Berks County ROE Study


The Berks County Return on Environment Study demonstrates how open space is greatly contributing to the health of the local economy, as well as to a lower cost of living and improved quality of life for citizens. Highlights from the data collected in 2023 reflect the economic value derived from Berks County’s natural resources, watersheds, and land:

• $853 million annual cost savings benefits provided by nature
• $938 million annual outdoor recreation revenue
• $128 million annual savings due to healthy riparian areas
• $134 million annual savings in reduced healthcare costs

“Nature is essential to our quality of life. Protecting those special landscapes that define Berks County, helping farmers be more sustainable and restoring our watersheds and creating new places to recreate are all part of our mission,” says Andrew Fetterman, Vice President for Land and Conservation, Berks Nature.

Agriculture in Berks County brings in $555 million per year in retail sales and protects valuable open space. The County ranks third in the U.S. for farmland preservation with more than 80,000 acres preserved; is home to internationally recognized migration areas for birds and wildlife along the Kittatinny Ridge and South Mountain; and provides easy access to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area, French Creek State Park, Blue Marsh Lake Recreation Area, and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.

One of the challenges facing the County is the increasing demand for outdoor recreation, which is larger than the business capacity to meet it. The ROE Study can help policymakers understand how to best allocate capital to allow sustainable growth while maintaining critical aspects of the environment to ensure the continued well-being of people and businesses located here.


Click the links below to see how Berks County’s natural assets are essential to our everyday life:



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