The Department of Environmental Protection recently awarded a $53,200 grant to Berks County for the control of West Nile Virus. Other local counties that also received grants to control the virus include Lancaster, Lebanon, Chester, Schuylkill, and Montgomery. A total of $2.05 million was awarded to Pennsylvania counties.
Don’t be alarmed; this is an annual grant and not associated with any particular outbreak of the virus. The Department of Environmental Protection awards the grant to help protect the public from the health risk based on historic outbreaks of the disease. However, it’s always a good idea to learn more and take personal safety precautions if you will be exposed to conditions that harbor the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 cases of West Nile Virus were reported in Pennsylvania during 2014, with one resulting in death. The CDC also reports that the majority of people to contract the virus do not develop any symptoms. About 1 in 5 people infected will develop a fever and associated symptoms such as body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, or fatigue. A very small amount (less than 1%) may develop a serious neurological disease. There is no vaccine or treatment for West Nile Virus.
Parks and Lakes Local to Berks County
West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted to humans through infected mosquitoes. As Berks and surrounding counties are home to many parks, nature trails, lakes, creeks, and natural water sources, there are ample opportunities for mosquitoes to gather.
Locations local to Berks County that may host large quantities of mosquitoes include Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, Chambers Lake in Chester County, French Creek State Park in Berks and Chester Counties, Little Schuylkill in Schuylkill Country, Maiden Creek in Berks County, and Tulpehocken Creek in Lebanon and Berks Counties.
Blue Marsh Lake in particular is an extremely popular destination for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, hiking, biking, swimming, and other recreational activities during the summer months. Unfortunately, the summer months are also peak mosquito season. If you participate in outdoor activities at Blue Marsh Lake or any other local park, it’s always a good idea to take safety precautions against West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus Prevention Tips
- Take all necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites
- Use insect repellents according to the label instructions
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when weather and activity permits
- Limit recreational activity during peak mosquito biting hours from dusk until dawn
- Be aware that mosquitoes are especially attracted to still and standing water
- Report dead birds to local authorities because this could be a sign of a virus outbreak
To learn more about West Nile Virus, file an excessive mosquito complaint, or report a dead bird you can visit Pennsylvania’s West Nile Virus Control Program online or call 717-346-8234.
About DAK Self Storage
DAK Self Storage is a locally owned and operated self storage facility in Leesport, PA. We are nearby Blue Marsh Lake and offer convenient storage for boating, fishing, and other recreational equipment.
It’s often sad to see a season go, but the next always comes with something to look forward to. Summer has sunny beach days and family barbecues, Autumn has back-to-school and warm apple cider, Winter has the holidays and cozy sweaters, Spring offers a fresh start and beautiful flowers. Every new season probably means a visit to your local self storage facility as well.
Changing seasons means a change in your routine and the items you need on a regular basis. Seasonal items can vary greatly depending on your hobbies and preferences. During some seasons you might need to store a ton of items and during others you might need to store very few. Here’s a brief list of some seasonal items you may have:
- Holiday decorations
- Outdoor furniture
- Pool and beach accessories
- Sports equipment like skis, golf clubs, and bikes
- Camping, fishing, or hiking gear
Storing seasonal items can be a bit more complicated than storing other items. Most likely, you are bringing some out of storage as you are storing others. You are probably handling seasonal items more frequently as well. A little organization and planning can make the transition smooth and easy.
First, visit your storage unit and pull out everything you’ll need for the coming season. Make sure to do a thorough check. You don’t want to load all your lawn chairs and beach umbrellas into your unit only to realize you forgot that small box of ornaments now buried underneath. This is also a good time to look around and figure out how much space you have to store last season’s items. You don’t want to waste time and energy packing up your entire family’s bikes only to realize you don’t have the room.
A regular self storage unit is recommended for most seasonal items. Because these items are stored and removed frequently and tend to be bulkier, the ability to drive right up to your unit is key. Spring, Summer and Fall seasonal items are more likely to be designed for outdoor use and won’t be vulnerable to damage by fluctuations in temperature and humidity. You might consider indoor self storage for smaller, fragile seasonal items such as Christmas ornaments.
Wash and completely dry any outdoor furniture or sports equipment if appropriate. This is a good way to prevent rust, damage, and odor. Plus everything will be clean and ready to use when you pull it out again. Stackable plastic storage bins can keep smaller items organized and protected from dust. Make sure to label all bins or boxes with the season you need the items inside. Make a list of everything as you store it, so you can easily remember what you need to pull out again next year. Record the number of boxes you have for each season and list any bulkier items not stored in boxes.
Blue Marsh Lake is a top destination in Berks County for a wide variety of recreational activities. The park area covers many acres and is used by boaters, fisherman, hikers, and many other outdoor enthusiasts.
Getting to and from Blue Marsh Lake is easy, but one problem is that the grounds do not have any storage. If you need equipment for your trip you must trailer it in or store it nearby.
One of the best solutions is utilizing DAK Self Storage, a local storage facility with highly affordable rates.
What Kind of Recreation is Available at Blue Marsh?
If you’re planning a trip to Blue Marsh you may need to know what kind of recreation is possible. The following is a list of activities you can enjoy:
- Fishing in the main lake or tributary stream areas
- Boating and jet skiing
- Mountain Biking
- Horse Riding on designated trials
- Nature observation and educational hikes
- Swimming and lounging in designated beach area
What Rental Facilities are On-Site?
Blue Marsh offers plenty of space and opportunity for recreation, but it does not provide much in the way of rentals. There are no boat, life vest, jet ski, fishing gear, tube, or bike rentals. In fact, if you need equipment you are mostly relegated to bringing it yourself.
How and Why Should I Store at DAK?
Since there are no rentals or on-site storage facilities at Blue Marsh, you will need to truck in any equipment. That can be a burden on gas mileage, time spent packing, and road wear-and-tear. One option many enthusiasts prefer is to secure a self storage unit at DAK.
DAK is located in nearby Leesport, just minutes away from Blue Marsh:
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Units range dramatically in size, meaning you can store as much or as little as needed. The facility features outdoor units as well as climate controlled indoor units. The grounds are completely encased by fencing with keycode access only, and monitored 24/7 by video surveillance.
Getting the rental process start is simple. Begin by browsing available units here. If you find one you like (some units feature a special $1 first month move-in special!), you can either reserve it online or call us with any questions (610-926-1310).
We are locally owned and operated so we can truly help optimize your storage experience.
Berks County is home to a lot of varied terrain as well as natural water sources. As such, there is some fantastic kayaking and canoeing to be had. If you’re a water adventurer, be sure to check out some of these spots.
When prepping for your excursion, be sure to take the proper precautions. A few obvious things to mark off the checklist include bringing a well fitted life jacket as well as leaving proper documentation as to your location and predicted float time. Also, make yourself aware of the natural wildlife in the area of your intended trip. Knowing what snakes to watch out for, as well as other potentially poisonous creatures, can help you avoid a bad outing.
Once ready, do some background investigation on the following areas. Knowing how long to plan your trip and what kind of water turbulence you will experience is to a fun afternoon filled with excitement or leisure.
- Blue Marsh Lake – Located extremely close to DAK Self Storage, Blue Marsh Lake is a beautiful area filled with boating opportunities. One of the best rides extends from the Stilling Basin down to Gring’s Mill. Be aware that an Unpowered Boat Launch Permit is requested at state parks.
- Maiden Creek – Most sections provide a very flat and pleasant trip. Good for beginning paddlers.
- Little Schuylkill – This actually begins in Schuylkill County but provides an exciting ride. Be mindful of the water levels as high water can provide a fun ride while low water often requires certain sections to be walked.
- French Creek State Park – Lots of water to be had and a well run park system. Also requests an Unpowered Boat Launch Permit.
- Tulpehocken Creek – Located conveniently near Penn State Berks. The speed of the water is dictated by the let-outs of Blue Marsh Lake.
- Chambers Lake – Located in nearby Chester county, this lake provides serene paddling on still water. Perfect for beginners. An Unpowered Boat Launch Permit is encouraged when on the lake.
To learn more about good paddling spots and how to get the most out of them, consider contacting the Keystone Canoe Club. They are a Berks based group with a lot of knowledge that can improve your safety and optimal paddling times.
If you need to acquire some canoeing gear, there are multiple athletic outfitters in the area. Dick’s Sporting Goods is located in Wyomissing, right off of 422 near the Spring Ridge Exit. You can also arrange for rentals from the Reading River Tribe located on Canal Street, as well as Kelly’s Canoe and Kayak Center located in Gilbertsville..