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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Horn Farm Center's Annual Appeal

Nov 29, 2021 11:45AM ● By Alexis Campbell
Dear Friend,

On the evening of October 25th, 2021, lightning struck the Horn Farm Center’s historic farmhouse, destroying the second and third floors. Fortunately, we were able to salvage our most important documents, photos, and items from the first floor. Thankfully, no one was injured during the event.

There is something innately powerful about fire. It can destroy and create in an instant. In a forest ecosystem, fire can be the clearing energy that builds soil for incredible growth. 

While this tragic event is unbelievably challenging and we are still grieving what was lost, we are choosing to accept that fire is a gift. We trust that this disruption will lead to extraordinary growth for the Horn Farm Center. 

Over the past two years the Horn Farm Center adopted new leadership, grew its staff, engaged over 160 volunteers, and launched its new signature Land Steward Training program. This year, we set out to plant 10,000 trees, and in October, we achieved that goal. It is from this foundation that we are reaching forward and planning our next steps.

In recent months, our board and staff have been working tirelessly on a new strategic plan, positioning the organization for greater capacity and broader impact – both on the land and in our community. In addition to addressing our immediate needs due to this crisis, we are preparing to do whatever it takes to usher this new and evolving vision into reality.

We have our work cut out for us. The farmhouse was the heart of our operations from which we have served the York community ever since the County entrusted us with the land in 2007.

We plan to rebuild as quickly and as sustainably as possible, but that rebuild will take time. Although we are fortunate to have insurance, our expenses will exceed any insurance funds we receive.

In addition to reimagining and rebuilding the farmhouse, we remain committed to carrying out our mission.

Next year we are expanding our Land Steward Training program by adding a new focus area and instructor. Furthermore, we are launching a new edible forest garden demonstration project, planting another four acres of riparian trees, and working with community partners such as the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership funded by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the York County Conservation District.  

We are eager to share our plans with you, there is much more to come.

In the days following the tragic fire, we experienced an incredible sense of renewal and community. Like family around the hearth, the people of our community are gathering around us, sharing warmth, stories, and dreams with one another.

Over the next year you will receive a number of invitations to be a part of our efforts to rebuild and grow. Today, we are asking that you join us in this pivotal moment, as we birth a new iteration of the farm into being.

If you are able, please donate to the Horn Farm Center, either by check or online at , where you can also find updated information about our fire recovery needs.

Some of you have responded to our calls for help and have already provided financial support. We are grateful for your commitment to our work. If you are unable to increase your donation at this time, please consider asking your friends and family to become champions of our mission.

We have a long road ahead of us, but we believe the future is bright. Together we persevere and thrive. 


Alexis Campbell
Executive Director