Penn State Berks partners with community, Olivet for trail cleanup

Students help cleanup park trails.
Credit: Penn State

READING, Pa. -- Penn State Berks students, community members, and Olivet Boys & Girls Club children will gather in Northwest Reading to clean up Baer Park and a one-mile section of the Schuylkill River Trail, from the River Road trail head (across from Baer Park) to the Buttonwood Street Bridge, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17.

Volunteers will meet at the Schuylkill River Trail intersection with River Road, across from Baer Park (GPS address: 825 River Road, Reading, Pennsylvania). Parking is available on River Road and the streets surrounding Baer Park, and the rain date for the event is Friday, Apr. 26.

This particular section of the Schuylkill River Trail includes an old canal from the Schuylkill navigation system, running through half the trail; two historic locks from the 1800s; and a beautiful section of the river to explore and enjoy. The goal of the project is to maintain this one-mile section of the Schuylkill River Trail in Northwest Reading as a safe green space for the Reading community to enjoy. 

This event continues a collaborative effort between the Penn State Berks Student Government Association (SGA), the Penn State Berks Center for Academic Community Engagement (CACE), the City of Reading, the Olivet Boys & Girls Club, and the Friends of the Schuylkill River Trail in Northwest Reading.

The project began in the spring of 2015 and has continued with events held each semester. The overall goal is to foster both students’ and children’s love of nature and conservation, while working together as a team to beautify the park and trail.

About the Center for Academic Community Engagement (CACE)
The Center for Academic Community Engagement (CACE) supports faculty and students who engage with community partners in collaborative, impactful work that both enriches student’s course learning and contributes to community well-being. CACE establishes partnerships with agencies focused on social justice, mentoring/tutoring and social entrepreneurship. Since 2010, CACE has facilitated more than 40 academically grounded college-community partnerships. CACE engages in service learning and community-based research projects with a commitment to reciprocal partnerships, defined by mutual respect for what each side each brings to the table.

About the Schuylkill River Trail
With 60 miles of completed trail, the Schuylkill River Trail stretches from Pottsville to Philadelphia. The trail is used for biking, hiking and other outdoor activities. Trail users can also utilize the river for fishing, kayaking and in some areas, motor boating.

For additional information, contact Michelle Hnath, program assistant for the Penn State Berks Center for Academic Community Engagement, at 610-914-7595 or via email at [email protected].