Entering Birchwood Estates in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, the cascade of flowers and plants, the cupolas adorning each building, and the many natural gas lanterns are both unique and stunning.

UGI provides natural gas service to Birchwood Estates and is another example of the strong residential and commercial demand UGI continues to see across its service area.

The 192-unit apartment complex is the brainchild of George A. Dunbar, Jr., who has evolved from a landscape contractor to a major residential developer. He began developing properties with a specific vision in mind. “I like to be creative. I like green space. I don’t want to cram as many buildings into a space as I can,” Dunbar explains.

UGI supplies natural gas to Birchwood Estates’ 24 buildings, each featuring eight apartments. The complex includes 72 gas lanterns and tens of thousands of plant materials. In the evening hours, the gas lanterns are complemented by the lighted cupolas.

In addition to natural gas appliances, residents enjoy the benefits of natural gas heat and hot water. Lucy Sassi, UGI Utilities’ sales specialist, said UGI worked with Dunbar and his team to strategically position the gas meters to enhance the community’s aesthetics.

“The gas lanterns offer fuel efficient outdoor lighting and, in the evenings, create the perfect ambience for the beautifully landscaped village,” Sassi says.

Dunbar also emphasizes Birchwood Estates’ environmental planning. In addition to the energy efficiency provided by natural gas, he notes that no stormwater from the complex goes into the municipal system. Bioretention ponds were installed incorporating plants known to absorb water. Plants that attract hummingbirds and monarch butterflies among others were added as well.

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