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Berks County > Berks Training Site > Backup of Old Sites > Parks and Recreation-old
 
 More programs and details coming soon!

We offer a series of programs and workshops starting in February through December. These programs are free unless otherwise indicated.  For more information,or to register for a workshop, please call the Berks County Heritage Center at 610-374-8839
 
 
 
Saturday, April 5th
March Madness Migration - FULL
7:00 p.m.
Angora Fruit Farm
Berks County Angora Fruit Farm boasts many species of frogs, toads, and salamanders which live or breed in the parks diverse aquatic and wetland habitats. Join us as we don our boots and headlamps in hopes of witnessing the natural phenomenon of their migration into the vernal pools and ponds in which they lay their eggs. Hope for rain and dress appropriately. Bring your flashlights! A short program on the identification and life cycle of local amphibians will be given prior to the hike.   Registration Required.
Contact Jennifer A. Brooks, Environmental Educator to register: 610.374.8839        jbrooks@countyofberks.com
 
 

Saturday, April 19th

Non Competitive-Eco Egg Hunt

11:00 a.m.

       Angora Fruit Farm

Join Environmental Educator, Jennifer Brooks, and partake in an egg hunt adventure like no other!  This non-traditional, non-competitive egg hunt will delight children and parents alike!  Children will venture into the forest to hunt for and collect different types of decorated eggs that resemble hawks, owls, and other native birds hidden amongst the trees and leaves in the beautiful forest at Angora Fruit Farms.  We will learn about native nesting birds, and their eggs prior to the hunt!  After children return with their eggs and match them to the correct nest, a prize will be given to all so that everyone leaves with great big smile!Fee: 
$5 per child, adults FREE! Pre-registration is required. Space is limited!
Contact Jennifer at 610-374-8839 to register.     For children ages 3-10
 
 
 

Saturday, April 19th

Wildflower Walk

1:00 p.m.

     Antietam Lake Park

Dr. Susan Munch Albright college professor and botanist will lead us on a hike to look at the many wildflowers on the trails at Antietam Lake. Wear your good walking shows and join us on this educational and leisurely hike.  Please meet in the parking lot along Angora Road.   Please wear good walking shoes as the trails are not even terrain. 

 
 
 
 

Saturday, April 26th

Paws on the Path
10:00 a.m.

     Antietam Lake Park

Dogs need to get exercise just as much as we do.  Join park staff as they lead a hike designed for you and your dogs. Hike will be about 1 hour and cover some of the easier and scenic trails at Antietam Lake Park.  Dogs must be good around other dogs, and be on a leash.  Please bring along water and a bowl for your dog as well.

Fee:  As a fee we are requesting that you bring along  something from the following list as a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.  Dog or cat food, washcloths, towels, blankets, and kitty litter.  

 

  

 

Sunday, May 4th

Taverns and Trade: 19th Century Taverns, Inns & General Stores
2:00  p.m.
During the 19th century a variety of places were used for overnight accommodation, public gatherings, and family celebrations.  Some of these taverns also served as the general store for the local community.  What would they be like?  Who owned them and who stayed in them?  Join historian Marcia Houston as we look locally at the many Gibraltar area taverns and general stores including Miller’s Tavern, Thomas Hesser’s Tavern, Thompson’s Store and Washington Kissinger’s hotel and store.       

  
 
Sunday, May 4th
Hiking Trails of Berks County
2:00 p.m.

There are many trails in Berks County waiting to be explored.  Join park staff member Becky Hughes as she tells you about hiking trails in Berks County.  Learn which trails are best for biking, hiking, dog walking, or exploring history and nature.  Also, learn about some of the essential items that every hiker should take with them when heading out for a hike, walk, or bike ride.

 

 

  

 

Thursday, May 8th
Hyper Tufa Pot Workshop
5:30 p.m.

Make your own flower pot with this neat artificial stone material with Master Gardener Elaine Meinhart. Cost: $5 (includes gloves). 

Registration and pre-payment (payable to instructor) required by May 2.

Class limited to 10 adults.

 
 

 

Friday, May 9th

Watchin' Wildlife from the Water
2:00 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake 

Birds, fish and frogs or maybe turtles on logs.  You never know just what we’ll meet but it’s sure to be a relaxing treat!  We will launch our kayaks or canoes at the Peacock Road Access and wind our way down the creek to a serene area of the Lake where we will paddle around a secluded cove observing the many sights of Spring.  Water safety and local history will be discussed before we launch.  Bring your own life jacket and boat and don’t forget your binoculars!  For all levels of paddlers, limited to 20 boaters. 
Free program, registration required by May 2nd to 610-376-6337.
  
 
Saturday, May 10th
Sewing Circle
10:00 a.m.

An old-fashioned sewing circle offered the opportunity for new and experienced stitchers of all crafts to gather and exchange skills and camaraderie.  In our era of technology, it is fun to take a step back and renew these opportunities.  Each person should bring a project of their own to work on, whether it’s sewing, embroidery, quilting, knitting, crocheting etc.

 

 

Sunday, May 18th
Melcher's Grist Mill Open House
1-5:00 p.m..

Join our volunteers to learn about the operation and unique story of the Melcher Grist Mill, built by Nicklos Melcher in 1888.

 

 

 

Saturday, May 24th
Berks History Hike on the Towpath
9:00 a.m.

Join us for a Saturday morning walk along the Union Canal Towpath.  Learn a little about the history of this trail, and the surrounding area.  Please make sure to wear sturdy walking shoes, and bring along water if you like.  Hike will be about 2 miles and will take about 1 hour.  Meet at the Berks County Heritage Center – stone house.

 

 

 

 
Sunday, May 25th                                                                                   

A May Afternoon at Historic Ridgewood Farm

2:00 p.m.
Ridgewood

Come and learn about the long, spooky, and fascinating history of this beautiful and historic farmstead.  First settled in the mid 1730s by Welsh Quaker James Lewis, and acquired in 1800 by Jacob Dick and his wife Susannah, who built the magnificent Federal house and barn, the past, present, and bright future as the “Moonlight Winery” will be discussed by historian Sue Speros, and the new proprietors William and Tracy Smith, who will discuss their experience producing award winning wines.

 

 
Saturday, May 31st
Container Dish Workshop
10:30 a.m.
Join PA Heartland Herb Society member Elaine Meinhart in planting your very own “snippable” herbs! 3-5 herbs, soil and containers will be provided. Recipes and tasty snack using the herbs you plan will also be shared. Suitable for adults and children.

Cost: $10/container. Registration and pre-payment (payable to instructor) required by May 24.

 
Saturday, May 31st

A May Afternoon at Historic Ridgewood Farm

12-4:00 p.m.
Kernsville Dam Rec. Area-Monument Parking Lot-Hamburg

Would you like to go on a camping trip, but aren't sure how? Cabela’s will help you get started – no experience necessary!  Learn what gear is essential, how to set up a tent, discover places to go camping, and some campfire cooking techniques & tasting- YUM!  Try out fun activities like archery, birding, geocaching, casting skills and more!  Discover outdoor recreation adventures like orienteering, paddling, mt. biking, star-watching, and places to go hiking.  Refreshments available. 

Free event for all ages! 

 Presented by Cabela’s, Blue Mountain Wildlife Inc., and Berks County Parks & Recreation Dept.           

Rain Date: Sunday, June 1

 

 

 
 

 

Sunday, June 1st

Beidler Old Home Day
12:00-5:00  p.m.
 The Beidler family occupied the site from 1760 to 1840. Work was hard and demanding running a saw mill, grist mill and prosperous farm. See what daily life was like so long ago through various activities and programs including the grist mill and canal neighborhood, 18th century dance, music and food ways, and quilt and historic clothing displays.

 

 

 

Saturday, June 7th

National Trails Day-Scavenger Hunt
1-4:00 p.m.

       Union Canal Connector Trail-park at Swiftwater Lane 

Celebrate National Trails Day on bike or foot, by collecting clues along the Union Canal Connector Trail from 1-4pm.  Scavenger Hunt maps will be available at the Swiftwater Lane parking area, along with area trail maps.  Bring binoculars, a small notebook and water for this fun, all ages activity.  If you like to geocache, there are caches in the area so bring your GPS.  Free program presented by Blue Marsh Lake and Berks County Parks & Recreation.
 
  

Sunday, June 8th

Hearth Basket -Workshop 
12:00-4:00  p.m.
Make this sturdy basket to hold wood and kindling by your hearth, or use it as a magazine holder and handy catch all.  Please bring 10 spring clothespins, old scissors, bucket, towel, flat head screw driver and measuring tape. 
Cost: $30.  Registration with payment (to instructor) deadline is June 2.
 
 
  
Thursday, June 12th
40+ Beginners EZ Yoga
6:30-7:30 p.m.
“40+ Yoga Walk”  “Standing Mountain,” “The Thunderbolt,” and “Stargazer” are just some of the simple and easy poses that “Porcupine Pat” McKinney of the Schuylkill Conservation District guides you in as we walk along the Tulpehocken Creek to enjoy this thousands of years old practice and to enjoy nature.  “Porcupine Pat” has been practicing yoga for close to 40 years and adds that no experience is necessary.  Dress in casual and comfortable clothing and shoes.  Recommended for ages 40+. 
 
 
 
Saturday, June 14th
Sewing Circle
10:00 a.m.
An old-fashioned sewing circle offered the opportunity for new and experienced stitchers of all crafts to gather and exchange skills and camaraderie.  In our era of technology, it is fun to take a step back and renew these opportunities.  Each person should bring a project of their own to work on, whether it’s sewing, embroidery, quilting, knitting, crocheting etc. 

 

 

Saturday, June 14th

Get Outdoors Day
11 am -4:00 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake-Dry Brooks Day Use Area 

Join the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and 40 plus organizations for a day of outdoor fun in the sun.  You can try your luck at catching a catfish in the fish pond, learn how to fly fish, get your face painted, and visit numerous displays and presentations.  Learn about the many recreation opportunities in the area, and how to stay safe when on land or in the water.  There will also be a scavenger hunt that you can complete that will be entered into prize drawings; and fun activities for all ages. 

Admission to the park is free that day.

 
 
Sunday, June 15th
This History & Stories of Mt. Penn & Neversink Mountains
2:00 p.m..

This afternoon, two local mountain historians and authors will present illustrated lectures. Corrie Crupi, Chairman of Pagoda Skyline, Inc. will share rare and unusual slides of the Pagoda, tower Hotel and Gravity Railroad. Following her program, Paul A. Druzba, author of the book “Neversink: Reading’s Other Mountain”, will present photos and information not previously available on the history of Neversink during its “resort” period from 1880-1930, as well as information on the Neversink Mountain Railroad, the world’s first water-powered electric railroad.

 

 

 

Friday, June 20th

Canoe or Kayak the Creek
3:00 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake-Stilling Basin 

Bring your own kayak or canoe and join us as we meander our way along the Tulpehocken Creek from the Stilling Basin to the Berks Leisure Area.  Water safety, local history and features of the creek will be covered before we launch. Participants must provide their own boat, life jacket and transportation. 

Event limited to 20 people.  (Previous paddling experience suggested) 

Cost: $5.00 for ACA event insurance. 

Pre-registration required to 610-374-2944 by June 16.

 

 

Saturday, June 21st
Spring Birdwalk
2:00 p.m..

Enjoy the full beauty of the spring season with naturalist Katrina Knight from the Baird Ornithological Club. Beginners are welcome!  Be sure to wear good walking shoes and bring binoculars to spot spring warblers and other beautiful birds of spring.  

 

 
 
Sunday, June 22nd
Fly Fishing Anyone?
2:00 p.m..
Join members of the Berks Fly Tyers Club to try your hand at casting a fly rod and learn all about this fun and relaxing past time. Equipment and information on tying flies will be available, as well as a great group of friendly experts to help you! Fun for the whole family! 
 
 
 
Tuesday, June 24th
"Capture the Moment" Digital Photography for Tweens & Teens
6:30-8:00 p.m..
Bring your electronic device (I-pod, Pad, Cell or Smartphone) and explore the park with us, learning how to shoot great photos outdoors.  The evening will start with a brief slide presentation on what to look for when taking pictures; then professional photographer & instructor, Valerie Hoffman will lead us on an exploratory walk around the grounds of the park capturing great moments in nature.  Learn fun things you can do with your images after the walk, and share them online in our Facebook “Capture the Moment” Photo Contest. 
 Free program, just for tweens and teens.(Rain Date: Thursday, June 26)
 
 

Friday, June 27th

Paddle Boarding for Beginners
5-8:00 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake-Church Rd Parking Area 

Come out to Blue Marsh Lake and enjoy one of the fastest growing water sports in the world: Paddle boarding.  Trained professionals from 3-D Outdoor Rentals will teach participants the basics of paddle boarding; such as how to maintain your balance while standing on the board and how to properly and efficiently use the paddles to move.  No experience required.  A safe and fun workshop for the whole family! 

Program size is limited to 25 people, and split into four sessions: 5:00, 5:45, 6:30 or 7:15 pm.

Registration required and pre-payment required by June 23rd; call 610-374-2944 to sign-up.

 

 

 

Saturday, June 28th

A Walk through the Naomi, Seyfert and Gibraltar Neighborhood 
10:00 a.m.
The greater Gibraltar neighborhood, with the nearby villages of Naomi and Seyfert, has been a focus of this historical interpretive series.  Now see for yourselves the “sights”, such as the “site” of the “Dick Boatyard”, and other 19th century Canal landmarks like the “Naomi Hotel”, a blacksmith shop, and the Allegheny Aqueduct.  The new owners of the “Naomi Hotel” will be on hand to show off this venerable log structure and historical documents relating to it and the canal. 
 
 
 

Saturday, June 28th

The Art of Compass and Map Reading

10:00 a.m.

      Gring's Mill-Barn

Orienteering is a map navigating adventure for all ages- no experience needed!  Join members of the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association to discover more about the sport of orienteering.  Receive instruction on the basics of compass use and reading topographic maps, and run a beginner’s level orienteering course.  Come out to enjoy a fun filled day and experience the great outdoors!

 

 

 
Sunday, June 29th 
Rocking Chair Talk: Canals from a Woman's Point of View
2:00 p.m.

Two of our volunteers and canal historians, Nancy Bossler and Vernie Noecker will rock and talk about what was going on as it was being built by German and Irish laborers in the early days of the Union Canal. What were the women and families experiencing and how the German and Irish immigrants interacted in completing this “Golden Link”.

 
  
 

Friday, July 11th

Paddle & Pedal along the Tulpehocken
4:00 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake-Stilling Basin 

Can’t decide how best to experience the Tulpehocken Creek’s natural scenic beauty this summer? Join 3D Outdoor Rental and Parks staff for a double dose of outdoor recreational fun as we kayak down the creek and then bike along the trail. Starting at the Blue Marsh Lake Stilling Basin, we will paddle the creek to the county’s iconic Red Bridge. After we pull out by the picnic area, we’ll take a break for an energizing snack and a tour of the C. Howard Hiester Canal Museum.  Then we’ll hop on our bikes and pedal back to the Stilling Basin via the Union Canal Towpath Trail to return to our starting point, approximately 8 miles round-trip.
The trip is for people with paddling experience, and limited to 20 boaters. Kayaks and bikes can be reserved through 3D Outdoor Rental, or you can bring your own.  Cost: $40, which includes kayak and bike rental from 3D Outdoor Rental and ACA insurance.  Life jackets, bike helmets and ACA insurance required. 

Cost: $40 - Pre-registration with payment required to 3D Outdoor Rental, 610-488-1900 by July 7th.

Call 610-374-2944 for more information.

Raindate-Friday, July 18th

 

 

Saturday, July 12th 
Sewing Circle
10:00  a.m.
An old-fashioned sewing circle offered the opportunity for new and experienced stitchers of all crafts to gather and exchange skills and camaraderie.  In our era of technology, it is fun to take a step back and renew these opportunities.  Each person should bring a project of their own to work on, whether it’s sewing, embroidery, quilting, knitting, crocheting etc. 

 

 

 

Saturday, July 12th 
Lavendar and Topiary Workshop
10:30 a.m.
In today's program, led by PA Heartland Herb Society member Barbara Mills, you will experience the scents, taste, and uses of lavender. The hands-on portion will have you creating a lavender sachet and a small decorative topiary of rosebuds in a clay pot, utilitzing lavender potpourri and cinnamon stick. Lavender flaxseed tea and cookies will be served..
Cost: $10. Registration and pre-payment (payable to instructor) required by July 5th.
  
 
 
Sunday, July 13th 
Wild & Native Plants used by Native Americans
2:00 p.m.

Dave “Big Owl” McSurdy, educator and consultant for “Native American Experiences” will be on-hand to share local herbs and native plants that were used by the Lenni Lenape of this region for medicine and food. He will identify various plants, barks, leaves and roots and explain their used and preparation.

 

 

 

Sunday, July 13th

The Fine Art of Dowsing
2:00 p.m.
Join master dowser John Grubb as we explore the ancient “Art of Dowsing” using modern methods.  We are undoubtedly familiar with the pacing dowser using his or her forked branch or other instrument, modern techniques now employ the dowser standing at the edge of the field and determining the target characteristics from a distance.  Particularly skilled dowsers, such as John Grubb, can zero in on his target with accuracy from a map. Who can dowse? “Everyone is born with the capability.” Come and find out!
 
 
 
Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday, July 15th, 16, & 17th  
History Day Camp
9:30 a.m. - 12:30p.m.

Come for the FUN!

Treat your kids to an exceptional experience of interactive programs that will open up their knowledge on three different aspects of early life in Berks County Each day will include a lesson, games, crafts and hands-on activities. The fun and learning never stops!  Ages 6-12 -Class limited to 15. 

 Cost: $30 for three days. Registration Deadline: 7-10-14.    610-374-8839

 

July 15th – Life on the Canal-All Aboard!

Experience the life of children and families who worked and lived along the canals of Berks County.

 

July 16th  - Daily Life On A Farm in the 1820’s

Children’s lives were filled with chores in the garden and around the house with cooking and  mending to be done. Learn about how foods were stored before refrigeration, work on a quilt and cook your own snack.

 

July 17th – Wagons, Wheels and Belts

How were machines operated before electricity? What tools were used? What does a Grist Mill do? Practice some hands-on wood working. Learn about simple machines and end with a wagon ride!

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 15th
Nature Photography with Valerie Hoffman
6:30-8:00 p.m.
The Berks County Heritage Center offers   This program is for the serious photographer,  This event will be geared towards photo enthusiasts and be more technically detailed than the one for the youth.
Raindate, Thursday, July 17th

 

 

 

Wednesday, July 16th

Boating and Water Safety Awareness Course
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake-Conference Ctr. 

This course is a combination of classroom and in-water instruction, and provides participants with basic skills on boating and water activities.  This results in making the students safer boaters and enhancing their enjoyment of aquatic sports.  It targets middle to high school level students.  We do recommend that students know how to swim.  ALL students will be required to wear a life jacket during ALL water activities.  We will first meet in the Blue Marsh Lake Conference Center, break for lunch, and then move to the water for the afternoon portion of the class.  Students should bring a packed lunch (refrigerator available), swimsuit, towel, water shoes and their sense of adventure. 

Pre-register is required by July 11th.  Please call 610-376-6337.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, July 19th

Intro to Paddle Skills
1-4:00 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake 

Are you ready to try something new, or to hone your paddling skills in a kayak or canoe?  Join members of the Keystone Canoe Club of Berks County in an informative land and flat water session trying out different style boats.  This is your chance to learn some of the basics: paddle strokes, getting in and out safely, boat control, clothing and gear, etc.  Ages: 10 to adult.  Children ages 10-12 MUST be accompanied by an adult. 

Cost: $10.00 which includes ACA event insurance.

Workshop limited to 25 participants.

Pre-registration with payment required to 610-374-2944 by July 14th.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, July 20th
When the Big Leagues Came to Reading:The Games Might Not Have Counted, But They Mattered To The Fans
2:00 p.m.

On May 8, 2000 a grand slam home run hit by Pete Rose, Jr. powered the (then) Reading Phillies to a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies evening the series that at 10 wins each (plus 2 ties). Prior this series that started in 1967 when Reading became a Philadelphia minor league affiliate, almost 50 other games were played in Reading by major league teams. The first such game was May 21, 1875 when the visiting Boston Red Stockings of the National Association (the major league of its time) vanquished the local Reading Actives 27-11, then signed the Actives’ best player to a contract and left town with him that night.

 Local baseball historian Brian Engelhardt will present a power point presentation covering stories of the teams and players who came through Reading for these 70 exhibition games. The program will cover the Phillies and the teams from 16 other major league franchises that came to “Baseballtown,” for the games, including the Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates,  St. Louis Cardinals- plus  9 more. Besides discussing the teams, Brian will talk about participants in the games: such baseball greats   including  Mike Schmidt, Connie Mack, Christy Mathewson, Stan Musial, Ernie Banks, and Carl Yastrzemski (to name a few); Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig’s special appearance in 1928; plus local players who returned here to play in front of the home fans including Whitey Kurowski, Vic Wertz, Dom Dallesandro, and George Washington Bradley.  

The program will cover these games that might not have counted in the standings, but were enjoyed by the fans of “Baseballtown,” beginning with the teams and players of the 19th century “Vintage Baseball Era” up to the current day.

  

Thursday, July 24th

Boots, Buckets and Beyond
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

     Antietam Lake Park-Angora Fruit Farm

Come spend a day with us exploring both pond and stream ecosystems for plants and animals that are specially adapted to the aquatic environment.  We will compare the critters and plants that call these two watery environments their home.  Prepare to get wet!  

For children who have completed K-3rd grade. (Rain date 7/25)

 

 

Saturday, July 26th

Geocaching for Beginners

10:00 a.m.

      Gring's Mill

Join Parks staff and experienced geocachers for a beginner’s course on Geocaching. Learn about Geocaching and how you can participate in this world wide treasure hunting game. We’ll explain the basics of GPS navigation and discover special geocaches hidden around Gring’s Mill Park.  Come prepared with appropriate outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear. If you do not own a handheld GPS, don’t worry; we have some to share- (call for more information if using your own GPS). 

Free program, for all ages!  Register by July 21st to 610-374-2944.

 

 

Thursday, July 31st
Field & Stream Adventure
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Explore the stream community to uncover the secrets of life in this watery environment.  In the afternoon we will go on a consumer hunt, identify producers and get down and dirty with the decomposers in the field community.
For children who have completed K-3rd grade. (Rain date 8/1)
Cost: $10/per child. Registration and pre-payment required.

 

 

 

Friday, August 1st
Starwatch and Dark Sky and The City Dark
7:30 p.m.
Is darkness becoming extinct? When filmmaker Ian Cheney moves from rural Maine to New York City and discovers streets awash in light and skies devoid of stars, he embarks on a journey to America’s brightest and darkest corners, asking astronomers, cancer researchers and ecologists what is lost in the glare of city lights. Blending a humorous, searching narrative with poetic footage of the night sky, The City Dark provides a fascinating introduction to the science of the dark and an exploration of our relationship to the stars. Winner, Best Score/Music Award, 2011 SXSW Film Festival. Produced in association with American Documentary | POV. 

 Join the Berks County Parks Department and The Berks County Amateur Astronomical Society for a presentation of the film The City Dark. Followed by a discussion about the dark night sky. You will also have a chance to go outside and look and the moon and the stars in the night sky. 

 

 

 

Saturday, August 2nd
Seasonings & Mixes -Workshop
10:30 a.m.

Elaine Meinhart returns to have you create seasoning mixes, seasoned salt and sugar and a salt-free substitute. Just think of how tasty your cooking will be! Suitable for adults and children.

Cost: $5. Registration and pre-payment (payable to instructor) required by July 25th.

 

 

 

Sunday, August 3rd

Tales of an 18th Century Midwife
2:00 p.m.
The work of the early midwife was arduous, and dealt all too often with the life and death situation of both mother and newborn. The midwife was also a healer, and had knowledge of the uses of herbs and plants to treat various ailments.  Join real-life midwife Erika Keller of the Colonial Living History Alliance, as she presents a first-person program about medical and birthing practices and women’s life in early America.
 
 
 
Tuesday, August 5th
Shocking Science-Workshop
9:30 a.m.-Noon

Ever wonder why you get a shock in the winter? Or how to tell different trees from one another? Today, students will join Heritage Center volunteers Gary Shugar and Ron Romig to answer those questions. Discover the ‘Science Behind Electricity’ through several different experiments and demonstrations. Then you will create your very own Summer Key for Identification of Woody Plants to assist you in naming those trees in your own backyard and here at the HC.

Program is suitable for students ages 8-12. Class is limited to 20 students.

Cost: $5.00 Pre-registration and payment required by July 29th.

 

 

 

Friday, August 8th

Paddle Boarding for Beginners
5-8:00 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake-Church Rd. Parking Lot 

Come out to Blue Marsh Lake and enjoy one of the fastest growing water sports in the world: Paddle boarding.  Trained professionals from 3-D Outdoor Rentals will teach participants the basics of paddle boarding; such as how to maintain your balance while standing on the board and how to properly and efficiently use the paddles to move.  No experience required.  A safe and fun workshop for the whole family! 

Program size is limited to 25 people, and split into four sessions: 5:00, 5:45, 6:30 or 7:15 pm.

Registration required by August 4th - call 610-374-2944 to sign-up.

 

 

 

Saturday, August 9th
Knee Deep in the Creek
10-11:30 a.m.

Join us as we put on our water shoes and prepare to get wet while exploring the aquatic critters of the Tulpehocken Creek.  You can find out who lives in the creek while conducting a macroinvertebrate study with Environmental Educator Jennifer Brooks.

FREE  -  Pre-registration required.   -  For families with children 3 years of age and older.

 

 

 

Sunday, August 10th

Hex Signs and Barn Stars-Eric Claypoole
2:00 p.m.
Join master barn star and hex sign painter Eric Claypoole as he discusses the origins of barn stars, and leading into modern hex signs.  We will hear about how Johnny Ott taught Eric’s father, Johnny Claypoole, how to paint hex signs, and how Milton Hill of Virginville painted barn stars and started to display “star designs” at the Kutztown Folk Festival.  Eric will bring an old “ghost star” for display, and talk about how they were created over time.  He will also bring examples of his “ghost” experiments.
 
 
 
Friday, August 15th
Bats of the Bridge
7:00 p.m.

Dr. Karen Campbell, professor of Biology at Albright College returns to present this ever-popular slide lecture on bats from around the world and those little bats right here in Berks County. An update on the status of the little brown bats will be shared as well. The power point presentation will be followed by a walk to the Red Covered Bridge where they live!

 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 17th
History of Games
2:00 p.m.

Learn about the origin of family games and actually play with some of the great ones from the past.  Learn what events and inventions changed games There will a large number of original games on display, some from as early as the 1800’s.  You can play with such games as “Operation”, “Labyrinth”, dominoes from the Civil War era, and others.

This is for all ages.  Bring the kids.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 24th
Large Market Basket-Workshop
12-4:00 p.m.

This basket was the very first Vicky Heffner made 20 years ago! Join her today to create your very own basket that can carry everything! Bring: bucket, towel, 10 spring clothes pins, screwdriver, old pair of scissors.

Cost: $35. Registration and pre-payment (payable to instructor) required by August 17th.

 

 

 

Saturday, September 6th

Fly Fishing with Cabela's

12:30-3:30 p.m.

      Red Bridge Recreation Area

Cabela's is proud to offer this industry-leading course for people interested in learning how to fly fish. The course will begin with a two-hour Introduction to Fly Fishing course that will cover equipment, basic entomology, basic casting and knot tying. The class will conclude with a one-hour Introduction to Fly Casting course, where participants will receive hands-on training on the fundamentals of fly casting, including overhead techniques and roll casting.  Watch members of the Berks Fly Tyers demonstrate the art of fly tying under the pavilion.

Class size limited, call 610-374-2944 ext. 2611 to register by August 29.

 

 

 

Sunday, September 7th
Grandparent's Day Walk
1-4:00 p.m.
Connect your future with the past on Grandparents Day!  Bring the grandchildren out for a scavenger hunt anytime between 1 to 4 pm, to celebrate the Tulpehocken Creek Valley’s rich history.  A gentle walk around the Heritage Center grounds and along a portion of the Union Canal Towpath will get you closer to earning the grand prize: Grandparent of the Day!  Pictures can be taken in front of the Distelfink for lasting memories of this fun event.  

 

 

Sunday, September 7th
Rafting and Lumbering Talk
3:00 p.m.

Join Steve Runkle as he chronicles logging, river transportation of logs and cut lumber, and lumber milling from colonial times through the 19th Century, principally using the pictures of Thomas T. Taber, III of Muncy, Pa.  Take an imaginary 346-mile trip on a timber raft from Cherry Tree down the Susquehanna River all the way to Port Deposit, Maryland. The logging, log boom and drives, logging railroad, lumber milling, and tanning industry portion of the presentation focuses on the West Branch Susquehanna River watershed above Williamsport. The wanton harvest of these virgin timberlands made Williamsport the “Lumber Capital of the World” during the middle of the 19th Century.  It also brought with it labor exploitation, environmental devastation, and catastrophic flooding.  In this presentation, get to know the “wood hicks”, rivermen, log drivers, boom rats, and industrialists that made the early “lumber boom” happen.

 

 

 

Saturday, September 13th
Sewing Circle
10:00  a.m.
An old-fashioned sewing circle offered the opportunity for new and experienced stitchers of all crafts to gather and exchange skills and camaraderie.  In our era of technology, it is fun to take a step back and renew these opportunities.  Each person should bring a project of their own to work on, whether it’s sewing, embroidery, quilting, knitting, crocheting etc.

 

Saturday, September 13th

Moon Over Bioko: Sea Turtles of Bioko Island

1:00 p.m.

      Gring's Mill

Join us as we are honored to welcome Heidi Rader, Author of Moon Over Bioko: Sea Turtles of Bioko Island along with Illustrator Holly Smith.  Together they will take us on an amazing journey to Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa where the lush environment became the inspiration for Heidi’s beautiful children’s book.  Using life-sized sea turtle shell replicas, Heidi engages participants in this hands-on presentation about the endangered sea turtles that call Bioko Island their home.  Children will have an opportunity to replicate the stunning artwork of Moon Over Bioko from the artist herself with a step-by-step guide on how to draw a sea turtle. 

FREE!   Pre-registration required. Best suited for families with children ages 8-12.

 

Sunday, September 14th
Abaxacatabax: Magical Charms and Medical Cures
2:00 p.m.

The  Pennsylvania Germans have been practicing a magical, mystical folk medicine since the 17th century when they brought the Brauche or tradition from Central Europe to PA. Know as Powwowing in English, their magical formulas and practices go back to Ancient times, and these in turn are related to the word-magic of primitive and complex cultures worldwide. Del-Louise Moyer, historian of 18th and 19th century American and Germanic Cultural History and German research consultant will present a lecture.

 

Sunday, September 21st
History of Quilting
2:00 p.m.

Join us as park volunteer Beth Shugar leads us on a journey to learn about quilting from centuries past until now.  After the talk join us for an old-fashioned quilting bee, and take the opportunity to see how quilts are made, as well as adding a few stitches of your own to our quilt. 

 

 

 

 

Friday, September 26th
Indian Stories & Dances by the Campfire
6:00 p.m.

Dave “Big Owl” McSurdy returns to share nature stories told by the American Indians as we sit around the campfire. We’ll learn to dance to the beat of the drum as we participate in songs. Bring chairs and blankets.

 

 

 

Saturday, September 27th

History Hike
9:00 a.m.

     Antietam Lake Park

Join us for a Saturday morning walk at Antietam. Come and learn about the history of Antietam Lake, and its importance to Berks County’s past. Hike will last about 2 hours.  Please make sure to wear sturdy walking shoes as the trails at Antietam are rocky.  Also, bring along water to drink if you like. 

 

 

 

Saturday, September 27th
Terrarium Workshop
10:30 a.m.

What  could be better than a terrarium to enjoy over the winter? Elaine Meinhart will lead our workshop today. Suitable for adults and children with parent.

Cost: $10. Registration and pre-payment (payable to instructor) required by Sept. 20th. Limited to 10.

 

 

 

Saturday, September 27th

Fall Float on Blue Marsh Lake
1:30 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake-Church Rd. Parking Lot 

What better way to enjoy “Public Lands Day”, than a paddle on Berk’s County’s favorite lake!  Bring your kayak or canoe for a paddle on the upper portion of Blue Marsh Lake.  We will start and end at the Church Road parking area.  Water safety, history, and features of the creek will be covered before boats are in the water.  The trip is for experienced paddlers.  Bring your own boat and life jacket. 

Pre-registration required by September 22nd.  Please call 610-376-6337 to register.

 

 

 

Sunday, September 28th                                                                                  

Tree-Mendous Tree Trek

2-3:00 p.m.
A wide selection of trees are eager to be introduced to you through a tree trek guided by naturalist “Porcupine Pat” McKinney of the Schuylkill Conservation District.  Pennsylvania i.e. “Penn’s Woods” is the nation’s leader in hardwood forests and Hunsicker’s Grove is a good site to investigate tree species and identification plus its natural history.  Recommended for adults. 

 

 

 

Saturday, October 4th

Take Your Kid Mountain Biking Day
1:00 p.m.

       Blue Marsh Lake-N. Church Rd. Parking Lot 

Bring your children along for a fun filled family day of mountain biking!  You can help pass your passion for pedaling on to those that matter the most: your kids.  Take part in this internationally recognized outdoor event sponsored by the Berks Area Mountain Biking Association and enjoy all that nature has to offer.  Enjoy the early fall scenery as we mountain bike along the easier trails around Blue Marsh Lake.  Bring your mountain bike and helmet.

This event is free, but pre-registration is required. Call 610-374-2944 for more information and to register.

 

 

 

Saturday, October 11th
26 Ways to Use Fabric YoYo's-Workshop
10:00 a.m.

Yoyo coverlets became popular during the 1930’s.  However, since that time creative folks have discovered many more uses for them.  Learn how to use the skill to make 27 different projects. This is also a great way to use up and scraps of fabric you might have.  Supplies will be provided, or bring along some of your cotton scraps of fabric if you like. 

Cost: $10.  Registration and pre-payment (payable to instructor-Beth Shugar) required byOctober 3rd.

 

 

 

Saturday, October 11th

Fall Into Geocaching
10:00 a.m.

     Antietam Lake Park-Angora Fruit Farm

Join Parks staff and experienced geocachers for a beginner’s course on Geocaching. Learn about Geocaching and how you can participate in this world wide treasure hunting game. We’ll explain the basics of GPS navigation and discover special geocaches hidden around the Angora Farm.  Come prepared with appropriate outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear. If you do not own a handheld GPS, don’t worry; we have some to share- (call for more information if using your own GPS).  For all ages! 

Free program, but pre-registration is required by October 6th. Call 610-374-2944 to register.

 

 

 

Sunday, October 12th
Snowman Basket-Workshop
12-4:00 p.m.

Join instructor Vicky Heffner for a fun basket to display until next March. Bring: bucket, towel, 10 spring clothes pins, screwdriver, old pair of scissors.

Cost: $25. Registration and pre-payment (payable to instructor) required by October 4th.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, October 18th

Paws on the Path
10:00 a.m.

     Antietam Lake Park

Dogs need to get exercise just as much as we do.  Join park staff as they lead a hike designed for you and your dogs. Hike will be about 1 hour and cover some of the easier and scenic trails at Antietam Lake Park.  Dogs must be good around other dogs, and be on a leash.  Please bring along water and a bowl for your dog as well.

Fee:  As a fee we are requesting that you bring along  something from the following list as a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.  Dog or cat food, washcloths, towels, blankets, and kitty litter. 

 

 

 

  

Sunday, October 19th
"Who Killed Jack Lantern? A Case of the Who-Dunits!"
2:00 p.m.

Have you ever wondered how CSI always catches the bad guy?  Join the Alvernia University Science Association as they crack the case of who killed Mr. Jack Lantern! Come along with us as we look at and analyze fingerprints, hair and clothing fibers under the microscope and solve the Halloween mystery. We will also learn about pH and how it helps in solving a case. We Need Your Help!

Cost: $5. Registration and pre-payment required by October 14th.

For ages 8-12. Limited to 30 students.

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 22nd

Pumpkin & Pizza Party
4:30-6 p.m.

     Antietam Lake Park-Angora Fruit Farm

All ages are welcome in this delightful evening filled with pumpkin carving, and enjoying the company of our friends over pizza.  We will be carving pumpkins that will illuminate the hiking path for our Halloween Hike and Hayride event on October 25th.  You bring a pumpkin to donate, carving tools, and a drink, and we provide the pizza!  Participants may pick their carved pumpkins up after the Halloween Hike if they like.

This event is free, but pre-registration is required because space is limited!

 

 

 

Saturday, October 25th

Halloween Hike & Hayride
6:15-9:00 p.m.

     Antietam Lake Park-Angora Fruit Farm

Experience the wonder of the night while hiking through the beautiful Angora Fruit Farm orchards, meeting nocturnal animals along the way.  Guides will lead families along a pumpkin- lit path where children will meet and talk with local “animals” of the night.  Families can then enjoy a hayride, or a treat while sitting by a campfire.  This program fills quickly!  Hikes leave every 15 minutes.

$5 per person  -  Pre-registration required.

All ages welcome! Children may wear their costumes.

 

 

Sunday, October 26th

The Story of Hawkins Boone
2:00 p.m.
Hawkins Boone was a Revolutionary War soldier who was one of many who gave their life for the cause of liberty.  He is truly an unsung American hero few people know about.  Come join historian Lynn Otto as he presents a riveting first-person story about this everyday American hero!
 
 
 
Sunday, October 26th
PA German Hex Symbols: Their History and the Art of Rebecca Ross
2:00 p.m.

Rebecca has been a Berks County artist for the past 21 years. Much of her artwork of the past ten years has been based on PA German hex symbols. Becky is the Cultural Resource Manager at Hopewell Furnace NHS where she has worked for 21 years. With a powerpoint program, she will address both the general history of the PA German hex symbols and the development of their use in her own art.

 

 

 

Sunday, November 30th

Orienteering on Antietam Lake Trails
11:00 a.m.

     Antietam Lake Park-Angora Fruit Farm

Join members of the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association, for a day in the woods.  Beginners program will show participants how to read a topographical map, and find your way through unknown terrain with just a map and compass as your guide.  Then you will go out on the trail for some practical experience, on an easy ‘white’ or yellow’ course.  It’s not just compass anymore!  For all ages. 

Free program, but pre-registration is required by November 24th. Call 610-374-2944 to register.

 

 

 

Saturday, December 20th

Winter Solstice with King Winter
5:30 p.m.

     Antietam Lake Park-Angora Fruit Farm

Celebrate the longest night of the year with family and friends around a blazing bonfire.  Wander down our candlelit walk to the main event at our cottage in the woods.  Listen as a storyteller shares tales around the fire, meet King Winter, take a short hike on darkened trails, and warm up with snacks. Dress warmly, bring a flashlight.

FREE -  Best suited for families with children ages 3-12. 

Pre-registration required.