Teeing Up

Rex Trent moved to Garden Spot Village with his wife Carol in 2017. On Mondays, he can be found at Fox Chase Golf Course with other residents in the Golf micro-community. While they’re playing, they take the game seriously, always trying to surpass their personal best. However, these golfers don’t take the game too seriously, and welcome new members as most of the group golfs with a high handicap.


Featured Micro-Communities

Discover the heart of Garden Spot through involvement in micro-communities. Formed around a common passion, talent or experience, resident-inspired and led micro-communities connect people and build the unique culture of Garden Spot Village.

Learn About More Micro-Communities at GSV

The Archives Room at Garden Spot Village stores the memories and history of Garden Spot in a way that guarantees that those moments can be preserved and accessed for years to come.

A team of residents manages the documents, which includes veterans’ records, retired nurses’ records and life stories. Articles, photography, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes and more capture history as it is made at Garden Spot Village.

Located in the ground floor of Gardens West, the Archive Room has volumes of history. Information can be quickly referenced through the card catalog as well as a listing in a binder or a computer program. The room is available by appointment for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of Garden Spot and the people who live here.

The Art Guild exists to raise the appreciation of visual arts throughout the Garden Spot Village community. The Art Guild accomplishes this in a variety of ways including monthly art displays in Main Street Art Gallery, lectures, demonstrations and field trips, a full day of events on Inspire Your Heart with Art Day and more.
An art studio on the ground floor of the Garden Apartments offers a space for artists to work in community.

Artists explore watercolor and acrylic painting, pottery, sketching, photography, stained glass, sculpture, woodcarving and turning, paper cutting, collage and card making in community.
Beginning and experienced artists work together and share skills with each other to elevate art within our community.

Since 2016, the Garden Spot Village Bee Keepers have been nurturing colonies of bees on the Garden Spot Village campus. The group tends the bees throughout the spring and summer. Depending on the health of the hives, they may collect honey in the fall.

Members bring a variety of experience. Some of the members were bee keepers in the past while others learned to care for bees since moving to Garden Spot Village. Every member is provided the opportunity to learn and care for the bees as their schedule allows.

When honey is collected, each bee keeper receives a portion; excess honey may be available for sale in Linden.

The Garden Spot Village Brass Ensemble includes a variety of resident musicians who play trumpet, baritone, trombone, and French horn. Everyone comes with a different level of playing experience—some played professionally, others taught and others are relearning their high school instrument. They all, however, enjoy playing together, in community.

They play for a variety of community events including the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, the 4th of July and more.

Sometimes the transition to a new home can feel overwhelming. A faithful friend can make all the difference, regardless of your stage of life—someone who calls to make sure you are OK, someone who stops in just to say hi or spend time with you. At Garden Spot Village, Caring Connections helps to connect people who may benefit from having a faithful friend with people who want to be a faithful friend.

These relationships create a unique community in which everyone feels valued. With the support of a network of nearly 40 volunteers who desire to make a difference in someone else’s life, Caring Connections coordinators Ruthann Ware and Marsha Dawson facilitate relationships built around weekly visits.

The Community Church at Garden Spot Village is a multidenominational church with regular leadership by Garden Spot Village chaplains and significant leadership and participation by Garden Spot Village residents.

Members of The Community Church have hosted Vacation Bible School for children in the New Holland community and supported local outreach initiatives. They warmly welcome people who live in New Holland as well as future residents who choose to attend and become part of the church family before moving to Garden Spot.

Drawing from a number of protestant traditions, the church offers a theological statement of core values, core beliefs and adult baptism.

The congregation gives generously to missions and supports members who choose to serve on short-term mission assignments. Following the format of a traditional church service, the congregation meets on Sundays at 10am in the Garden Spot Village Chapel, averaging between 185 and 200 attendees.

The Computer Users Group includes a mix of individuals ranging from retired information technology professionals to people who simply want to know how to better use their devices and those who are just curious about computers.

A monthly meeting provides an informal setting where people can come and talk about computers. Presentations are tailored to the interests of the attendees, which keeps people returning to connect and learn each month.

Well over 100 gardeners tend the 66 garden plots at Garden Spot Village. They fill their gardens with vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, lettuce and peppers as well as wildflowers and perennials. Throughout the growing season, the gardeners enjoy daily interaction with fellow gardening enthusiasts at the garden plots.

Garden Spot Village Campus Services prepares the ground each spring and divides the gardens into plots. In the fall, Campus Services covers the fresh ground with leaves, which compost into the soil and provide rich nutrients for the next year’s growing season.

While playing, the golfers take the game seriously, always trying to surpass their personal best. However, these golfers don’t take the game too seriously, and welcome new members as most of the group golfs with a high handicap.

The reasons each of them golfs is different. Some do it for their physical fitness. For others, the game is played to enjoy the outdoors. Everyone agrees that the benefit of their overall wellness through fellowship with others is the primary reason they continue to meet at the golf course every Monday.

Garden Spot Village Ringers meet and rehearse September through June. They perform throughout the year at resident events and for the public, sometimes accompanied by pianists and flutists.

Musicians of all skill levels are welcome. While being able to read music helps, it is not crucial because the notes are color-coded to match the bells.

At the Garden Spot Village library, laughter and conversation are welcome! The small tables scattered throughout the room offer a great spot to meet, a popular place to play card games and a space to create community.

Readers can find a wide selection of fiction, nonfiction, history, biographies, mysteries and more. Audiobooks and large-print books add diversity to the library’s offerings. Residents and team members also appreciate the set of computers as well as the document magnifier.

A team of more than 20 volunteers keeps the Garden Spot Village library running smoothly. Each volunteer accepts a different responsibility. Each day of the week a different volunteer shelves the books; other volunteers “read the shelves” to make sure books are in order, process the books (book pocket and card, spine designation), and enter books into the library’s database to create a card catalog.

The library accepts donations of books from residents and team members. Volunteers sort the donations to determine which books will work in the library, which can be sold to raise funds to purchase new books and which can be donated to the Mountain View library or to local booksellers such as Mennonite Central Committee’s Booksavers.

The Garden Spot Village Metal Crafters was founded in 2017 after a small group of toolmakers and machinists worked together to establish a metal shop on campus.

The group started with just five members who had a passion for metalworking. The Metal Crafters provides a great way to connect with others, whether it is with those who share a similar passion or through intergenerational relationships through after school programs with New Holland Elementary.

Designated members train others on specific machines, making it a welcoming environment for everyone whether you are a beginner or would like to learn new skills.

The Garden Spot Village Quilters create community through quilting! On Wednesday mornings, a group of hand quilters meets. The items they quilt are sold and the proceeds are donated to the Garden Spot Village Benevolent Fund. The quilters also meet occasionally to complete a group project. These projects include donations to Quilts of Valor and other non-profit organizations.

The Quilters also invite the community to join them to knot comforters for Mennonite Central Committee and to enjoy sewing days.

In addition, the Quilters host the Airing of the Quilts every other year. This popular event draws many people to the Garden Spot Village campus to see hundreds of quilts on display.

The Apartment Council and Resident Council offer a forum where residents can interact regularly with Garden Spot administration. The twelve-member councils meets twice a month and include smaller committees that work on specific projects. Any resident may serve on the councils; they simply need to live at Garden Spot for one year before serving and they must agree to serve for three years.

The councils shares areas of concern with Garden Spot administration, including questions about upgrades, fire code requirements and other issues that affect the general community. Members serve as the liaison between residents and administration.
Both councils participate in the Pennsylvania Alliance of Retirement Community Residents (PARCR), an organization of residents who live in not-for-profit retirement communities and are involved in the governance of their communities.

One of the best kept secrets in eastern Lancaster County is the Share & Care Thrift Store on the lower level of the Village Square. Filled to the brim with gently used furniture, housewares, jewelry and home décor, Share & Care offers a win-win-win at Garden Spot Village. Residents and future residents donate unneeded, lightly used items, giving them new life and keeping them out of the landfill. Shoppers from Garden Spot Village and around Lancaster County find great prices on quality merchandise and all proceeds benefit the Benevolent Fund. In 2022, Share & Care donated more than $94,000 to the Benevolent Fund, which benefits residents who for reasons beyond their control have exhausted their financial resources.

Learn more about Share & Care here!

Individuals at Garden Spot have been quietly working behind the scenes for years to care for our environment. Ed and Darlene Smith, Garden Spot Village residents since August 2014, set up waste Styrofoam drop-off locations around campus and they deliver the Styrofoam to Dart Container in Leola every few weeks. Fran Rapp, a retired elementary school teacher and Garden Spot Village resident since August 2011, and Barry Block, a Garden Spot Village resident since June 2010, enjoy educating people about the importance of recycling. They have helped to coordinate learning journeys for staff and residents to Lancaster County’s state-of-the-art Waste-to-Energy Facility.

Recognizing the many ways Garden Spot Village residents and staff were already making energy-efficient choices, on Earth Day 2019 Garden Spot Village established SUSTAIN: Building a Better Life for Everyone. The initial goal was to quantify and strengthen already established environmental initiatives. As a micro-community, SUSTAIN connects residents and staff who share an interest in caring for the environment, making energy-efficient choices and educating the broader community, to work together and build on the good that’s already being done.

More than 20 residents, with a wide range of skillsets including backgrounds in architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering, computer software programming, home building and more, work together to plan, construct and maintain two model train layouts in a 1,837 square foot space.

They work together with a common goal to modify and enhance an engaging display for residents and the broader New Holland community.
They host Open Houses on select Saturdays throughout the year and between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Many people look forward to retiring so they can spend more time traveling and volunteering. At Garden Spot Village, Travel with Purpose trips allow you to do both!

Once a year Garden Spot coordinates a Travel with Purpose trip, with a regional or international destination. Past trips have supported Missions of Hope International based in Kenya as well as CURE International, a network of hospitals that offer life-changing surgeries for children who cannot walk or who have other physical disabilities. Teams of Garden Spot Village staff and residents have traveled to serve in hospitals in the Dominican Republic and Kenya.

Domestically, Garden Spot Village Travel with Purpose trips included destinations like New York City, where residents assisted the New York School of Urban Missions and Tarboro, North Carolina, where residents assisted with rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

Singing together has always been an important part of Garden Spot Village. Since the beginning of the community in 1996, residents have gathered to celebrate and worship through song. In 2001 a choir was officially started and named the Village Voices.

A group of more than 60 residents gathers on Friday mornings to rehearse. Village Voices performs throughout the year, offering worshipful music for Good Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas services. They also provide patriotic selections for Veteran’s Day. Their annual concerts in December and one or two concerts in the spring offers a well-rounded selection of sacred and secular music.

Between the beginning of February and the beginning of April, hundreds of people file into the Garden South Conference Room with their tax documents. Completing a tax return can be unsettling and a little overwhelming, but a team of resident volunteers make filing a tax return as quick and as painless as possible.

The team provides free tax return preparation through the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, supported locally through United Way of Lancaster. This national program is available to anyone who earns less than $62,000 per year.
United Way of Lancaster County supports 17 VITA locations around the county including Garden Spot Village. Garden Spot volunteers began offering tax assistance through VITA in 2003.

People travel from Gap, Intercourse and the City of Lancaster, even though they have options closer to their homes, because they appreciate the volunteers and atmosphere at Garden Spot Village.

The world looks at the pollution going into the Chesapeake Bay and sees Lancaster County as one of the major contributors. The Garden Spot Village Water Quality Group supports the Water Quality Volunteer Coalition, a program of the Lancaster County Conservation District. Each month, members sample water from points along nearby Mill Creek, test the water in a lab at Garden Spot Village and submit the data to an online website.

The group tests for pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates, alkalinity, total dissolved solids, conductivity and ammonia. In addition, twice a year, members of the group catch in a net, identify and release benthic (stream bottom) macro-invertebrates in order to assess the biological health of Mill Creek. The data collected helps the Lancaster County Conservation District determine whether or not the health of local creeks and rivers, which feed into the Susquehanna River, which then feeds into the Chesapeake Bay, is improving.

Founded in 1996, the Wood Shop includes more than 80 members, with experience ranging from beginners to master craftsmen.

Members share a wide variety of skills; more experienced crafters often mentor beginners. Members host a spring tool sale and make a variety of products, some of which are sold in The Artisans Corner.

Membership offers many intergenerational opportunity through Grands & Kids Camp and after school programs with New Holland Elementary.

The 4,625 square foot Wood Shop includes 150 woodworking machines, of which 18 are major machines. The space provides a great environment for anyone to learn, connect and create.

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