Monday, May 6, 2024

Berks Nature Awarded American Water Charitable Foundation 2024 Water & Environment Grant

On May 6,
Berks Nature announced it was awarded an American Water Charitable Foundation 2024 Water and Environment grant to construct a vernal pool habitat on the Neversink Mountain Preserve

The project will serve multiple purposes for both Reading’s people and its wildlife.

Vernal pools are temporary wetland habitats that are typically wet in the spring but dry up by mid-summer. 

While these shallow pools are fleeting, they serve as the critical breeding grounds for many of our local beneficial insects and amphibians, including wood frogs and spotted salamanders.

Within the steep topography of Neversink Mountain, the proposed vernal pool will also assist with stormwater runoff and address erosion concerns. 

Stormwater directed towards the vernal pool will be naturally slowed, allowing it to infiltrate into the ground instead of rapidly flooding down the mountain’s slopes, which in turn benefits the wetland seeps and baseflow of nearby Klapperthal Creek, a direct tributary to the Schuylkill River.

Finally, thanks to a partnership between Berks Nature and Albright University, university students will regularly monitor the vernal pool collecting and analyzing data and gaining valuable training on monitoring tools to study this real-world, water quality and wildlife management solution.

“The promotion of biodiversity is something that Berks Nature continues to strive for,” said Jeremy Haymaker, Trails and Preserve Specialist for Berks Nature, “My hope is that this project can increase biodiversity, enhance storm water management, while simultaneously engaging and educating students from the local community.”

The Water and Environment grant is part of the American Water Charitable Foundation’s Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program. 

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established by American Water, the largest regulated water and wastewater utility company in the U.S., and aims to support high-impact projects and initiatives that further American Water’s commitment to ESG, as well as inclusion, diversity and equity.

For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Berks Nature website.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  Also follow the Berks Nature Ambassadors Facebook page.

Since 1974, Berks Nature has been involved in land preservation, water protection, trail management, community gardens, education programs, State of the Environment, Eco-Camp and our valued partnerships that help connect people to nature and maintain the natural beauty of Berks County.

Resource Links: 

-- PA American Water Charitable Foundation Awards $267,000 In Water And Environment Grants To 15 Nonprofit Groups  [PaEN]

-- Coalition For Delaware River Watershed Receives American Water Foundation Grant To Educate Utility Customers On Where Their Water Comes From  [PaEN]

Related Articles - Watersheds:

-- DEP Chesapeake Bay Update: Multiple Grant Programs Now Open; Updates From County Partners; Union County Cleanup Success; Much More! 

-- SRBC: Lower Susquehanna Source Water Protection Partnership Meeting May 16 In Harrisburg  [PaEN]

-- Master Watershed Steward Volunteer Rich Troscianecki 'Rain Barrel Guy' Engages Youth To Protect Watersheds In Lackawanna, Luzerne Counties  [PaEN] 

-- Master Watershed Steward Watershed-Friendly Native Plant Kit Sale Thru June 18  [PaEN]

-- Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards Want Your Opinion!  [PaEN]

-- Penn State Extension Holds In-Person Private Water Supply Education, Water Testing Workshops In Waynesburg, Lancaster, Punxsutawney  [PaEN]

-- Berks Nature Awarded American Water Charitable Foundation 2024 Water & Environment Grant  [PaEN] 

-- ClearWater Conservancy: Volunteers Made A Difference On Watershed Cleanup Day  [PaEN]


-- York Dispatch: PA On Track To Meet 2025 Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Targets 

-- Lancaster Farming: Nitrogen Management At Center Of Climate Conversation

-- WHYY: Villanova University Rain Garden Shows 20-Year Success At Soaking Up Stormwater Runoff

[Posted: May 6, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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