Hay Creek Watershed Association

A program of Berks Nature, Hay Creek Watershed Association is made up of volunteers, whose mission is to actively protect, preserve and restore the Hay Creek and its watershed through advocacy, education, community involvement, and stewardship of the areas within or affecting the watershed. 

Become a member of the Hay Creek Watershed Association today! Simply CLICK HERE and select the second option on the list for “watershed association membership.”
Coming up this spring:

Community Events: Union Township Eco-Fest, Saturday May 18th from 9am-2pm at the Union Township Recreation Area. Stop by and visit our table!

Water Quality Monitoring (Dates Vary): Become a Citizen Scientist, and join us for stream monitoring! HCWA volunteers collect grab samples from a tributary of Hay Creek for water quality analysi, sometimes in partnership with Green Valleys Watershed Association. Volunteer assistance is always needed and training is provided (no experience needed), contact Sarah for more information!

 The next Hay Creek Watershed Association meeting will be held Wednesday, May 16th at 6:30pm at The Nature Place, 575 St. Bernardine St, Reading, PA 19607.

For more information on becoming a member or getting involved with the Hay Creek Watershed Association, contact Berks Nature Land Protection Specialist Sarah Chudnovsky at 610-372-4992 ext. 104, or sarah.chudnovsky@berksnature.org

Who We Are

An essential source of drinking water, exceptional wildlife habit and recreational haven for residents and visitors, the 22-square-mile Hay Creek Watershed lies within south central Berks County and includes portions of Brecknock, Caernarvon, Robeson and Union townships, as well as the boroughs of Birdsboro and New Morgan. The watershed drains water to the Schuylkill River from both public and private lands that include a mixture of woodlands, fields, active agriculture, suburban settings and urban areas. The Hay Creek Watershed is a sub-watershed of the larger Schuylkill Watershed, that then enters the Delaware River, which eventually flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

Hay Creek Watershed Association was founded in 1996 by a small group of community members dedicated to the protection of the land and water from unsustainable development and environmental degradation.
Today, we continue to advocate for the protection of our precious natural resources through education, planning and restoration efforts. We remain largely a volunteer organization, and rely on our members, volunteers and community partners to help carry out our mission. 

Our Goals

We aim to promote stewardship and conservation of our water resources through education, volunteerism and advocacy. Our goals include: 

  • Completing critical hands-on improvement projects.
  • Encouraging good land use decisions.
  • Supporting preservation in the Hay Creek Watershed.
  • Educating young people and adults about water quality.
  • Enhancing the community’s experience of the Watershed by facilitating events and encouraging recreational opportunities.

Get Involved

Interested in getting involved? The HCWA meets monthly, on the 3rd Wednesday evening of the month. We conduct water quality sampling twice a month in partnership with the Green Valleys Watershed Association, and are always in need of additional volunteers to help out with our water monitoring projects!

Hay Creek Highlights

Known for its outstanding natural and cultural heritage, the Hay Creek Watershed area is brimming with a diversity of plants and animals. Among other highlights: 

  • The Hay Creek Watershed is home to a number of rare species, including Bog Bluegrass and the Bog Turtle.
  • Designated “Exceptional Value” waters.
  • Class A Trout Stream.
  • Part of the Highland Region that stretches from Reading all the way through northern New Jersey and southern New York to western Connecticut.
  • Within the boundaries of the Hopewell Big Woods.
  • Part of the Schuylkill Conservation Landscape Initiative.
  • Contains a 1,200-acre Forest Legacy Easement.
  • The Nature Conservancy has identified this area as a forest conservation zone; and the Audubon Society has designated the region as an Important Bird Area.
  • Recreational opportunities include hiking, biking, climbing, running and orienteering.