Saturday in the City – Behind the Scenes at Tellus360 (Part 2)

Saturday in the City – Behind the Scenes at Tellus360 (Part 2)

Okay, yes, I know it’s SUNDAY – but I promised another part of the story of Tellus360.
(note: photo from the Tellus360 green roof; from textTellus360 website)

They’ve only been here in Lancaster city for one year, but in that year, Tellus360 has become a community gathering place. Not just on First Fridays and Music Fridays, but in numerous other ways.

It has a lot to do with owner Joe Devoy’s philosophy, which he articulated in the very first job description he wrote when he was looking for new employees. Under “Requirements”, he listed:

“Belief in the cause and the cause is to make the world a better place by helping people consume less and consume better, deliver knowledge and education through living classrooms, make our communities better by genuine, heartfelt community involvement and partnership and create a place where we can be just good people.”

Evidence of that “genuine, heartfelt community involvement” can be found in the list of community groups and events they’ve hosted in the spacious back rooms of the Tellus360 building.

Store manager Mairtin (“Morts Eeen”) Lally told us about some of them:

• They hosted a film festival of short films (the festival was called “Rumspringa”)

• children from a city church came to decorate reclaimed wood candleholders donated by Tellu360, which the children will then sell as a church fundraiser

• a group of woodworkers from Garden Spot Village visited the Tellus360 woodworking shop and then the store to talk about woodcraft


(photo from textTellus360 website)

• members of a LinkedIn group called “Linked to Lancaster PA” have held several networking events there, including a recent wine-tasting event featuring local wines from Twin Brook Winery and Tamanend Winery

• and of course, they just hosted the inaugural “Tabletop Session”, a live music event where the Lancaster-based trio “huhn” had an opportunity to showcase their bluesy rock sound

Tellus360 also just created a large gallery space in one of their back rooms and fine art students from the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design have just opened a show of their work there.

They have more events on the calendar, including one next Sunday November 13, at 7pm, when the PRiMa Theatre Company will offer a preview of their 2012 musical theatre shows
(Note: this is an RSVP only event. If you want to attend, RSVP to Chris Breneman by November 6 at 717-341-9919 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))

One additional way Joe & his crew have both put their commitment to the environment in action and engaged with the community is in the 10,000 square foot green roof they installed on their building this summer. With help from Fritz Schroeder from LIVE Green and various city officials, the roof is now installed and growing.

During the months-long project to create the green roof, Joe wrote about his ultimate vision for Tellus360: “That we perform the work so that we are in harmony with our city, our customers, our friends and our store. We believe that this roof should be alive in a community sense as well as biological sense.”

Since completion of the green roof in late summer, they’ve hosted a number of additional events for people to come and learn about the environmental benefits of a green roof and solar technology.

A Millersville University professor held one of her class sessions for a technology education course on the green roof and her students (all future teachers) talked about ways they might incorporate what they learned about environmental sustainability and related technology into what they will teach children one day.

A group from the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry came to the roof too, and learn about the environmental benefits of green roof technology.


(photo from textTellus360 website)

A local yoga instructor has held several early morning yoga classes on the green roof as well, with a much simpler purpose in mind: to meditate, stretch, watch the sunrise and enjoy some of the most magnificent views of the city to be found anywhere.


(photo from textTellus360 website)

Joe sums up what he and his team are working toward with Tellus360:

“We want to be a living part of Lancaster, we want this roof to be alive with plants and people, and we want the sounds of laughter and engaged conversation to fall over the edges of the building to the streets below.”

Posted by Melanie Tagged as: city life lancaster pa sustainability

Next: Gifts that Give Hope - Part 5

Previous: Saturday in the City – Behind the Scenes at Tellus360 (Part 1)

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