Berks County Community Foundation awarded a grant of $2,500 to the Longswamp Township Historical Society to help restore the historic Mertztown train station.
The society is planning to restore the station as a society-owned property and repurpose the historic building as a community gathering place, a hub of society programs, and a central location for the society’s museum collection.
The society acquired the station in May 2019. To ensure its extended life as a community building and one of 35 historic structures within the township, the society plans to move the station approximately 6/10 of a mile to the Longswamp Township Community Park at 1112 State Street, Mertztown.
Over the last decade, the society has published eight books and hosted more than 70 events, such as lectures, historic site visits, and reenactments, all of which are free.
For more information on the train station, go to https://www.longswamphistory.org/mertztown-station.html.
The grant was distributed from the Conservation Equity Fund at the Community Foundation. This fund provides grants for preserving and conserving open space (including but not limited to farmland), environmentally sensitive land, and historic properties in Berks County. Since 2014, this fund has awarded five grants totaling $13,500.
This fund accepts donations at https://bccf.org/give/conservation-equity-fund/.
Berks County Community Foundation manages about 400 charitable funds. Each year, those funds distribute scholarships and grants to support local students and assist a variety of nonprofit organizations and causes. Since 1994, the Community Foundation has awarded about $60 million in grants and scholarships.