32 Reviews
Tell people what you think
Crystal M. Schreffler
· September 26, 2017
I've been going to this park since I was a little kid with my grandpa for hikes and kite flying. Now I take my daughter to Stories on the Porch, amazing nature programs at the Environment Center and t...o play in the Garden of Five Senses. There are so many great things about this park that we're here at least once a week. See More
Joanne Fatta
· November 27, 2017
I spend a lot of My time with my pups over the years hiking here and riding by bike. Close to home great trails good scenery lots of deer !! Great park
Marissa Finks
· July 31, 2017
This is one of our favorite places to go ,the children love it ,its educational, peaceful and just so serene ,going there before the sunset is my favorite part being able to capture such beautiful pictures 😍😍
Wanda Rivera
· June 6, 2017
The most beautiful park I've seen. Manicured in open areas but completely natural everywhere else. Pool, basketball, baseball, playgrounds, golf, picnic areas, etc. They even have bird watching. So to offer. Wish the rest of the world was as attentive to their areas. See More
Kim Deiter
· April 9, 2017
I love the park and have the awesome privelige to live in the park. The maintenance crews are wonderful and do a great job.
I walk the trails on a regular basis which gives me a unique perspective. ...
On Mondays I always take a trash bag with me to pick up fast food trash that people leave in the woods. Can't figure out why they don't think to carry out. (Too lazy?)
On a bigger note, please people, don't leave your unwanted pets in the park. House pets don't know how to hunt or defend themselves. They just become prey. We do have wildlife predators that like to eat kitties. I try to save as many as I can but would really like others to be responsible for themselves. If your life changes and you can't keep your pet any longer, find a new one for it, or take it to a shelter.
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Wendy Stekervetz Jordan
· January 19, 2017
Love the park and that we have this wonderful resource open to us! Clean, spacious...I visit weekly. I've trained my dogs here, ridden my horses here, and brought my kids here hiking when they were y...oung. Great place! See More
Joan Black
· June 12, 2016
Conewago Recreation Trail. Great place to bike ride, but please consider banning horses since their owners can't seem to be responsible enough to clean up the horse droppings. 8 piles in a five mile... stretch of trail today (Sunday). Sometimes hard to dodge the piles when the trail is busy. It's a shame that a few irresponsible people ruin the trail for hikers, bikers and riders alike. See More
Angela E Smith
· March 16, 2015
Exploring nature on the trails, awakening our senses, learning with people who truly care and understand about wildlife and the outdoors and are enthusiastic to share this with others to provide life ...learning experiences for the future of our families, thank you. See More
Eva Geo
· January 9, 2017
Those horse drawn buggies; the hand made quilts; the cute carved candlestick holders, picture frames, and coffee tables; the fresh churned farm fresh butter.

Then there's the side you never see, and ...some refuse to believe, even with court case proof and legal documentation.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania has been called the puppy mill capital of the U.S., and the trade is largely dominated by the Amish. It is a world most people never see. Hundreds of puppies can be seen stacked in crate on top of crate. Most of those puppies will eventually be sold to pet stores, but their mothers will likely never know a home other than this. There are about 300 licensed breeders in Lancaster County alone, and rescue workers estimate another 600 unlicensed facilities operate in barns and sheds. Those breeders go to great measures to avoid discovery. Secretive and profitable. Breeders can make upwards of half million dollars a year. The Amish breeders sell the dogs at auctions and the puppies at pet stores.

The puppy mill puppies are sold to pet shops—usually through a broker, or middleman—and marketed as young as eight weeks of age. The lineage records of puppy mill dogs are often falsified. Other puppy mill puppies are sold directly to the public, including over the Internet, through newspaper ads, and at swap meets and flea markets.

People put down their money and they walk away with a dog not realizing that there are up to 200 dogs in a barn that are suffering horribly. It's something that people have to be made aware of. They have to know what’s going on. When they buy these dogs, they're keeping this despicable enterprise flourishing. Dogs in this community are viewed as livestock. Nothing more. Chickens or pigs or goats. It's just a source of income for them.

“The Amish and Mennonite community are known as "The Gentle People". Amish Country is known for its wonderful restaurants, craft shops and well-kept Amish farms. Beautiful fields where bearded men in wide-brimmed hats lead teams of shaggy plow horses tilling the soil. Hay fields dot the rolling hills of Amish country, and the fields that sustain the simple lifestyle are mostly bare. But one crop, the most important crop to some remains: Puppies.
An overwhelming number of puppy mill operators are Amish. Inside the picturesque barns and wooden fences of Amish country in New York State, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and in all Amish communities throughout the US, "purebred" puppies are bred by the tens of thousands, many living in a hellish world of filthy, crowded cages. They are puppy mill puppies, and they bring in millions of dollars a year for the Amish and Mennonite farmers who supply pet stores, boutique dog-shop markets according to the ASPCA. "It's not just some cottage industry by people who sell bread-and-butter pickles by the roadside," says Roger Caras, ASPCA's former executive director.
These "dog farmers" sell over 20,000 puppies a year to wholesalers for an average $523 a pup, government records show. And it's making some of these quaint farmers quite rich. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documents show that one Amish dog farmer sold 1,293 puppies last year for an estimated $390,000 though federal inspectors have cited this farm for numerous violations since 2002 including overcrowded cages and inadequate sanitation, pest control, feeding and watering of animals. Then these sickly, genetic nightmares are delivered to the upscale pet shops. They give them a bath, blow dry them, fluff them up and pray they don't die before they're sold, often for $800 or more each.
The Amish don't say much about their involvement. They never do. No one at the local seed store talk about puppy breeding.. Or at the buggy maker's. Or at the lumber yard or the pet store. Not even at the corner restaurant. It's their dirty little secret.
Be warned though- the Amish life that is depicted for tourists is nothing like the reality. A simple Google search for Amish puppy mills will return thousands of hits. For farmers, a big crop of dogs can gross up to $500,000 annually, with successful operations netting six figures. For critics, the men in the suspenders and bushy beards are masking a cruel form of factory farming behind the quaint and pure image of the Amish culture.
In areas of the U.S. where Amish dwell, there is a high number of puppy mills. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement lists 243 kennels in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 98% of them owned by Amish. Holmes County, Ohio, has 470 kennels -- more than any other county in the nation. While the Amish landscape is among the most beautiful in the world, the puppies bred at the mills NEVER see the outside of wire cages that are usually stacked on top of each other in dark barns.
One cannot throw all the Amish into the same category. Actions of some might sound rash. The puppy-mill breeders might be just a small fraction or a very small percent of the Amish population, but the majority of the population has chosen to ignore what is going on in their own backyards.
The Amish have been allowed to continue their inhumane treatment of animals without pressure from the rest of the population because of the money that tourism brings to Amish businesses. Most people who visit Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and Holmes County, Ohio go there to experience the Amish Culture. Yes, the Amish in general are a hardworking, modest people. But they use the modern world to advertise and post the mill puppies on the Internet. These Godly people who shun the outside world have no qualms about using an outside third party to sell their stock.
The Amish continually breed poor quality puppies and keep their breeding dogs in a state that defies decency. They should be barred from dog breeding as they breed poor quality dogs. They get away with it because people think that religious people would never do anything inhumane.”
~ Courtesy of Kim Chambers

These dogs have been in wire cages all their lives, live totally confined to these spaces, receive no vet care and have deformed paws and skeletal development, among other health concerns. My little boy Hank spent the first four years of his life locked in a wire mesh cage not much bigger than a shoebox in a puppy mill located in the Florida panhandle. Pug Rescue of Florida rescued him and the others out of that hellhole in early December, 2009. Hank became a Shank on December 29th, 2009. Being raised in a puppy mill, Hank has an abundance of health issues directly related to non-existent vet care, lack of exercise creating the appropriate muscle development, and for what little food he was fed, a diet without the necessary vitamins and nutrients needed for proper development. Health issues escalate at an early age and only get progressively worse as they are treated as a commodity to make money rather than a living soul.

Please do not support puppy mills by purchasing your pet from a pet store or any venue in which their “inventory” is obtained through puppy mill dealers/operators. There are thousands of loving, adoptable pets waiting for a home at your local animal control facility or rescue organization. Save a life and share this article and help spread the word of this sad reality. With more exposure, hopefully people will learn and choose to do the right thing – adopt from a “shelter” or rescue organization.
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Christine McLain
· October 2, 2016
Love this park. So close to the City. Beautiful trails.
Darlene Wolfe
· September 16, 2015
Love Lancaster county parks, great trails, clean, and relaxing
Gustavo Hernandez
· January 9, 2018
Todavía no conozco Lancaster me han dicho que es muy pueblo espero ir
Eduardo Ramos
· December 29, 2013
Me gusta Lancaster porque es campo y me rescuerda a PR.
Check out this upcoming cooperative program!

Maple Sugaring (All Ages)
Saturday, February 24 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Sunday, February 25 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Sunday, March 4 1:00 – 4:00 PM


Join County Park Naturalists for ongoing maple sugaring demonstrations in the sugar bush of Lancaster County Central Park (Pavilion 11). See trees being tapped, sap boiled to syrup, and candy made from syrup. Maple products will be on sale.

Drop in for a free self-guided visit (donations appreciated).
You can also register for an hour-long Naturalist-led tour for $2.00 per person.

Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay for the hour-long guided tours by noon on the Friday before each program. Online Registration is also available. Search for 'maple' to see the available dates/times.…/Activity_Search

You can also schedule your own guided group tour on weekdays from February 26 through March 9 or Saturday, March 3, 2018.
The program fees for groups based in Lancaster County are $42.00 an hour (public, non-profit group) or $75.00 an hour (private group). Call (717) 295-2055 for more information.

Google map for Pavilion 11.…/data=!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c6…

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Reptiles (All Ages)
Sunday, February 11 1:00 – 2:00 PM
At the Environmental Center

Join Naturalist Laura Tully in a hands-on learning experience about reptiles. We will learn about the characteristics of a reptile, fun facts about them, and we will even get to meet some real live reptiles! At the end, we will choose our favorite reptile and draw a picture to take home. This program is geared for children ages 5 – 8, but all are welcome. $3.00 per child and $1.00 per helper....

Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on Friday, February 9.
Online Registration…/Activity_Se…/reptiles/96

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Cabin Fever Hike (All Ages)
Sunday, February 11 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Meet at the Environmental Center

Bundle up and hit the trails to explore the winter woods. Join Naturalist Rachel Albright as we go on a winter walk scavenger hunt in Lancaster County Central Park, then return to the Environmental Center for hot cocoa! $2.00 per person.


Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on Friday, February 9.
Online Registration…/Act…/cabin-fever-hike/95

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What do Sea Shells have to do with the Sky? (Ages 8 and up)
Saturday, February 10 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
At the Environmental Center

Warm up from the cold and daydream about a sunny day on the beach with Naturalist Emily Broich as we learn about the basic chemistry of seawater. We will explore through a simple experiment what sea shells have to do with increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Based on our findings and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we will discuss ...ways we can show our oceans some love. $2.00 per person.

Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on Friday, February 9.
Online Registration…/what-do-sea-shells-h…/94

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Let’s Go Tracking (All Ages)
Saturday, February 10 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Meet in the Environmental Center Parking Lot

Join Naturalist Lisa J. Sanchez to go TRACKING. Follow in the footsteps of animals and learn about them from the signs they leave behind. Become familiar with locating and identifying tracks, scat and other clues indicating animals are active and surviving the winter. Please dress for the weather. $2.00 per person.


Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on the day preceding each program.
Online Registration…/Ac…/let-s-go-tracking/79

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Owls of Lancaster County (All Ages)
Thursday, February 8 10:00 – 11:00 AM or 6:30 – 7:30 PM
At the Environmental Center

Join Naturalist Lisa J. Sanchez for a look at the owls of Lancaster County. We will explore their life cycle, their sounds and their unique features. Participants will also have an opportunity to explore the contents of an owl pellet. $2.00 per person. Owl pellets are available for $3.50 each.


Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on Wednesday, February 7.
Online Registration AM…/owls-of-lancaster-co…/92
Online Registration PM…/owls-of-lancaster-co…/93

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Fun and Fascination … with rocks and fossils! (Ages 6 - 10)
Wednesdays: 10:00 – 11:00 AM
At the Environmental Center

February 7 – Fossils Smaller than a Penny ...
February 21 – Minerals
March 7 – Sugaring at Pavilion #11
March 21 – “Fire Rocks”
April 4 – Sedimentary Rocks
April 18 – Metamorphic Rocks

Children have an innate curiosity about rocks and fossils. Naturalist Mary Ann Schlegel taps into this as Fun and Fascination delves into the world of geology. Starting off with dinosaurs and fossils and working into minerals and rocks, children will explore and learn through hands-on activities and games. Note that we interrupt the geology series for a visit to our sugar shack (Pavilion #11) during maple sugaring season. Younger children with parents are welcome to attend if accompanying older siblings. $3.00 per child and $1.00 per accompanying adult.
Please register and pay at 717-295-2055 by noon on the Tuesday before each program.
Online Registration for Feb 7…/fun-and-fascination-…/68

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Groundhog Day Celebration (All Ages)
Saturday, February 3 3:00 – 4:00 PM
At the Environmental Center

The groundhog has its very own day! Let’s learn about the groundhog, its habits and the history of the day with Naturalist Brandon Pentz. We will celebrate Groundhog Day by reading a book, taking a walk to look for groundhogs and their signs, and by completing a craft. $2.00 per person....
Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on Friday, February 2.
Online Registration…/groundhog-day-celebr…/91

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Do it Your-self: Natural Household Cleaners (Ages 12 and up)
Monday, January 29 6:30 – 7:30 PM
At the Environmental Center
Long before grocery stores and aisles of commercial cleaning products, humans used natural items to clean and freshen their living spaces. This program discusses the benefits of quality all-natural ingredients and allows participants to experiment and create homemade products. Program Manager Tammy Agesen will help you make Lemongrass “multi-surface” dis...infectant spray, Wild Orange furniture/wood floor polish and will provide resources and additional “recipes” to try on your own. $5.00 per person. Free for County employees (employees must call to register)
Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on Friday, January 26.
Online Registration…/do-it-your-self-natu…/90

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Mammals! (Ages 4 and up)
Saturday, January 27 1:00 – 2:00 PM
At the Environmental Center
Naturalist Ann Strauss will provide an afternoon of games and fun for those who would like to learn more about furry critters - the mammals. The first part of the hour will be spent playing outside games that simulate mammal behaviors, and the second half will be inside where kids will have the opportunity to hold and examine mammal furs and skulls up close. $2.00 per person.


Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on Friday, January 26.
Online Registration…/Activity_Sea…/mammals/89

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Rat Dissection (Ages 10 and up)
Tuesday, February 13 7:00 – 8:30 PM (only 1 space left)
Thursday, February 22 7:00 – 8:30 PM (only 6 spaces left)
At the Environmental Center
Naturalist Ann Strauss will be leading the dissection of rats twice in the month of February. Each participant will receive their own rat to dissect. The program will start with an informative exploration of the external parts and the internal parts on PowerPoint. After gaining some direction, p...articipants will be lead through a complete internal dissection of the rat. Rats will be a minimum of 7-inches long. Participants must be 10 years or older and may be dropped off if emergency contact forms are completed. $12.00 per child and $1.00 per adult.
Call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on Friday, January 26.
Online Registration Feb 13…/Activ…/rat-dissection/99
Online Registration Feb 22…/Acti…/rat-dissection/100

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Feet, Furs and FUNction (All Ages)
Wednesday, January 24 10:00 – 11:00 AM or 6:30 – 7:30 PM
At the Environmental Center
Join Naturalist Lisa J. Sanchez for an exploration into the fur and feet of our local wildlife. We will learn about their important functions and how to identify each species up close and from a distance. $2.00 per person.


Please call (717) 295-2055 to register and pay by noon on Tuesday, January 23.
Online Registration is available
AM Program…/feet-furs-and-functi…/87
PM Program…/feet-furs-and-functi…/88

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Environmental Justice (All Ages)
Monday, January 22 7:00 – 8:00 PM
At the Environmental Center
Environmental justice embodies the principles that no community or population should be disproportionally exposed to adverse environmental impacts. Historically, minority and low-income Pennsylvanians have been forced to bear a disproportionate share of adverse environmental impacts. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PADEP) Office of En...vironmental Justice was established with the primary goal of increasing community environmental awareness and involvement in the decision-making process that affects their environment. John Brakeall will discuss the history of environmental justice in the nation and in Pennsylvania and steps the PADEP is taking to address environmental justice concerns. Free with donations accepted for our ongoing Environmental Education programs.

Call (717) 295-2055 to register by noon on Friday, January 19.

Online Registration is available…/environmental-justice/86

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Make and Take Coffee Mug Bird Feeder (Ages 5 and up)
Sunday, January 21 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
At the Environmental Center
Identify the birds feasting on the feeders in your backyard all winter long. Join Naturalist Rachel Albright in making a suet bird feeder buffet to attract more of these winter inhabitants to your backyard! Please BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug) to use for your craft! $4.00 per crafter and $1.00 per helper.
Call (717) 29...5-2055 to register and pay by noon on Friday, January 19.
Online Registration is available…/make-and-take-coffee…/85

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