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Campers From Camp Lenox Help Clean Up Pittsfield's West Side
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:48AM / Monday, July 22, 2019
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The group cuts down brush that had made the stairway to College Drive impassable.

Due to the heat, the campers are given plenty of breaks and water.

The end of Francis Avenue was chosen after a Habitat staffer noticed the issues.

The stairway is now passable.

The campers are using mostly hand tools.



The camp has been doing community service projects with Habitat since 2011.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than two dozen teenagers from Camp Lenox spent Friday cleaning up the west side of Pittsfield.
 
In partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, the campers cleaned up Durant Park, Columbus Avenue, and opened up the staircase at the end of Francis Avenue that had become overgrown to help people in the neighborhood more easily get to Big Y and CVS.
 
"We've got 27 campers and five staff from Camp Lenox in Otis and one of their activities every summer is doing a community service project. Since 2011, that was their first year coming to Habitat to do a community project. Last year, we had them building the panels for Gordon-Deming [housing project]. This year, because we are between builds, we decided to do a West Side neighborhood clean up," Habitat's Community Outreach and Development Manager Dawn Giftos said.
 
The organization coordinated with the city on the projects. The city dropped off trash rolloffs for the brush and moved some areas ahead of time. The campers then went in with rakes and other tools to finish the job.
 
"They cut down all of the brush. They picked up all of the garbage. They've worked really hard in this 90-degree heat," Giftos said.
 
The Francis Avenue location was chosen after a Habitat staff member was doing surveys in the area and noticed how overgrown the area was. It was so overgrown that after cutting brush, the campers found a fire hydrant buried. 
 
The project had been in the making since January so it wasn't expected that a heat wave would encompass the city on Friday. But Giftos said the non-profit was careful to make sure the campers were well hydrated and had plenty of breaks. 
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