1899 Apostles Way, Lancaster, PA 17603
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Accessible to persons with disabilities.
Rader Park is an outdoor ministry of Church of the Apostles that encompasses over 20 acres of our campus. Over the years it’s been developed with an eye toward stewardship of the earth and faithful ecological practices.
Over 100 trees have been planted in the last few years including memorial trees to honor members who have passed away. There are stands of evergreens planted as boundary trees to hide a busy road. The memorial trees have created an aleé of hardwoods leading to a group of evergreens planted to create an enclosed campfire area used for intergenerational campout. Other natural features include a pond stocked with fish which is home to frogs and a snapping turtle or two.
In the last few years members have worked together to build walking trails and gazebos at strategic places for rest and viewing the scenery. A large pavilion was completed in 2007 and is used for outdoor worship services and church picnics. Playground equipment for the children is available in this area.
A butterfly garden was developed in the last five years to encourage all sorts of beneficial insects. Bee hives have been added and the church produces its own honey known as Sweet Success.
In the summer of 2012, an acre and a half was plowed and a vegetable garden was planted. Members planted, weeded, harvested and sold vegetables on the property to clients and employees of our campus partner non-profit organizations. Over two tons of vegetables were donated to local residential missions and some of the produce was frozen for use in homemade soup made and sold in the church during the winter.
Summer programming in the park is a very active part of our church. Center city school children arrive in May for field trips and benefit from the science and ecology they learn through stream studies, planting vegetables, fishing in the pond, and studying bugs living in the dirt. A Wacky Wednesday literacy program for toddlers and young children is held every summer with adult story readers. Organizations including our own Apostles Preschool, and various other non- profit agencies, use the park for their summer camps that last anywhere from a week to a month. On Sunday evenings in the summer, intergenerational programs focusing on nature and ecology occur every two weeks and bring a large crowd of member families and neighbors alike. The evenings always end with ice cream, sometimes from our own soft ice cream machine.
Rader Park is an important part of our church mission of Sharing Christ’s Love with All People. Many people say they feel closer to God in nature and Rader Park fills that spiritual need for many. Come see our park and enjoy everything it has to offer.
The Garden – The Apostles Garden (Seeds of Hope) was initiated in 2012 with great success. The acre and a half garden produces food for regular customers on Tuesday and Friday sale days. A Bounty Table is supplied with fresh veggies on Sunday mornings. The excess food is taken to a local food bank and a mission. Approximately 3,000 pounds of food is donated to others each year.
The garden also is used by local school children as part of a field trip. A local day camp uses the garden as part of their day trip experience. Many folks learned from where their veggies grow.
The garden takes many volunteers to plant, weed, and harvest. If you have a green thumb, perhaps you would like to volunteer in our garden. For contact information, please call the church office at 717-392-5718.