 2018. But it has taken two years to find the right space.
“We’re fulfilling our dream,” Paskoff said of moving forward with a new location.
Posted March 7, 2020
MANHEIM, Pa. — An old farm in Lancaster County is getting new life, and two different age groups will meet there.
“They were very open to having us here and really creating this community for so many different types of people with all different types of abilities,” said Risa Paskoff, executive director of Aaron’s Acres.
For 21 years, the nonprofit has served young people with disabilities. It hosts activities like a summer camp for kids who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to be outside.
“To just have a place where we can expand all of our programs, it’s been a dream of ours, but we just needed to find that right place,” Paskoff said.
Pleasant View retirement community decided the land was the right place as they planned their new community cultural center. Aaron’s Acres will move into the center.
“We’re excited to see them utilize the farm, walking trails, engage with the animals,” said Pleasant View CEO Jonathan Hollinger.
It’s not just about more space; it’s also about more access. Aaron’s Acres will expand programs to include people up to age 30. The organization said people are often left behind after they turn 21.
“It’ll be amazing. It really will,” Paskoff said.
“We’re looking at alpacas and goats and sheep, where therapy, mental health can actually be enhanced through the use of animals,” Hollinger said.
“It’s beyond anything that I could imagine. It is a dream come true.” Paskoff said.
The estimated cost of the first phase of the project is $5.5 million. A second phase could include an aquatic center.
Construction is expected to be finished in 2022.