We are Volunteers...
Neighbors and civic-minded business people giving time to improve all aspects of Musser Park.
We are Inclusive...
Determined to create a public green space accessible to people of all ages, incomes and cultures.
We are Caretakers...
Mindful of past design and intentions. Working to restore Musser Park to its former, garden-like grandeur.
We are Protectors...
Organizing the neighborhood to supplement the City's maintenance efforts and ensure Musser Park's safety and beauty.
WHO WE ARE
WHAT WE DO
The Musser Park Civic Association acts as stewards of the park, raising funds that go directly towards a variety of park initiatives, including:
Park upgrades - new benches, planters, and other features to keep the park a safe and welcome place for visitors.
Maintenance projects - funding upgrades to extend the life of the park, such as wall improvement projects.
Events - We plan and run the annual old Fashioned 4th of July festival, facilitate STEM camps for kids in the park, and more!
History of Musser Park and the civic association
The Beginnings of Musser Park
In the early 20th century, the city of Lancaster was one of the most densely compacted cities in the county, with very little open green space. Harry Musser, a wealthy owner of a factory that produced umbrella handles at a time when Lancaster was one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of umbrellas, had been enchanted by the grand public parks he’d seen in his travels across Europe. At his behest, after his death, funds from his estate were allocated for the creation of a public park on the former estate of an iron industrialist. The former Grubb mansion still stands today, now the Lancaster Museum of Art. Creation of the park began at the end of World War II, and the park was dedicated on the Fourth of July 1952, beginning a long-standing tradition of community celebrations in the park on that day.
Founding of the Musser Park Civic Association
The early 80s saw a group of neighbors come together with the intent of improving the conditions in Musser Park. A civic-minded bunch of young families, many with young children who were playmates, recognized a need for the citizens of the neighborhood to act as stewards to Harry Musser’s original dream for a safe green space for the neighborhood to enjoy. Original missions including updating playground equipment, groundskeeping and tree trimming, the planting of flowers, and encouraging dog owners to pick up after their pets. Then as now they recognized there were limits to what the city itself could accomplish, and that a park, like any living thing, requires love and nurturing to allow it to grow and flourish. This early neighborhood association also encouraged the sprouting up of others within the city as well, and today the Musser Park neighborhood remains a close knit group of people who take great pride in keeping “The Green Heart of Lancaster”, as it came to be known, the crowning jewel of the Lancaster City parks .
Major renovations spearheaded by the MPCA in the late 80s and early 2000s built upon the landscape architects' original plans for the park, bringing such things as better lighting, more benches, the scenic overlook behind the museum portico, chess tables, trash receptacles, a safer playground, and of course, the green life that is the essence of this space- more flowers and new tree saplings. Today we owe a debt of gratitude to the Department of Parks and Recreation for the wonderful job they do caring for this special place as if it were their own, maintaining that which has been here since the beginning, as well as making little improvements all the time.