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Parks Events Explore Trails and History of Berks County Heritage Center

by Berks County Parks and Recreation Department

May 13, 2022

The Berks County Parks and Recreation Department is hosting several events this weekend at the Berks County Heritage Center to explore the beauty and fascinating history of the property and what it takes to maintain it.

Saturday, May 14, 9 AM-11 AM – Veterans In the Parks (VIP):

Guided Walk Join Parks staff member Lisa Gauker for a guided 2-3 mile easy walk along the Union Canal Trail. Participants will stop at points of interest during the two-hour walk to talk about the history, flora, fauna and interesting facts about the trail. Local veterans groups will be on site to join the hike and share about the various services they offer and discuss different topics. The trail is easily accessible for those in modern wheelchairs or those who have trouble walking. The ability level of those walking will set the pace. The event is FREE, bur pre-registration is required. For more information, email [email protected] or call 610-374-2944 ext. 2611.

The Veterans In the Parks (VIP) program promotes physical and mental wellbeing by bringing our veterans community together to participate in recreational activities. This event is presented in partnership between the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department and the Berks County Office of Veterans Affairs.

Saturday, May 14, 10 AM – If Trees Could Talk

The Berks County Heritage Center is one of nine parks in the Berks County Parks system and is best known for its two museums: The Gruber Wagon Works and C Howard Hiester Canal Center. However, the site has a unique story from long before it was a County Park. This Saturday, the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department is offering, “If Trees Could Talk,” an outdoor walking tour on the grounds of the Berks County Heritage Center. The tour will explore the landscape and history of the Heritage Center prior to its existence as a park.

Join Brendan Lederer, Assistant Director of the Parks Department, and Heritage Center volunteer Jim Ohlinger for a unique walking tour of the Heritage Center’s grounds. During the tour, Lederer will discuss many of the trees growing on site, exploring their type, age, and health. Ohlinger, who grew up at the site during the 1940s and 1950s when the property was a dairy farm, will share what these silent witnesses may have “seen” over the years and his personal experiences on the farm. The walking tour is free, but pre-registration is required. Please register by contacting Daniel Roe, at [email protected] or 610-374-8839 x201.

Sunday, May 15, 1 PM – Ride with a Ranger: Guided Trail Ride

Chief Park Ranger Eric Seidel is inviting kids to “Ride with a Ranger” to see what it takes to be a park ranger. Participants will climb on their bikes and hit the Union Canal Trail for a 2-hour ride that will include activities and bike skills to help Ranger Seidel complete his daily tasks. This program is geared toward children six years and older with an accompanying adult. Children must wear helmets while riding. This is a FREE event but registration is required at least 24 hours in advance. To register or for more information, please email [email protected] or call 610-374-2944, ext 2611.

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