Every year, Earth Day is celebrated across the globe with tree plantings, festivals, and various volunteer activities that remind us of our collective responsibility to steward the natural environment and limit impacts on the earth.  

The Berks County Earth Day Committee hosts an Earth Day celebration every year to bring the community together and educate about environmental and conservation subjects while encouraging participants to make sustainable choices. Thousands of people gathered in City Park on April 20 to enjoy live music and food from local vendors and participate in a range of educational activities from planting seeds and trees to litter clean ups to wildlife demonstrations.  

“The pure joy of seeing little ones bouncing from booth to booth, learning about our Earth, made my heart smile. They’re the future of our planet, and their enthusiasm gives me hope for a brighter tomorrow,” said Lazarely Martinez, a first-time attendee of the Earth Day celebration in City Park.  

The Youth Volunteer Corps held a table at the event that promoted planting vegetables in a bag. The bag was recyclable, and dirt was donated from Ridgewood Soils in Birdsboro. Kids of all ages were instructed to scoop dirt into their bags and then were provided with lettuce or spinach seeds to plant in the soil. Participants were encouraged to place the bags in sunlight and watered regularly. When leaves start to sprout, they can be cut and are ready to be eaten.  

“I like spinach because it makes me feel strong and planting it makes me feel like a farmer,” said Avian Robles, an 8-year-old student at Muhlenberg Elementary Center after planting his spinach planted bag.  

At the Community Foundation, our goal is to keep Berks County a beautiful place by supporting projects and programs that recognize the value of our open space and provide education on how to reduce our impact on the planet. The Earth Day celebration was made possible by the Hawley and Myrtle Quier Fund of Berks County Community Foundation. This fund makes distributions to improve the quality of life for the residents of Berks County. This support not only benefits the present generation but also lays the foundation for a more sustainable future for generations to come. 

READING, PA (June 28, 2023) – Berks County Community Foundation recently awarded $10,600 from the Berks County Tennis Fund to two organizations that are hosting summer tennis programs for Berks County youth. $3,810 was awarded to the Conrad Weiser Tennis Association (CWTA) for its CWTA Summer Tennis Program. Funds will support the costs of summer camp salaries, tennis balls, rackets, and other tennis equipment.  

CWTA promotes tennis in the Conrad Weiser area and across Berks County through a variety of tennis programs for all ages and skill levels. The summer program is open to any student-athlete in Berks County. Its primary goal is to instill strong values related to self-esteem, leadership, and integrity in players, and to show individuals how tennis can have a positive impact on one’s life.  

$6,790 was awarded to the Reading Recreation Commission for its City of Reading (COR) Tennis & Education Club. Funds will pay for court instructors and educational program staff. 

The mission of the Reading Recreation Commission is to provide quality recreation programs and facilities for the residents of Reading with a primary focus on youth programs. 

Its tennis program teaches children and the community about tennis, education, nutrition, and fitness while providing a positive, well-rounded summer experience. Up to 300 individuals, primarily students in the city of Reading, participate each year. Registrations from participants from other areas of Berks County are also accepted. 

“Our program helps children learn and develop positive personality characteristics that are useful on the tennis court, but, more importantly, are applicable in many off-court situations,” says Matthew Lubas, recreation supervisor at Reading Recreation Commission. 

The Berks County Tennis Fund was created to enhance the quality of life for children and adults in Berks County through the sport of tennis. Programs supported by grants promote and teach tennis as a lifelong leisure activity, a competitive sport, and a vehicle to develop skills in patience, self-discipline, and critical thinking. This fund accepts applications annually from January 1 – March 15. To learn more about this fund, visit https://bccf.org/funds/berks-county-tennis-fund/.  

Media Contact: Erica Caceres, Communication Manager, Phone: 610-685-2231, Email address: ericac@bccf.org

A grant to the Mifflin Area YMCA from the Community Foundation’s Russell L. Hiller Charitable Trust Fund supported Y on the Fly, an on-the-move program that promotes health and wellness for local families. 

Y on the Fly stopped at different locations in the Governor Mifflin area. Each stop was themed around a different component of health and wellness, such as public safety, physical fitness, creativity, and mental health. The activities at each stop worked to promote family engagement and connection.  

For example, activities at the Nutrition Stop included a children’s activity book with nutrition-themed pages such as “Eat Right, Eat Healthy.” Families were encouraged to complete activities like a word search and food log. The children took part in a nutrition relay, where they ran and sorted healthy and unhealthy food. This relay, which used toy food, allowed children to partake in physical activity while applying the new knowledge they’d gained from the activity book.  

Hosting this program helped the YMCA educate children about taking care of their health. The YMCA also educated families about different services offered by the YMCA and other community resources.  

In the future, the Mifflin Area YMCA hopes to expand this program to reach more families.  

The grant that supported this program came from the Russell L. Hiller Charitable Trust Fund. The Russell L. Hiller Charitable Trust Fund was created in 2003 after the passing of Judge Russell L. Hiller. This fund was created with the goal of providing scholarships to Governor Mifflin students, as well as providing funding for programs that will benefit the residents of Governor Mifflin Area School District.  

To learn more about the Russell L. Hiller Charitable Trust Fund, visit https://bccf.org/funds/russell-l-hiller-charitable-trust-2/ 

For more information about the Mifflin Area YMCA, visit https://www.ymcarbc.org/branch/mifflin/ 

READING, PA (June 8, 2023) – The Gilmore | Henne Fund of Berks County Community Foundation has awarded $9,500 in grants to five parks. The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund was created by Wilson High School Graduates and NFL players John Gilmore and Chad Henne to support the costs of park programs and recreational improvements.

Grants were awarded to the following applicants:

“I am elated to support projects that will make our parks safer, more accessible, and more enjoyable for visitors,” said Emily Smedley, environment and energy program officer. “These improvements will revive some of our local green spaces and create a healthy environment where residents can share special moments with one another.”

The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund was created in 2010 with the goal of improving the community and the quality of life for Berks County children through park improvements. To learn more about the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund, visit https://bccf.org/funds/gilmore-henne-community-fund/.


Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation serving as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing, and distributing charitable funds to improve the quality of life in Berks County, PA. More information is available at www.bccf.org.

Media Contact: Erica Caceres, Communication Manager, Phone: 610-685-2231, Email address: ericac@bccf.org