On Wednesday, May 2, Reading Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer, Alvernia University President Thomas F. Flynn, Ph.D., and Kim Murphy, President of Berks Conservancy cut a ceremonial ribbon at the new Angelica Creek Park Environmental Exploration Center to officially open the completely renovated facility. The ceremony was followed by a luncheon celebrating the partnership and volunteer teams that worked hard to build this new center for the community. See photos from the event.
“Most of us know Angelica Park as an ideal place for contemplation or recreation,” said Flynn. “But Angelica Park is also a natural laboratory. Those who volunteered their time to this new center understand what it can mean for our children and for our future. It is about much more than visual aesthetics. It is an opportunity for learning, for developing an appreciation for our natural environment — for children and adults alike.”
Alvernia’s future involvement in the Environmental Exploration Center will be an extension of a successful Angelica Park partnership with the City of Reading that has been in place for a number of years. The new three-way partnership with the Berks County Conservancy, the City of Reading, and the university is an innovative step that will ensure the Center’s success.
“We view our support of the Center and work with the Conservancy as one more opportunity for us to serve the citizens of the community in a way that benefits so many,” said Flynn. “And our continued contributions — both human and financial — to Angelica are also a way we can support the efforts of our City to maintain public services and community resources at a time of financial hardship.”
The Center has already played host to a number of events, including Eco Fun Day in April, for which Alvernia science faculty, students, and the Holleran Center for Community Engagement invited 400 sixth-grade students from the Reading School District to the park. “The day is an opportunity for hands-on learning and exploration that gets kids excited about science, the outdoors, and the environment,” said Holleran Center Director Jay Worrall.
Later this summer, Alvernia science faculty and the Holleran Center will partner with Carpenter Technology to provide a free, week-long science institute for 100 middle-school students. The students will explore hands-on projects in physics, applied math, chemistry, and ecology, and will visit the new Environmental Exploration Center.