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Angora Fruit Farm – a leader in Green and Sustainability for Berks County Parks

Sep 12, 2017 • by Berks County Parks Department
Berks County Parks & Recreation Department

“Going green” can’t get any greener at Angora Fruit Farm!  Angora Fruit Farm, one of Berks County’s Parks, took the initiative and was one of the first parks to implement a floating island in one of their ponds in the park.  When a grant was provided by the Schuylkill Highlands and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Recourses, along with funding from the Berks County Parks and Recreation, we knew right away, a floating island would be an excellent candidate for the grant!  With some research provided by Brendan Lederer, Resource Manager; Jennifer Brooks, Environmental Education Program Coordinator, and Lisa Gauker, Environmental Education Assistant, put the island into a reality.The floating Island was constructed and designed by the both Jennifer and Lisa, acquiring native plants that were certified clean stock, and important aspect due to their butterfly houses and gardens.  The floating island serves several purposes; first and foremost to improve water quality by removing phosphates, nitrates, and pollutants from the water.  Also, it serves as wildlife habitat both above and below the water.  The root system from the plants on the island houses fish and other aquatic critters. Two, cutting edge, state of the art, signs were designed by Lisa in order to educate visitors to the park about the benefits of the floating island.  The interactive signs include push buttons with wildlife sounds, flip boards, and rotating dials for all levels of understanding, both children and adults.The floating island and signs not only can be used as a learning tool, but hopefully encourages people to build similar islands on their property, especially in small f arm ponds.  In Pennsylvania, summers can get hot and small ponds are susceptible for algae bloom.  The floating islands can purify the water, not only to make their pond visually appeasing, but give the pond or water source an overall better water quality.The signs and two air bubblers at the ponds at Angora Fruit Farm are powered by a solar panel that was installed.  Brendan Lederer, Resourse Manager at the Berks County Parks Department, was responsible for the implementation of the components. It’s important to utilize energy resources that are naturally available to us.  Angora Fruit Farm is like Nature’s playground for the public to enjoy.  Not only do we educate about Mother Nature, we do our best to preserve her.Angora Fruit Farm is located at 502 Angora Road in Reading, Pa. For more information or directions, contact the Berks County Parks and Recreation department at 484-509-2667 ext. 3, www.countyofberks.com/parks.

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