Collaborate. Ally. Share. Cooperate. Assist. Aid. Befriend.
We believe nature is essential to our quality of life.
This is demonstrated every day through projects that protect nature, and connect people to nature.
Protecting Nature (Land & Water)
Berks Nature works with landowners to permanently protect land (woodland, farmland, open space) from development. To date, we’ve protected over 8,000 acres through the use of conservation easements and through outright ownership of nature preserves. Proper management of the land is also important. Our team has the expertise to advise landowners on management decisions, and quite often we help them implement best management practices.
90% of Berks County drains to the Schuylkill River Watershed which is part of the larger Delaware River Basin. What we do on our land matters to 15 million people that rely on drinking water supplies in the Delaware River Basin, including 200,000+ of us right here in Berks County! There are four key stressors that have a significant impact on the health of our watersheds: Loss of forested headwaters, agricultural run-off, polluted stormwater, and aquifer depletion. There is a collection of partners working hard to improve these stressors. The partnership is a part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative. You might think, Delaware River – why does that matter to Berks County, PA? Remember, we are part of the Schuylkill River Watershed, which is part of the larger Delaware River Basin. It is all connected, the water, plants, soil, animals, people and buildings are all part of the same landscape and watershed.
Berks Nature’s water protection projects focus on the installation of best management practices (BMPs) on properties (primarily farms). These BMPs directly improve the quality of the water on the property, and ultimately our drinking water supplies. BMPs can include something as simple as planting trees or installing rain gutters, to larger scale project such as constructing manure storage facilities.
Connecting People to Nature
Everyone deserves the opportunity to connect with nature. Berks Nature manages a variety of programs that enable this in many ways:
- Greater Reading Trails Partnership – We manage 27+ miles of trails that all connect to the main Schuylkill River Trail. This large partnership is aimed at improving accessibility and safety of all trails, while raising awareness of our unique trail systems. Recently, the GRT Partnership was instrumental in Greater Reading being named as an International Mountain Biking Association Bronze Level Ride Destination – one of 37 worldwide!
- The Nature Place! The Nature Place will be a regional destination for those who wish to learn and connect to nature through exploration, education, inspiration, and conservation. This new education facility will open to the public in September 2017! Be sure to plan a day to come visit us at The Nature Place.
- Educational Offerings – Berks Nature provides activities and learning experiences for families, teachers, adult learners, youth campers, landowners and volunteers. Programs such as Eco-Camp, Connect with Nature field trips, Berks Nature Ambassadors, Urban Community Gardens, and the popular GLOBE teacher training program continue to gain in popularity and engage thousands of people annually.
Kittatinny Project Lead Organizations
State and Federal Partners
BERKS COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
CARBON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
CUMBERLAND COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
FULTON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
FRANKLIN COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
LEBANON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
LEHIGH VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION
MONROE COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
SCHUYLKILL COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
TRI-COUNTY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION (Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry)
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA CONSERVANCY
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP
HAWK MOUNTAIN SANCTUARY
LEBANON VALLEY CONSERVANCY
LEHIGH GAP NATURE CENTER
NATURAL LANDS TRUST
POCONO HERITAGE LAND TRUST
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
Appalachian Trail Clubs and Audubon Chapters
Allentown Hiking Club
Bake Oven Knob Road to Tri County Corner
Appalachian Mountain Club – Delaware Valley Chapter
From Wind Gap at PA 33 to Little Gap near Danielsville, PA
Batona Hiking Club
Fox Gap at PA 191 to Wind Gap at PA 3
Cumberland Valley Appalachian Club
Darlington Trail on Blue Mountain to Center Point Knob
Keystone Trails Association
Little Gap to Lehigh Furnace Gap (Ashfield Road)
Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club
Lehigh Furnace Gap to Bake Oven Knob Road, AND Tri-County Corner to Rausch Gap Side Trail
Susquehanna Trail Club
Rausch Gap Side Trail to PA 225 north of Harrisburg
York Hiking Club
PA 225 to Susquehanna River
Mountain Club of Maryland
Susquehanna River to Darlington/Tuscarora trail and Center Point Knob to Pine Grove Furnace State Park (PA 233)
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
233 South of Pine Grove Furnace State Park in PA to Rockfish Gap in VA
Wilmington Trail Club
Delaware River at the NJ/PA border to Fox Gap at PA 191