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North County Conservation Group Beautifies the Community and Spreads Awareness
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:10AM / Saturday, January 22, 2022
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Rosalyn Lincoln is hoping to spread the message of conservation through the Mountain Warrior Conservation Society she and her partner launched last year. The society is in the process of becoming a nonprofit.


Rosalyn Lincoln and Austin Thompson, seen in this Facebook photo, have been picking up litter on their own and in community cleanups they've organized. 

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Dismayed with the amount of litter in their area, a North County couple has made it their mission to make a greener future.

In the spring of last year, the Mountain Warrior Conservation Society was launched as a community organization — and a movement — fighting for the conservation of wildlife and the environment by promoting direct action.

It was founded by Rosalyn Lincoln and her partner, Austin Thompson, and they are starting off small and hoping the work incites wider-reaching environmental efforts.

"I'm an avid hiker, and so is my partner and we, you know, just walking on trails in the middle of the woods, you can even see, you know, people leave granola bar wrappers or trail mix bags just everywhere, and it's kind of started there," said Lincoln, who acts as the chief executive. "But then once we opened our eyes a little to that, it was more like, you know, you just see it everywhere in the community."

Lincoln has a bachelor's degree in biology from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and will be receiving a master's degree in wildlife conservation and management. This has given her a deeper understanding of the repercussions of litter.

"Studying that in school, that also opened my eyes and allows me to take more of a scientific standpoint to understand the deeper level of just how important it is," she said about conservation efforts.

"So just even just leaving a small piece of plastic that won't degrade into the planet, it actually harms it."

The conservation society's efforts include trash cleanups and education through social media or community outreach. They began posting regularly in April about the importance of a clean planet and their own conservation efforts while challenging others to take part.

"Warrior (noun): a brave or experienced soldier or fighter. Someone who strives to be the best they can be. Someone who not only has experience or skill in the field of combat, but someone who takes action to make a change," an early post reads.

"With this definition, Mountain Warrior Conservation Society vows to make a difference. To protect this planet that we call home and all those who inhabit it. We take direct action, raise awareness, and fight for the protection of wildlife, plants, and the environment as a whole. As warriors, we strive to make a change and restore this planet back to its natural beauty, free of pollution, trash, litter, etc.  Take action. Educate yourself, as well as others. Raise awareness. Be a warrior. Join the movement."

Lincoln and Thompson regularly go out and pick up trash at various places and were able to hold a community trash pickup last year. Aside from the commonly littered items such as cigarette butts and wrappers they have found needles, whipped cream cans, and Styrofoam. 

"It was a little tough because the pandemic, it still kind of is, but we were able to organize a community trash cleanup in North Adams at Noel Field, and it actually had a pretty decent turnout," she said.

"We're hoping to have more of that in the future."

They would also like to organize other events such as sustainability workshops, tree plantings, or even hiking trail maintenance in the future as well.

To be able to raise money and receive grants, the conservation society is in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization. Currently, it is self-funded.

"I'd like to organize a lot more cleanups this year and hopefully establish a nonprofit organization, just community outreach, and just grow and expand," Lincoln said.

"And the whole point of it, it's not necessarily just an organization, it's a movement, so just by us going out and picking up trash, our goal is to hopefully start a chain reaction, so others see it, and then they think, 'oh, I should go clean up too, that's a good idea.' and then they'll do it and then eventually long term it's good for the environment, good for the community."

An official website is also on the immediate horizon.

The best way to get involved with the Mountain Warrior Conservation Society is through Facebook, through its upcoming website, or just by clearing a local space of litter.

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