New Berks County signs honor Updike, Rabbit

It’s only a tiny stream that begins in Shillington, cuts through Cumru Township for a short piece, then continues through adjacent Kenhorst. There it empties into the Angelica Creek. But now that tiny stream has a name and a sign that local environmentalists hope will discourage people from dumping trash there:  Rabbit Run.

The name was chosen from 20 suggested for an Earth Day contest, and the idea to name the stream was born in 2016 through conversations between founding members of the newly formed Angelica Creek Watershed Association and Governor Mifflin High School biology teacher Jennifer Stinson, who was faculty advisor to the student environmental club.

The ACWA is a program of Berks Nature (BerksNature.org), a non-profit organization devoted to land preservation, water protection, community gardens, education programs, and partnerships that connect people to nature and maintain the natural beauty of Berks County. The ACWA, which has removed over 120 tires and tons of trash from the creek’s edge, has found that naming creeks can make a difference—even with tiny watershed runs like this section that parallels John Glenn Ave. to the south and continues past Highway 625 to New Holland Road.

Once the name “Rabbit Run” was selected, in order to get it officially named by the U.S. Government, the ACWA had to obtain permission and support letters from the three municipalities involved. The association also sought and received a similar letter of support from the Berks Planning Commission. All of this documentation was submitted to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, an office in the U.S. Geological Survey, which approved the naming in May 2018.

When the sign erection comes just one week from another Updike-related sign unveiling. The John Updike Childhood Home will host a Pennsylvania Museum & Historical Commission Marker Dedication Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 2, to which the public is invited. At that event, a National Registry of Historic Places plaque also will be unveiled at the house on 117 Philadelphia Ave. in Shillington. Here is the story that appeared in the Reading Eagle:

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