After years of patient progress, the Hay Creek Pedestrian Bridge connecting Rustic Park in Birdsboro Borough to the Birdsboro Waters Preserve is open, thanks to the resiliency and cooperation of a true community partnership.
A unique melding of recreation and natural ecosystems coexists between Rustic Park and the Birdsboro Waters Preserve. Rustic Park provides a popular spot for community and family gatherings while the 1,800-acre Preserve, owned by the Birdsboro Municipal Authority, offers miles of walking and mountain biking trails, including the well-traveled Horseshoe Trail. The Preserve’s rock climbing is regionally renown, attracting visitors from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and even Washington DC.
But the Preserve is also home to Hay Creek, a Class A Trout Stream, and the primary source of drinking water for Birdsboro Borough. A lush woodland, protected in perpetuity by a Forest Legacy Easement held by the PA Bureau of Forestry, shelters this stream and its nexus of wetlands and reservoirs, cooling the water for its resident trout and purifying Birdsboro’s drinking water.
Together, the Birdsboro Borough, Birdsboro Municipal Authority, PA Bureau of Forestry, Berks Nature, and the volunteer-led Hay Creek Watershed Association have cooperated in partnership for over a decade to see this pedestrian bridge erected.
The new 6 ft wide, ADA-accessible pedestrian bridge spans the Hay Creek to connect Rustic Park to the Birdsboro Waters Preserve and is the first of two bridges required to increase access to this popular recreation space, creating an invaluable link in the larger, regional trail system and engaging the community in responsible appreciation of a critically important ecosystem.
What: Hay Creek Pedestrian Bridge Opening Ceremony
Where: Rustic Park, 1314 Haycreek Rd, Birdsboro, 19508
When: Monday, November 15th, 2021 from 3:30-5:00 pm.
Before the official ribbon cutting, volunteers from the Hay Creek Watershed Association will dip into Hay Creek to engage attendees with the aquatic wildlife living within. Kim Murphy, President of Berks Nature, Ted Coffelt, President of the Hay Creek Watershed Association, and PA State Senator Judy Schwank have all prepared statements to celebrate the bridge’s opening.
In addition to in-kind donations and funding from local community members and businesses, the Hay Creek Pedestrian Bridge was made possible through financial assistance in the form of grants from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau Recreation and Conservation, Keystone, Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, and by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Financing Authority through the Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program.