2014 Interpretive Programs

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.


 Interpretive Programs


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.                                       Heritage Center
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                               7:30 p.m.                                                Heritage Center
and the City Dark
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.                                               Heritage Center
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.                                                   Beidler House
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                                            Heritage Center
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               5:00-8:00 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 p.m.
Registration required by August 4th - call 610-374-2944 to sign-up.

Saturday, August 9th
Knee Deep in the Creek                        10:00-11:30 a.m.                                           Heritage Center
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                          2:00 p.m.                                                      Beidler House
-Eric Claypoole
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.
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