If you have a passion for working outdoors and want to help keep
Nolde Forest looking its best for our visitors, apply below!
Application closes July 7th at 11:59pm.
Click here for details
The BERKS COUNTY EARTH DAY 2023 event, the 53rd anniversary of the 1970 first Earth Day event, will be celebrated jointly with the ongoing City of Reading’s 275th Anniversary. The free Earth Day event, rain or shine, will take place Saturday April 22, 2023 at Reading City Park, 11th & Constitution Blvd from 12 noon – 6pm. Parking is available around the park.
The theme of the City of Reading anniversary is “Our Home, Our Heart.” The Earth Day theme is “Looking Towards the Future”.
This year’s Earth Day sponsors currently include:
Platinum Sponsors - City of Reading, Reading Public Works, UGI Utilities Inc.;
Gold Sponsor – Giorgi Mushroom Company, Kimberton Whole Foods, Penske Truck Leasing;
Silver Sponsors - East Penn Manufacturing (Deka), Enersys, First Energy Foundation, Natural Awakenings, Visions Federal Credit Union;
Bronze Sponsors – Berks County Democratic Committee, JP Mascaro & Sons, SanCo Sound.
New this year will be Native American music and dance. As usual, we will have eco-friendly exhibits and vendors, speakers, live music, animals, kids’ activities, a walking tour of historical parts of Reading near City Park, and food. Looking towards the future, we need to do those things today that will make the world a better place for our children and grandchildren.
We are having two collections this year. East Penn / Deka Batteries will be collecting car batteries. We will be accepting non-perishable food donations for Helping Harvest Food Bank, and we will be giving seedlings in exchange for food donation.
1) PA Bat Rescue from 1 to 1:30pm and
2) Red Creek Wildlife from 4 to 4:45pm.
For-Profit Businesses: Bachman Roofing, Dr Super’s House of Health, East Penn Manufacturing, Giorgi Mushroom Co, Green Mountain Energy, J P Mascaro, Kimberton Whole Foods, Oak Street Health, Solar Way Energy & Stokes Energy, Spirit Wing Art & Music LLC.
Non-Profit Exhibitors: Alvernia University, Alvernia University Foster Grandparent Program, Animal Rescue League, Berks Astronomy, Berks Community Health Center, Berks County Conservation District, Berks County Democratic Committee, Berks Green Party, Berks Nature, Berks Stands Up, Cedar Hill Homestead, Centre Park Historic District, Children’s Home of Reading, Citizens Climate Lobby, Cloth Option, Friends of Nolde, Goggle Works, Governor Mifflin High School Environmental Club, League of Women Voters of Berks County, LGBT Center of Reading, Mengel Natural History Society, My Gut Instinct, PA Dept of Health. PA Dept of Environmental Protection, PA Game Commission, Penn State Extension Master Gardeners and Master Watershed Stewards, Reading Lead Hazard Control, Reading Library, Reading Advancing Health Literacy Grant, Reading Pride Celebration, Schuylkill River Greenways Association, Sierra Club, Two Spirits of PA, Village of Reading, We the People Citizens and Diana River, Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge, YWCA Tri-County Area.
Bandshell Stage Music: Kim & Paul of Vuja De, Golden Twine String Band, John King Dance Band, Mark James, and Livin’ in the Rhythm Drum Circle.
Second Stage Performers: Performances by the duo of Barry Lee(also our emcee) and his wife Barbara Christy, the originators of Spirit Wing, six-time Native American Music Award nominee; a celebration of Native American Culture with dance demonstrations, music, and open discussion about relevant Native American issues.
Second Stage Speakers: Ryan Bradley on the Adopt a Block program; Karen Feridun from Better Path Coalition; Carly Sullivan on the City or Reading’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory; Alexis Campbell from Horn Farm on Sustainable Farming; John Flohr on installing solar power; Ryan Bradley on Recycling in reading; Jim Crater on sustainability: Making It Work; and a representative from RAWA on Water Conservation.
To volunteer or to be a vendor, exhibitor, or sponsor please go to our website
https://sites.google.com/view/earthdayberks or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She Looked To The Sky by Frances Dean Nolde now available at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center!
Can you imagine growing up in the Nolde Forest Mansion, and playing in the newly planted forest? Frances Dean Nolde is the youngest of the Nolde children and did just that! She’s written a book about her childhood and mother Frances Dean Wilcox Nolde — a remarkable woman, actress, pioneer pilot, and winner of an early transcontinental all-women's air race!
Francie’s book is for sale at the Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, and all proceeds support The Friends of Nolde Forest. Learn more about Nolde Forest and the family whose foresight helped preserve the forest for future generations, like us, by visiting her website: www.FrancieNoldeBooks.com. The book makes a wonderful gift for strong women in your family, and all those who hold a special place in their hearts for Nolde Forest.
The Friends of Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center are currently undertaking a fundraising effort to support environmental education and preserve the natural, cultural and historic resources of the 725-acre Nolde Forest. The Friends of Nolde Forest, a non-for-profit, 501 C3 established in 2005 to support Nolde Forest, along with community support, have been instrumental in numerous projects that help make Nolde Forest a welcoming, safe, and accessible place for school students and families. Current fundraising initiatives are designed to make repairs to historic infrastructure including the 1830s Pennsylvania Bank Barn, support paid high school internship positions, and enhance outdoor teaching. The Friends of Nolde Forest have set their sights on raising $100,000 between now and February 1st, 2023.
Center Manager Brent Erb said, “The Friends of Nolde Forest are instrumental in supporting the educational programming and operation of Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center. Fundraising events such as this are paramount to our continued successes as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s first environmental education center. The volunteerism efforts are truly remarkable! The Friends of Nolde Forest and volunteers demonstrate their dedication and support for this place that is beloved by school students and families from throughout our community.”
A reprioritization of our communities lifestyles and leisure activities, along with a renewed interest in both in-person and informal environmental education programming has led to increased interest in Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center.
David Pray, a Friend of Nolde Forest and volunteer added, “This fund-raising campaign calls upon our community to help us support Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center’s mission of “providing opportunities for enjoying healthful outdoor recreation and serving as an outdoor classroom for environmental education for present and future generations. As we give thanks this holiday season, we humbly ask for your support. An investment in Nolde Forest is an investment in our children.”
For more information and to make donations through our secure site, please visit: www.paparksandforest.org
Checks can also be made payable to The Friends of Nolde Forest and mailing it to: Attn—Friends of Nolde Forest, 3025 New Holland Road, Reading, PA 19607
A message and request from Sarah @ Nolde Forest EE Center.
Greetings Nolde Friends and Volunteers!
I hope you are all in good health and have survived the rain from Ida. I am writing because I would like to request the help of a handful of individuals to help pull stilt grass from the plantings around the Mansion and McConnell Hall.
If you are not familiar, Stilt Grass is an invasive plant that was brought here as packing material in the 20s and 30s. It is extremely easy to pull (no digging or tools needed!) but it grows easily and produces 1,000s of seeds each year. The easiest control measure is to pull it when it begins to flower but before it goes to seed. This happens quickly and I believe this week (from now until about Sept 12) is the optimal time to remove it from the areas.
Here is a photo of the plant in question. You’ll notice that each blade of grass has the very distinct silver stripe down the middle of the leaf. This is THE defining characteristic that makes it very easy to ID when mixed in among other plants.
Here are some websites for more ID and information:
FS1237: Japanese Stiltgrass Control in the Home Lawn and Landscape (Rutgers NJAES)
If you are willing and able to assist in pulling this plant over the week or so, please respond to spresogna[at]pa[dot]gov and let me know. We are not assigning a formal time to meet and pull as a group, as there are no tools or other equipment to hand out. Instead, we are asking for those who are willing to simply stop by when it suits them best, and to work in their designated area for as long as they can. Based on the response, I will assign you an area to work on, but most areas will be close to the mansion. I am happy to sign volunteer hour forms for any school or work requirements as well. Honor system!
Once you begin to recognize Stilt Grass you will see that it has taken over large swatches of our lovely park. While it might seems overwhelming, by working in small sections each year, I hope that we can begin to move out and tackle larger areas in subsequent years. And of course, you are always welcome to rip out stilt grass when you see it on your hikes in the forest. As long as the grass has not set seed, it is safe to simply pull and leave the plant where it lays. It will not reroot and quickly composts.
If you have any further questions, please ask! I hope that some of you are able to assist us this week and take advantage of the cooler weather.
Sarah Presogna | Environmental Education Specialist Supervisor
Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
Bureau of State Parks | Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center
3025 New Holland Rd | Reading, PA 19607
The Projects page has been reworked with two project subpages added. One for the Pollinator Meadow (which used to be THE project page) and one for the Sawmill.
More projects coming soon!
Be sure to check out the progress made by our awesome volunteers on the pollinator meadow You'll find the progress at the bottom of the Pollinator Meadow page.
Today, on Smokey Bear's birthday, the Friends would like to remind everyone that no open flames are allowed in Nolde Forest.
Smokey has an excellent page on safety tips for when you are camping in another park. Click that button below.
Some updates have been made for readability and navigation. Sections are better defined on pages as needed with some information broken out into their own pages.
New projects will be added soon.