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.
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.
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.