Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Backyard Ministry

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The York Quaker Meetinghouse is blessed with a little more than ¼ acre of green oasis in the heart of the city. Our testimonies of simplicity, integrity, peace, community and stewardship call us to care for it for the benefit of the earth and our community. 

Since 2003, we have incorporated native plants into our design, using information from the Penn State Master Gardeners MAE-Scapes Native Plant program as our guide.

In 2006, we learned that York County Community Foundation  was awarding city beautification grants. We applied for, and were awarded, a $1000 grant to transform our grassy front banks with native plants. We sent letters to nearby businesses and to our members, describing the project and requesting donations, and the response was heart warming. In the fall we mulched and planted the native plants on both front banks. they flourished an in n 2012 we were certified as a Pollinator Friendly Habitat by Penn State Extension.

In 2011 we added seven community garden plots as part of a city wide effort to provide city residents with an opportunity to grow some of  their own food and in 2012 we added blueberry bushes as another fruit option  in addition to the popular black raspberries already there.

In 2014 five members and attenders participated in bee keeping classes and in May set up two hives in the far back corner of the yard. Honey bees are struggling for a variety of environmental reasons and urban beekeeping is becoming useful in maintaining bee populations.

Throughout all these activities, we have tried to consider how our choices benefit the greater community through creating a welcoming space for our neighbors, two legged, four legged, winged, creeping, and stationary.

More details about our back yard evolution can be gleaned by clicking on the PDF file below