Berks Nature and You!



Nature is essential to our quality of life. Berks Nature works hard every day to protect nature, and connect people to nature. Berks Nature is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization that has been serving the Berks County community since 1974.


  • Get Connected To Nature!

    07/04/2016 Duración: 08min

    Tami Shimp and Michael Griffith of Berks Nature have a common goal to protect nature and connect people to nature. This community story of their work is diverse and partnerships are vital. Listen in as they share ways for you to be part of the partnership. Some collaborative programs you can share in are with Hawk Mountain and BAMBA. There are nature camps for kids with lots of ‘hands on’ activities and there are ambassador programs for adults. The Nature Center is situated among a broad spectrum of habitats with creeks, ponds, wetlands and woods to explore. The opportunities to play and learn are endless and fun. Remember small things lead to big outcomes. Find out about little things you can do with your family and your neighbors to keep our waterways clean.

  • Everything We Do On Land Ends Up In The Water

    28/03/2016 Duración: 16min

    Meet Michael Griffith, Education & Watershed Specialist with Berks Nature. Michael doesn’t just talk about how our daily activities on land affect the quality of our drinking water, he shows you! Watch this story for a demonstration of the impact. Michael has an interactive program, ‘Inside Our Watersheds’ that he takes to any group interested in learning more about keeping our precious water resources clean. A watershed is really just a large drainage basin. Its size is relative to the area we want to protect. It is made up of all the land over which the water flows to a common area. After you see the demonstration you will see obvious and simple ways to play your part in keeping our waters clean. Contact Michael and schedule a visit for your group …. 610-372-4992 ext. 108.

  • 90% of Berks County water drains into the Schuylkill River

    10/03/2016 Duración: 11min

    Tami Shimp from Berks Nature and Tom Davidock for the Delaware Estuary Partnership share the story of collaboration. The collaboration doesn’t work without your participation. The Schuylkill River Watershed is huge and includes all the land surrounding streams and rivers that flow into the Schuylkill River. It all ultimately drains into the Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean. In the past decade over 500 projects and 400 million dollars have been invested to protect the waters and keep them clean and safe for drinking, for wildlife and for recreation. Tom talks about 8 clusters of focus including restoration or land improvement, agricultural practices, and land conservation. You are invited to be part of the solution to clean water. Plant trees and shrubbery near streams. Participate in Schuylkill Scrub clean-up efforts and projects. Learn how what you do every day affects our precious water resource. Most importantly take advantage of this gift of water, not just for drinking and bathing but for recre

  • Go play outside along the rivers and the creeks!

    04/03/2016 Duración: 09min

    Tom Davidock from the partnership for the Delaware Estuary share the water journey with Tami Shimp of Berks Nature. Like the ankle bone is connected to the hip bone so are our waters connected. North of Kutztown the waters flow from the Saucony Creek into the Maidencreek and Schuylkill River. From there the water flows into the Delaware Bay, the Delaware River and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean. Tom Davidock heads up SAN, or the Schuylkill Action Network, whose primary focus is the drinking water protection program. Tom says the goal is to “bring together anybody and everybody who has a vested interest in keeping the Schuylkill water clean”. Tom says it’s simple. Homeowners can use more environmentally safe products. Schools can plant a rain garden and businesses can make sure nothing is leaking from their dumpsters. You’ll find lots of ideas and projects at Tom says, “the reality is we can’t do it alone”. He encourages everyone to enjoy our waterways, kayak, fish an

  • Engaging People in Our Watersheds and Protecting Our Watersheds

    25/02/2016 Duración: 10min

    Kate Keppen is a watershed specialist with the Berks County Conservation District says, “we are actually your local government… Responsible soles for water and soil resources”. Kate and her team educate landowners and farm and agricultural developers about the regulations. Kate adds the biggest concerns are urban storm water pollution and agricultural pollution. The Berks County Conservation District works in conjunction with Berks Nature to implement Best Management Practices or BMP’s. These practices help prevent agricultural related pollution. Nutrient pollution and erosion issues are of great concern because everything is connected to our drinking water. Berks County surface water streams supply Pottstown and Philadelphia with drinking water. Water that goes into drains goes into streams, there are no filters or treatment in the process. Everyone can make simple changes to help improve the system.

  • Pay It Forward With Clean Water

    19/02/2016 Duración: 11min

    L.E. ‘Chip’ Bilger II, executive Director of the Western Berks Water Authority (WBWA) says, “when we protect water in watersheds and source water where we live we are paying it forward … protecting water for people who drink it downstream”. WBWA is a partner in education with Berks Nature when it comes to keeping the water supply teaching landowners and land users about source water protection plans. Chip explains the WBWA is a wholesale water supplier, removing water from Blue Marsh Lake in order to supply 4 million gallons of water a day to 35,000 customers. WBWA is a manufacturer in the water business and a source water protection plan is vital. They protect the finished product controlling the amount of raw materials used for filtering in accordance with the quality of the raw water. Better water means less raw materials are necessary to purify the water and that translates to saving money on your water bill.

  • “What are the pollution challenges that seep into our water supply?” Part 2

    12/02/2016 Duración: 10min

    Jesse Goldberg , consultant for the Reading Area Water Authority (RAWA) continues a conversation with Tami Shimp from Berks Nature about their clean water education partnership. Jesse says, “the biggest issue we have is to keep excessive nitrates out of the water supply. Nitrogen and phosphates from getting into the lake …. A lot comes from the farming community and from run-off from farms and could lead to substantial water issues” Berks Nature builds individual relationships with landowners to develop Best Management Practices. Some of these include installing cattle crossings over streams, putting up streamside fencing, installing manure storage pits and diverting clean rain water away from farms. Berks Nature makes money and resources available to help farmers develop Best Management Practices keeping nitrates from seeping into Lake Ontelaunee is imperative to keep our water clean and safe to drink.

  • Where does your water come from? How does it get to your home? Why should you care?

    04/02/2016 Duración: 10min

    Jesse Goldberg , consultant for the Reading Area Water Authority (RAWA) talks with Tami Shimp from Berks Nature about the importance of understanding the impact of the watershed. Lake Ontelaunee is the sole source of water for 125,000 customers in Reading. The Lake Ontelaunee Watershed encompasses 200 square miles spreading North into Lehigh County.Between 14 and 15million gallons of water is treated daily before making into our homes. Particles are filtered out and the water is disinfected with chlorine. Berks Nature and RAWA work together to establish preventive measures in the watershed area to keep the water as clean as possible. This means less filtering and chlorine is needed before the water is potable. That translates to healthier water and less expensive water bills.

  • Tami Shimp, talks with Lynne T Burkholder, Director of the Wider School.

    28/01/2016 Duración: 09min

    Tami Shimp, VP of Development of Community Relations for Berks Nature, talks with Lynne T Burkholder, Director of the Wider School. The Wider School provides curriculum for home schooled children in science, language arts and history. In addition they offer project assignments, field trips, time management and organizational schools. Lynne says they needed a wildlife-focused field trip and Berks Nature individualized a program to her fit her needs. Lynne says the kid’s favorite parts of the trip included the boardwalk, the Riparian Zone and Owl pellets. They actually found them and discrete the pellets to discover the most recent meal the owl enjoyed. Tune in to hear more of the experience her kids enjoyed after going on a field trip with Berks Nature at Angelic Park. Tami says there is a full agenda of programs in 2016. In addition to the current programs new programs are being added including a variety of 'birding' programs. The natural wetlands at Angelica Park serve as the perfect backdrop to explore na

  • The IMPACT of their work in the Greater Berks Community.

    20/01/2016 Duración: 10min

    Kim Murphy, President of Berks Nature and Tami Shimp, VP Development of Community Relations for Berks Nature talk about the impact of their work in the Greater Berks Community. Berks Nature tends to much that we take for granted. Berks Nature tends to ponds, meadows, trails and woodland, urban gardens, water quality and watersheds. Education is key to the Berks Nature mission. The Nature Center is abuzz with activities for kids. Over 2,000 kids benefited last year from the programs and field trips at the Nature Center Tami says, “It’s emotional to see kids who don't get into nature and enjoy a neat experience.”

  • Fred Moreadith, President of BAMBA, talks about their efforts to maintain biking trails on Neversink Mountain and Mt. Penn.

    14/01/2016 Duración: 11min

    Kim Murphy, President of Berks Nature talks with Fred Moreadith, President of BAMBA, (Berks Area Mountain Biking Assoc), about their efforts to maintain biking trails on Neversink Mountain and Mt. Penn. Berks County has 125 miles of single track bike trails and Berks Nature manages 27 miles of those trails. Neversink Mountain Preserve is part of Berks Nature and the collaborative efforts between Berks Nature and the trail maintenance volunteers from BAMBA helped BAMBA attain bronze status and earned Berks County the designation of Ride Center. Berks County is one of only 37 ride centers in the world and the only one in the North East corridor of the United States BAMBA has been an IMBA (International Mountain Biking Assoc) chapter since Dec of 2012 and was able to earn this Ride center status in just 3 short years. They work diligently on trial advocacy, establishing relationships with land managers and raising awareness across the country about Berks bike trails. As a result of this collaboration Berks

  • Premier Episode Berks Nature and You

    21/12/2015 Duración: 09min

    Jo Painter welcomes Kim Murphy, President of Berks Nature, to the People Chronicles as they begin their new series! 'Berks Nature and You'. You will find Berks Nature behind the scenes of much that we take for granted ... clean water, urban gardens, maintained trail system, preserved land and so much more! If it has to do with the outdoors Berks Nature is likely involved. Kim Murphy talks about the variety of initiatives Berks Nature handles. Berks Nature works with land managers and watershed authorities to protect our water supply and preserve our land. Berks Nature is building a new Nature Center at Angelica Park where they are already conducting field trips and educational programs. Berks Nature hosts tailor field trips around specific topics and age groups. This small but mighty staff is developing a number of diversified programs to offer to the community. Berks Nature works with BAMBA to maintain hiking and biking trails and manages 10 urban gardens in the City of Reading.