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North Adams' Historic Valley Parks Closes After Successful Season
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:40PM / Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Historic Valley Campground has closed after a successful season. 
 
"It was busy right up to the very end," said manager Wendy Sherman told the Windsor Lake Recreation Commission last week. "It was an awesome season."
 
"We got a lot of winter storage this year, which is crazy ... 26 people with winter storage and 45 people on the waiting list," she said. "Last year, it was 36 or 38."
 
She also said there's a waiting list for the seasonal campers but some have larger campers that don't fit into all the spots so the owners of smaller campers are filling out the list.
 
Chairman Arlen Cellana said the city is planning to do an engineering study next year to evaluate the demands on the campground. "I'd hate to lose any sites," he said, because of the need for larger spaces to accommodate larger campers. 
 
Sherman didn't think that would happen. She said if they opened up the "20s road," she could fill it up with seasonal campers.
 
"If you guys would just let us have more seasonals, and that's more money, it's guaranteed money, and it will fill that whole road up and we can leave the lake loop for the weekenders and the tent sites," she said. "I'm on that road now and I have a brand-new fifth wheel."
 
The number of seasonals is currently around 50 but she thought another 10 could be added on. There's 20 on the lake loop and the campground in total has 100 sites. Cellana said that was something to bring up with the administration.
 
So far about five seasonals have indicated they weren't coming back and those spots have been filled. She said the turnover number was about typical. 
 
She wasn't too worried about the electric draw because people know that they can't run their air conditioning and microwave at the same time. However, part of the city's plan is to upgrade the electrical system. 
 
In other business:
 
• The commission approved a signage template for trails submitted by Commissioner Jennifer Dunning in conjunction with a local trail group and based on signage posted at the Cascade Trail. "If we could keep that same kind of format," she said. "It's simple, you know we have to add a few things. We would want to add, no motorized vehicles, that sort of thing."
 
Cellana thought it would be nice to add a QR code that would link back to maps, information and policies — at least once the city's new website is up and running. The commission voted to recommend the template to the city's administrative officer. 
 
Dunning said the trail group has also been maintaining the trails for mountain biking, clearing them of leaves and brush. They also have been keeping track of their volunteer hours for the commission's talks with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council. 
 
• She also asked about Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students using the canoes for water testing for a class. Sherman said all the gates, boats, oars and life jackets are locked up and it would take time to sort one out. It would also have to be the Department of Public Works because her tenure is only through the camping season. Dunning said she would follow up and, perhaps in the future, be more prepared for the request. 
 
"I just think it's important to cooperate with them since the MCLA forest is adjacent and it's really part of the same park," she said.
 
"It would be nice to work in a collaborative fashion with them, obviously I don't want to pooh-pooh the idea but maybe not right now," Cellana said. 
 
The commission also voted for Dunning to represent it at an upcoming regional trail stewardship meeting that state Sen. Adam Hinds will attend. 
 
Debra Forgea of the Friends of Windsor Lake said told the commission that the Chinese dogwood planted in the entrance garden has died. The tree donated by the Tree Commission was planted in 2012 as part of a beautification and update of the lake's entrance.
 
"I was at a loss as to how we were going to fill that spot, because we have a little cash money but not very much, and I came across Bret Beattie in the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition," she said, referring to the tree-planting project being coordinated by Beattie. "They're going to give us a tree,maybe a couple, because the Japanese lilacs that are there are pretty much dead."
 
She said the Friends are leaning toward Northern red buds and may also get a dogwood or two.
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