While the municipal borders dictate that some of the Berwick community is in Columbia County and some in Luzerne County, and that some of it is in the borough limits and some in Salem Township, the community thinks of itself as one. Indeed, the community of Berwick comes together as a unit in a number of ways.
There are certain attributes
with which people tend to associate Berwick. Travel throughout the country
and one will often meet someone who has heard of this small town. Quite
often that will be because of its stellar high school athletic program.
Noted for football especially, the high school team has brought home the
state championship six times. The high school has also produced a stellar
group of graduates, as evidenced each year with new inductions into an
already burgeoning Academic Hall of Fame.
The Berwick Area School District, which boasts an enrollment of 4,100 and a professional staff of 240, encompasses two boroughs and a township in Columbia County and three townships and a borough in Luzerne County. Two private schools are also located within the district, as are several daycare centers. Luzerne County Community College has also added a campus in downtown Berwick.
Berwick boasts an adult
day care center, a Senior Citizens Center, an active AARP and a Senior
Circle program at The Berwick Hospital Center. The borough offers excellent
health care with its own 169-bed privately-owned hospital and 240-bed
long-term care facility with outreach services.
Berwick has several
strong, community-supported human service agencies, as well as traditional
social and service clubs with extensive volunteer bases. The Berwick Area
United Way supports 15 agencies and helps to provide services such as
the Wheels for Work program and the Community Soup Kitchen. Volunteers
in the Day of Caring complete cleanup and improvement projects that save
hundreds of dollars for member agencies.
The Berwick Industrial
Development Association (BIDA), which took over the former home of the
American Car and Foundry, manages an industrial complex housing 14 industries
that form the economic lifeblood of the community. Berwick Industrial
Plan and Spirit, an area-wide economic agency, assists businesses with
PIDA and PEDFA financing and works with other county, state and federal
economic development programs and organizations.
Berwick is proud of
its downtown district, the site of unique shops, restaurants, banks, office
suites, a movie theater and a beautifully-renovated apartment building
with first-floor commercial properties. The Downtown Division of the Berwick
Area Chamber of Commerce hosts two downtown street festivals, All American
Day in May and Fall for Berwick in September. The famous Thanksgiving
Day Run for the Diamonds hosts about 1000 runners a year. The Jaycees
Christmas Boulevard, a light and decoration display along Market Street,
is held throughout the month of December.
The Borough of Berwick is home to about 11,000 citizens. The extended community, however, is home to the 23,000 residents of the Berwick Area School District. It is a community about which is increasingly said, “There are some exciting things going on in Berwick!” Berwick is indeed a community of exciting potential and expanding opportunities headed into a dynamic future.
© Berwick's Newspaper,
Press Enterprise •
Last Updated: April 30, 2013