The Berks County Parks and Recreation Department has announced the return of programming after more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to several programs this weekend, the Epler’s One Room Schoolhouse at the Berks County Heritage Center will open for the first time to the public on Saturday, July 17, from 10-4pm.

The Parks and Recreation Department will be giving a historic walking tour of the grounds of the Berks County Heritage Center on Saturday, July 17, starting at 1pm.

The tour will highlight many of the still existing farm buildings as well as the on-site historical features and attractions. The tour will be led by Jim Ohlinger, a Heritage Center volunteer who lived at the site in the 1940s-1950s.

The tour is free, but registration is required by Friday, July 16. To register, contact Daniel Roe, Historic Resource Supervisor, at droe@countyofberks.com or 610- 374-8839, ext. 201.

The Berks County Heritage Center will also host a Civil War Living History Encampment on Saturday, July 17 from 10-4pm and Sunday, July 18 from 11-3pm. The event gives a glimpse of what life was like for Civil War soldiers thanks to members of the 53rd Pennsylvania reenactment unit.

Displays will be held throughout the day with firing and drilling demonstrations at 11-2pm on Saturday, July 17, and at 1pm on Sunday, July 18. Visitors are also invited to walk through the camp to speak with the reenactors and stop by the surgeon’s tent to learn about how medical practices changed because of the war. The event is free and open to the public.

July Events at Berks County Parks

Campfire Program
Antietam Lake Park Animals of the Night
Bingaman Nature Center, 2843 Hill Rd, Reading
July 24, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.

Join Environmental Education Supervisor, Jennifer Brooks around a cozy campfire as we examine pelts, skulls, and other natural history artifacts while we learn about some of the nocturnal animals that call the park their home. Registration required. Contact Jennifer Brooks, Environmental Education Program Supervisor at jbrooks@countyofberks.com or call 484-509-2667.

Stories of the Canals
Berks County Heritage Center
Sunday July 25, 2021 – 12:00-4:00 p.m.

Explore Berks County canal history and the stories of those who experienced it first-hand. The event will feature a free musical performance by Matt Dodd 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Singing and playing guitar and banjo, Dodd will take audiences back in time to the days of the building and use of canals through period songs and stories.

Creek Program
Berks County Heritage Center
Saturday, July 31, 2021 – 10:00 a.m.

Explore a creek and its surroundings as we discover what lives in and around this watery environment. We will collect macroinvertebrates and discuss their unique adaptations and how they are indicators of water quality. Closed-toed shoes or boots are preferred. Registration required. Contact Jennifer Brooks, Environmental Education Program Supervisor at jbrooks@countyofberks.com or call 484-509-2667.

Beautiful Bats Featuring
the Pa Bat Rescue
Angora Fruit Farm, 230 Angora Road, Reading
Friday, July 30, 2021 – 7:15 p.m.

Witness the wonder of our night time friends; the bats. Pa Bat Rescue’s Stephanie Stronsick will guide as through bat fact and fiction and what we can do to help these important species in our backyard. A live bat release will take place at the end of the program. Free! Contact Jennifer Brooks, Environmental Education Program Supervisor at jbrooks@countyofberks.com or call 484-509-2667 to register.

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