Home to Berks Nature’s headquarters, Eco-Camp, and our Berks Nature Preschool, The Nature Place sits among nearly 100 acres in Reading’s Angelica Creek Park. Take a stroll through the dog-friendly wetland trails. Get your hands dirty in our teaching and demonstration gardens. Let the kiddos run free with their imaginations in our Nature Play Zone. Then retreat inside our nature center and store for one of our “Saturdays at The Nature Place” programs – or a tour of the green features of our LEED Gold certified building. The Nature Place also makes a perfect venue for your next business conference, private event, or birthday party! Learn more about our bookings and rentals HERE!
About The Nature Place
Stop out and see what The Nature Place can offer you!
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designs (LEED) is used by the US Green Building Council for the verification of green buildings. Berks Nature is proud to call The Nature Place a LEED Gold-certified building. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and use less water and energy.
100% of The Nature Place’s energy use is offset by wind power.
Observation Beehive, Native Plants and Pollinators!
Pollinators, like bees, are important for the environment because they help maintain plant communities. Our bees enjoy easy access to our pollinator meadow loaded with native plants.
Bird Strike Reduction Glass
Our bird strike windows use a horizontal striped acid-etched pattern with stripes spaced 2” apart to discourage bird strikes. In the US alone, a million birds per day are killed as a result of collisions with manmade structures.
The placement of the elevator allows the stairs to be more prominent and open for use. The stairs encourage people to walk instead of taking the elevator; a healthier option and saves electricity!
Built at Existing Location
Building on already developed land helps reduce further land consumption. The Nature Place was constructed adjacent to the already existing boat house of Angelica Park.
Reclaimed Wood on Stairs
Our stairs utilize reclaimed wood from an industrial factory from the turn of the century.
Positioning of Building and Sunlight
The positioning of the building allows for the most sunlight to enter the building, which decreases the amount of energy that needs to be used to cool and light the building. Using natural sunlight can reduce our energy for electric lighting by 20-60%.
The carpet is made out of recycled materials. The carpet is also in smaller square tiles, which generates less waste at installation and makes it easier to replace if necessary.
Recycling Station for Proper Disposal of All Waste Generated at The Nature Place
Our recycling station will reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
The exterior sunshades help keep the building cool and still allow a lot of natural light into the building.
Zero VOC Paint
Using Zero VOC (volatile organic compound) paint helps reduce air pollution and keeps it healthy for our staff and visitors! Indoor air is about 3-5 times more toxic than outdoor air.
Water Bottle Refill Station
The water bottle refill station encourages the use of reusable bottles instead of single-use plastic bottles. About 60 million plastic water bottles end up in landfills every day in the U.S.
Bio Filter Septic System
We have a bio filter septic system which uses a filtering media made of organic matter to treat our wastewater. It is important to use only natural cleaning products to keep our bio filter healthy and functional.
Reclaimed Mushroom House Boards
Our exterior wood siding is cypress or hemlock planks once used to grow mushrooms. Using reclaimed wood helps to preserve the forests and reduce landfill waste.
Reclaimed Barn Stone
The stone on our exterior is from dismantled barns in the Northeastern U.S. Using reclaimed stone reduces the amount of stone waste that ends up in landfills.
Learn what’s green inside our facility.
LEED Certified Silver Recognition Inside
The BioHaven Island helps to filter stormwater runoff, removes excess nutrients that harm water quality, and provides wildlife habitat. Think of it as a floating island that improves water quality!
Our outdoor classroom provides a unique setting for outdoor learning with easy access to naturefor hands-on experiences!
Wetlands help erosion control, protect fisheries habitats, help flood control, groundwater recharge and discharge, provide a natural filter, and protect rare species habitat. Angelica Park features an emergent wetland and a submergent wetland.
Riparian areas are the land and habitat next to a stream. Riparian buffers (trees and plants) help filter sediment and pollution, reduce erosion, protect aquatic environments and organisms, and protect local habitats. Riparian buffers are very important!
The Nature Place has wetland trails (with a wetland ADA trail coming soon), Angelica Creek Trail, and has a connection to Greater Reading Trails and Schuylkill River Trail. Being located near trails allows bikers and hikers to utilize the trails and to safely access The Nature Place. Connect to Nature!
Our native plant rain gardens help to capture and filter runoff pollution, recharge ground water, conserve water, improve water quality, and create wildlife habitat.
Our teaching garden is incorporated into our summer day camp, preschool, and many other educational programs. Here we stress the importance of agriculture, local foods, composting, and the basics of gardening. This teaching garden also features plots that are accessible for all gardeners!
Composting helps reduce methane emissions and other greenhouse gases, reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, provides carbon sequestration, enhances water retention in soils, and can be used to remediate soils that have been contaminated. Ask us about our worm composting station!
Our beneficial pollinator garden provides milkweeds, nectar sources, and shelter needed to sustain monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America. It has been certified by Monarch Watch as an official Monarch Waystation!
Pervious concrete reduces the amount of untreated runoff discharging into storm sewers, recharges groundwater directly, and channels more water to tree roots. It requires special maintenance that did not make its use practical for all hard surfaces at The Nature Place.
We feature numerous native perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees at The Nature Place. Native plants require less maintenance, less water, and are a good source of food for wildlife.
The bike rack encourages people to ride bikes, instead of driving cars, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Bikers that are utilizing the trail system have a safe place to do necessary repairs while traveling.
The water bottle refill station encourages the use of reusable bottles instead of single-use plasticbottles. This minimizes the amount of plastic waste. Our pet fountain ensures that our four-legged friends stay hydrated too!
The Nature Play Zone encourages children to explore, learn, and engage in unstructured free play in nature.
Angelica Park is designed to collect and filter stormwater. On-site, the parking lot, trails, and built surfaces have been designed to allow water to drain to the wetlands where the water will be filtered and recharge the groundwater.
We encourage preferred parking for low emissions smart cars that are better for the environment.
We are applying for a public bus stop that will stop at the parking lot, and Alvernia University has a shuttle that goes to Angelica Park. This encourages people to use public transportation instead of using cars, and also encourages people to visit The Nature Place!