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State Awards $11.1 Million in Climate Change Funding To Cities And Towns
09:17AM / Thursday, September 17, 2020
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FITCHBURG, Mass. — Continuing investment in climate change resiliency, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $11.1 million in grants to cities and towns through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.   This announcement brings total state investment in climate change resilience through the MVP program to over $44 million since 2017. The popular grant and designation program provides communities with funding and technical support to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. The grants were announced by Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito in Fitchburg as

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State Awards Grants to Support Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership
02:06PM / Wednesday, September 16, 2020
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ROWE, Mass. — The Baker-Polito Administration announced $225,000 in grant funding to eight municipalities and a regional economic development organization to support forest stewardship and conservation, trail improvements, and nature-based tourism in the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership region.     The funding builds upon the Commonwealth's Shared Stewardship Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, which established a framework for partnerships between local governments and stakeholders to advance the goals of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership (MTWP) to conserve forests and enhance regional economic

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Northern Berkshire Students Garden Virtually
04:00AM / Saturday, September 05, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire 2020 Summer Youth Works program went virtual this year with a seven-week virtual gardening Program.   The Northern Berkshire Summer Youth program typically places students in paid internships with local companies but, like most things this year, COVID-19 forced the Berkshire Workforce Board (BWB) to adapt.   Through funding from the First Congregational Church of Williamstown and MountainOne, the BWB converted programming to a seven-week virtual gardening program.   The Berkshire Workforce Board partnered with Greenagers, a youth environment group, who supplied each student with a container garden. Greenagers provided lessons

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HarveStamford Donate To Berkshire Food Project
Community Submission,
09:28AM / Friday, September 04, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — On Saturday, Aug. 29, Pat Sullivan, Caroline Burch, and Sara Bonthius delivered more than 300 pounds of fresh produce grown in Stamford, Vt., to the Berkshire Food Project.   Stamford put on its first annual HarveStamford Community Supper last year to celebrate the harvest and bring neighbors together. Due to COVID-19 concerns this year, the supper was not possible.   The event was re-imagined as HarveStamford Community Share in which town residents were asked to donate produce from their gardens. More than 30 households in Stamford participated in the HarveStamford Community Share by contributing produce from their gardens to the free meal site in North

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Chilling Snow Storm Draws Apprehensive Avian Migrants
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
08:00PM / Sunday, August 30, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — If ever there was a snow storm to remember it was that of early May in our Berkshires.   Forewarned by the aggressive weather watchers to inform us of the approaching tempest, one may wonder how our birds reacted to atmospheric signs that animals first perceive. Flocking birds of assorted genera appeared stunned by the daunting freeze that enveloped both the world of people and the spring migrating birds eager to resume nesting and procreation of their progeny.   All night the swirling snow fell in the valleys and foothills, and I felt concern for our cheerful charmers that must outlast the shivering cold swept upon them as they would take shelter

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Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Nearing Fundraising Goal
09:41AM / Monday, August 24, 2020
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LENOX, Mass. — Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is nearing its Opening Doors to Nature capital campaign goal of $1.2 million to address the sanctuary's aging facilities   Through donations, Mass Audubon's Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is now within $200,000 of its $1.12 million goal to fund the program barn expansion project.   The capital campaign was created to help ensure the sanctuary's aging facilities are brought up to date, with a focus on accessibility and related amenities.   The centerpiece will be an energy-efficient addition to the 18th-century program barn that includes modern restrooms, expanded lobby area, expansive decking,

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Massachusetts Residents Asked to Report Receipt of Unsolicited Seeds
Staff Reports,
05:45PM / Tuesday, July 28, 2020
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These seeds arrived in Washington State apparently from China. BOSTON — Random packages of seeds that appear to be from China and other countries have been appearing in mailboxes across the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and numerous agricultural agencies across the nation are warning  people not to plant what could be an invasive species.    The state Department of Agricultural Resources has been notified that several Massachusetts residents have received these unsolicited packages that appear to have originated in a foreign country and contain seeds.    While the exact types of seeds in the packages are unknown, the seeds are thought to be

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Pittsfield City Council Recognizes Environmentalist
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:20PM / Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council honored local environmentalist Jane Winn as one of the commonwealth's Unsung Heroines   Before breaking into the evening's business Tuesday, the council took a moment to recognize the executive director of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team.   "In regular times, before the world has turned upside down ... I would be with you probably with a full audience to celebrate as we do every year," said state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, who nominated Winn. "I am really pleased to present to you Pittsfield's 2020 Unsung Heroine Jane Winn."   The Massachusetts Commission of the Status of Women annually

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State Grant Program Should Help Local Food Producers
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:27AM / Sunday, June 07, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As a member of a town committee, an officer with the advocacy group Berkshire Grown and a documentary filmmaker, Sarah Gardner has spent years pushing for a stronger local food supply.   So she was glad last month when Beacon Hill followed suit.   As part of its overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker recently announced $36 million in grants to build up the commonwealth's "food security infrastructure."    "The grants will fund investments in technology, equipment, increased capacity and other infrastructure to help producers distribute food, especially to food insecure

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CET Offers Webinar on Weatherization for Small Businesses
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:31PM / Monday, May 25, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Center for EcoTechnology on Wednesday will host a webinar to help small businesses learn about the benefits of weatherization.   "Right now, due to the current COVID-19 and economic situation, utilities have temporarily increased incentives available to small businesses – in some cases up to 70-100 percent of installed energy saving measures will be covered," said Katherine Butler, the special projects manager at CET.   "This means it’s a terrific time for businesses to pursue these energy efficiency measures. In general, weatherization is a phenomenal way to stimulate the local economy, save businesses money, and help the

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