Kidron Bethel’s Live Forward project to include aesthetic and environmental enhancements

August, 02, 2021

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. – As Kidron Bethel Village planned what needed to be included in a capital project, it was integral to consider values that reflect the campus community and larger organizational Bluestem Communities. Incorporating details that offer increased resident choice as well as environmental initiatives both speak to those values well.

“The Live Forward campaign is big, bold and beautiful,” said Kidron Bethel Village Executive Director Linda Peters of the capital project. “It touches the lives of so many people in so many ways and really emphasizes what we care about, including lifelong purpose, choice and genuine connection.”

One of the more transformational aspects of the Live Forward project includes renovations to campus dining options. The existing Harvest Table dining room that serves residents, staff and guests is structured like a cafeteria. The renovation plan would give the dining area a make over into a more restaurant-like atmosphere.

In addition to an overall cosmetic refresh of the space and noise-quieting features, guests to the dining area would have a sit-down, table service experience rather than that of a cafeteria-style buffet line. Guests could also choose indoor seating or outdoor options with new additions of both open-air and screened-in patios.

“A restaurant-style area will provide residents, staff and guests a comfortable dining experience,” said Peters. “In the planning phase of the Live Forward campaign, some feedback we heard regularly from residents and families was about dated appearances and small community spaces. This part of the project will refresh our dining options and add to the beauty and overall comfort of our community.”

While the most noticeable updates that are part of the $10 million Live Forward project are changes to the aesthetic and an increase in square footage, more subtle but equally significant updates will take place on the back end with environmental initiatives. Solar power, electric charging stations and native landscaping will reduce the organization’s carbon footprint and lower operating costs through reduced water and electricity consumption.

“Decreasing our environmental impact by incorporating sustainable products and landscaping is a key element to this project,” said James Krehbiel, Bluestem Communities president and CEO. “We want to be environmentally-conscious and give residents who live in our communities the chance to do that as well. Renewable energy sources impact generations well into the future.”

Krehbiel said that environmental sustainability is a value for Bluestem Communities, and also one of noted importance by its constituency. In preparation for the project, more than 250 listening sessions with residents, family members, community members and local leaders, revealed environmental care as an important element for any pending enhancements Kidron Bethel would consider.

“The Live Forward project is comprehensive in nature and really offers something for everyone,” said Peters. “We are excited about the way it will enhance engagement and connections across the community and generations well into the future.”

To learn more about the enhancements and timelines of the Live Forward campaign, visit