Public invited to Mount Penn Preserve community design meetings


At the Berks County commissioners' weekly board meeting on Thursday, Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt invited the community to attend one of four community design meetings scheduled for February and March.

The purpose of the meetings is to brainstorm ideas and to get input from the public to help create a Mount Penn Preserve master plan.

"We want to get everyone's perspective," Barnhardt said.

After the commissioners' meeting, Barnhardt shared that they are in the preliminary stages of the plan and that the final strategic plan may not include radical changes, but simply address ways to preserve and enhance the facilities on Mount Penn.

"Many groups have been working independently" to improve the area, Barnhardt said. This is an effort to "combine forces."

Barnhardt also shared that better recreational facilities help improve the quality of life for Berks County residents.

"The remoteness of the area is both a blessing and a curse," and said bringing more activity to the area will make it a safer place, He admitted.

The Mount Penn Preserve executive committee has representatives from Alsace and Lower Alsace townships, Mount Penn Borough, Reading, the Reading Berks Association of Realtors, Pagoda-Skyline Inc., and Berks County. The Reading Liederkranz, Stokesay Castle, and Captain's Cove have also been involved in the discussions.

The meetings are scheduled for Saturday, February 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Reading City Hall; Thursday, March 9, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Reading Liederkranz in Lower Alsace Township; Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Reading City Hall; or Thursday, April 20, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Stokesay Castle and the Knight's Pub in Lower Alsace Township.

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During the commissioners' meeting, Chairman Christian Y. Leinbach also expressed his sadness at the passing of Albert Boscov.

"He was a unique and very special individual," Leinbach said. "He treated everyone with respect. He will be seriously missed."