Back in February, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission announced that Berks Nature, a non-profit conservation organization serving Berks County, had received a $10,000 grant that will help finance fishing-related programs for Hispanic families living there.
The grant was made possible through a 50/50 matching support of $5,000 each from the commission and Fishing Foundation’s George H.W. Bush Varmos A Pescar Education Fund.
Rick Kauffman, the commission’s District 6 commissioner, believes this will help develop recreational experiences for Hispanic families living locally. “Berks Nature is an outstanding organization that we’re proud to partner with,” he said. “The Hispanic community contributes so much to our communities across Berks, and we believe we can form a connection and appreciation for fishing and conservation right here at home with these families.”
Some of the programs offered with the grant include educational sessions (bilingual) on basic fishing instruction, fish ID and cooking techniques. Certified Fish & Boat Commission fishing skills instructors and Berks Nature staff will offer hands-on help with the programs.
According to the commission, research has shown that Hispanics are participating in fishing at record-setting levels, and members of this specific group average more days on the water than the general market of anglers.
Programs are tentatively scheduled for May, June and July.
Being a Berks County native, I welcome this undertaking by officials to enlighten and add more Hispanic people to the fishing populace wherever they live, because these events and actions can only help to secure a better future for our water sources and the life within.