In My Community

There are many ways that you can help keep Berks County’s Streams healthy in your community

Simple things can make a big difference! Tasks such as picking up after your pets, properly applying fertilizers, and keeping stormdrains clear of household items and litter can help.  You may consider volunteering at local clean up or other events that are focused on protecting our natural resources.  Berks County is lucky to have multiple watershed associations and municipal Environmental Advisory Councils that serve as local leaders in our community where you can learn more about your local environment.

Have you considered joining a local Watershed Association, volunteering with a municipal Environmental Advisory Council, or become Master Watershed Steward? 

We all live, work, and play in watersheds, so it makes sense that we become aware of the things that affect our land and water resources. Within Berks County there are many interested individuals who share a common desire to provide their families with a healthy environment to live.  There are community-based citizen-run watershed associations throughout Berks County working on the local level to protect, preserve, and restore their creeks, rivers, streams and lakes. A few activities that Watershed Associations do are: put on educational and informational workshops, educate their community on nonpoint source water pollution and stream health, and lead stream clean-ups.

Consider volunteering with these local Berks County Watershed Associations!stream clean up
Hay Creek Watershed Association
Maiden Creek Watershed Association
Pine Creek Watershed Association
Our local Tulpehocken Chapter of Trout Unlimited combines the love of recreational fishing with coldwater conservation!

 

Environmental Advisory Councils 

Authorized through Act 177 of 1996, local elected officials may appoint community residents to serve on an Environmental Advisory Council (EAC). EACs advise the local planning commission, park and recreation board and elected officials on the protection, conservation, management, promotion and use of natural resources within its municipality.

Master Watershed Stewardship Program 

The BCCD partners with PennState Extension and the Master Watershed Stewardship Program. The program provides an extensive training in watershed management to volunteers who return educate and interact with the community about watershed stewardship. Volunteers go through a multi-week training and learn about watershed management through expert recommendations and university research. Program participants focus on a broad range of water resource topics, including groundwater, stream ecology, wetlands, invasive plants, water recreation and stormwater management. Upon completion of the program, individuals are charged to volunteer and participate in community events. For more information on the Master Watershed Stewardship Program click here.

Some other ways to help Berks County Streams stay healthy!

    • Join/organize a community stream clean up day. By ridding stream banks of litter, our local streams will not only look better, but they will be healthier too.
    • Start a recycling project in your neighborhood.
    • Join local stream reforestation efforts. Forested streams, or also known as “riparian buffers,” do many things to help water quality. They help regulate the streams temperature, help decrease erosion and flooding, and they also filter out many pollutants that water runoff can carry with it.
    • Join or organize a community tree planting. Reforesting vacant and community lots will help improve local water quality by filtering out pollutants before they reach the stream.
    • Consider starting a backyard conservation project in your community. Any vacant lot or unused space is a candidate for improvement with native plants, rain gardens, or other natural habitat.
    • Encourage public officials to practice backyard conservation in parks and other public property.
    • Encourage schools and other local organizations to become involved in caring for and helping the local environment.
    • If you live in an apartment or condo, then encourage your building owner to use backyard conservation practices on the grounds around the building.
    • Encourage the use of pervious surfaces. Pervious surfaces allow rain water to absorb back into the ground. Driveways and walkways are good examples of things that can be constructed with pervious materials.
Now, let’s explore how we can all make a difference in our own backyards and in our homes!
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