Diakon Youth Services A Lutheran Family & Community Ministry

Diakon Youth Services

Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries

Other Diakon Youth Services

About Us

For more than a decade, the Diakon Wilderness Greenhouse has served as a pivotal component of the Diakon Wilderness Center, the location for several Diakon Youth Services programs instrumental in changing the lives of at-risk youths from many regions of Pennsylvania. 

Students are integral to greenhouse programs, learning horticultural and landscaping skills from seed to sale.

In 2015, the Diakon Wilderness Greenhouse embarked on a new venture—the establishment of a native perennial nursery. In the fall of 2014, Diakon staff began a conversation with Jan Getgood and Ernie Johnson, proprietors of the former Meadowood Native Plant Nursery in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania.

Meadowood had served the native plant and environmental communities for more than a decade, offering hundreds of varieties of Pennsylvania native plants for restoration and conservation projects, as well as urban rain gardens, meadow installations, pollinator gardens, and more. As Getgood and Johnson began planning their retirement, they were looking for a way for Meadowood’s mission of stewardship to continue. As a result, Diakon staff members moved nursery wagons, benches, irrigation supplies, a new cold frame and about 3,000 native perennials from Meadowood Nursery to kick-start our nursery operation.

The nursery provides a platform for our award-winning Center Point Day Treatment Program’s vocational training initiative, providing opportunities for skill-building in landscaping, horticulture and conservation.

In addition to supporting more resilient environments through our propagation program, our greenhouse is itself an innovative solution to pollution. Built in 2002, the greenhouse operates a kind of “living” machine, working in an eco-friendly way to create a low-impact wastewater-treatment system for the Diakon Wilderness Center campus, treating, cleansing, and recycling water through specialized greenhouse plantings.

For information on our many current activities, please visit and “like” our Wilderness Greenhouse Facebook page

We invite you to become a continuing customer of the Wilderness Greenhouse & Native Perennial Nursery at the Diakon Wilderness Center. Contact Kim Patten with questions or to discuss how you can support our mission.

See this link for directions.

Kim Patten

The Diakon Wilderness Greenhouse

Kim Patten joined the Diakon Wilderness Center team in 2014 to refocus and expand the program of the Wilderness Greenhouse. Under her direction, Diakon has begun a new native perennial wholesale and retail nursery, providing both a source of plants for restoration and conservation applications as well as plants for home gardeners looking to enrich and enhance their own landscapes.

Patten came to Diakon after having worked 15 years with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, where she served as an educator and naturalist; she also helped to develop programs around clean water issues.

Diakon Youth Services
571 Mountain Road, P.O. Box 10, Boiling Springs, PA 17007-0010
Phone: (717) 960-6700 | Fax: (717) 258-9408
E-mail: brodej@diakon.org | Home: www.diakon.org/youth

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