READING, Pa. -
You can hear nature at work. It's busy building itself up, steadying itself, ready for what the world brings and ready to show off a bit.
"We always encourage people to come in and explore the park. You don't see the extensive network of trails that exist here from the roadside," explained Tami J. Shimp, Berks Nature's vice president of development and community relations.
Angelica Park in Berks County is within Reading's city limits. You'll find it just off Route 10.
"What's great about Angelica and what's worth the visit is all the different habitats that are within this close area," Shimp said.
If you haven't been out to the park in awhile, you may not even recognize it.
It changes with the seasons. There are 90 acres to explore: wetlands, riparian corridor, the pond, upland meadow and the woods.
All the trails are people and pet friendly.
"This has become a fantastic birding destination due to the abundant source of food that's here in the wetlands, and as well as our close proximity to the Schuylkill River," Shimp said.
Part of the park is under construction, making way for The Nature Place, but Berks Nature asks you to excuse the mess and, in the meantime, enjoy what the park has to offer.
In the middle of the pond, there's a new addition, a floating island. It's made out of recycled material and covered with 100 native plants, tussock sedge, blue flag iris, bulrush among them.
"This biohaven, also called floating island, is a new tool to help us improve water quality," Shimp said. "Basically, the park is a stormwater treatment facility."
If you could peek under the island, you'd see the roots in the water. It acts as a concentrated wetland by filtering and removing excess nutrients and pollutants.
The water you see in Angelica Creek flows into the Schuylkill River.
"The added bonus with the floating islands is that, once established, once the plants are a little bit larger and it's established, it serves as wildlife habitat, as well," Shimp explained.
Next to the floating island are two turtle loafing docks.
"We find more ducks on there than we do turtles," Shimp admitted.
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