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Angelica Creek Park Environmental Exploration Center

Date: 5/2/2012

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. 

PH: ribbon cutting

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.