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BEAT Receives Grant to Renovate Environmental Leadership and Education Center
04:02PM / Friday, May 20, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Massachusetts Cultural Council has awarded a Cultural Facilities Fund grant of $200,000 to Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) in support of buying and renovating BEAT's new Environmental Leadership & Education Center.    On November 8, 2021, BEAT was able to buy their property at 20 Chapel Street in Pittsfield — right on the banks of the southwest branch of the Housatonic River.    Next, BEAT will be restoring the riverbank by removing invasive species and replanting with native, wildlife-supporting plants. Funding from the Cultural Facilities Fund will allow them to begin renovations to make their building fully

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Celebrate World Fish Migration Day at Berkshire Athenaeum
11:27AM / Friday, May 20, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Celebrate World Fish Migration Day at the Pittsfield Public Library on Saturday, May 21, from 10 AM to 12 PM.    Join Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), Housatonic Valley Association, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, and the City of Pittsfield for this free day that takes place every two years as a global celebration to create awareness about the importance of migratory fish and free-flowing rivers.   As part of this event, interactive displays for all ages will demonstrate some of the challenges migratory fish encounter—from physical barriers, such as dams and culverts, to runoff pollution that enters aquatic ecosystems. There

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Berkshire Community College Participates in 'No Mow May'
08:05AM / Friday, May 20, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) is now taking part in an initiative called "No Mow May."    BCC has directed its facilities staff to refrain from mowing campus lawns until after June 1.    The "No Mow May" movement, which originated in the United Kingdom in 2019, now includes dozens of participant cities in the United States. By leaving normally clean-cut lawns untouched, the initiative aims to help bees and other pollinators thrive as they emerge in the spring.    Mowing lawns less frequently allows flowering plants to bloom, providing pollinators with the nectar and pollen they rely on to feed themselves and

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BEAT: Conserving Flowers and their Pollinators
04:04PM / Monday, May 16, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Joan Edwards will speak at the May Pittsfield Green Drinks event on Tuesday, May 17th at 6:00 PM and give a slideshow presentation about the rapidly decreasing biodiversity that is taking place globally, known as the sixth extinction.    She will specifically focus on flowers and their insect visitors.    This sixth extinction is primarily driven by human actions, from habitat loss to climate change. The impacts of biodiversity loss are far-reaching, resulting in biological communities that are less resilient and with diminished ecosystems services. As part of the discussion, Joan will explore the impact of biodiversity loss in the

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State Awards $1.3 Billion in Loans and Grants to Fund Wastewater and Drinking Water Projects
12:37PM / Sunday, May 15, 2022
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BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration announced that 183 projects across the Commonwealth are eligible to receive approximately $1.3 billion in low-interest-rate loans and grants to fund construction, planning and asset management projects designed to improve water quality, upgrade or replace aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and cut treatment plant energy use and costs.    These offerings include nearly $189 million in additional funding that Massachusetts expects to receive from federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and $100 million from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds this year.   "Wastewater and drinking water facilities play a

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State Makes Gap Energy Grants Available to Municipalities, Non-Profits and Small Businesses
08:00AM / Saturday, May 14, 2022
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BOSTON — Continuing with its efforts to provide Massachusetts municipalities, non-profits and small businesses with clean energy assistance, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of the Gap III Energy Grant Program, which is designed to implement energy efficiency and clean energy facility upgrades to qualified entities.    The program will make available up to $5 million to municipal drinking water and wastewater facilities, and up to $2.5 million to non-profit affordable housing, food- and agricultural-producing organizations and small business food-distribution and processing organizations across the Commonwealth. Interested entities can apply or learn more

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BRPC to Help Lanesborough Develop Solar Overlay District
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:27AM / Tuesday, May 10, 2022
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town is seeking help from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to creating a zoning overlay to restrict areas for solar fields.

Consulting Planner Andrew Groff told the Planning Board on Monday that a state District Local Technical Assistance grant was received after it was applied for in February. With this program, BRPC staff provides technical assistance to communities at no cost on eligible projects.

BRPC will conduct a mapping analysis of the risk of solar developments on certain parcels and with the information from the study, the board will develop a solar overlay district that puts acceptable limits on solar panel fields.

The planners would

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Pittsfield Farmers Market Returns for Tenth Season
08:19AM / Friday, May 06, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Roots Rising announced that the teen-run Pittsfield Farmers Market opens Saturday, May 14 for its 10th anniversary season.    The market will run weekly, rain or shine, from 9am to 1pm in the First Street Common through Oct. 8. Each week shoppers will find fresh, local and seasonal fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, cheese, baked goods, flowers, artisan goods, as well as live music and children's activities.   This season will feature longtime vendors as well as new vendors. Crosswalk Coffee was voted "Fan Favorite" in Berkshire EforAll's 2021 Pitch Contest. It is the area's only human-powered cafe on wheels. Owner Nicholas Russo

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Mountain Streams and Big Salamanders Presentation
12:17PM / Thursday, May 05, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Thursday, May 5 at 6 PM, Tom Tyning will give a presentation on the amphibians and other organisms that use small mountain streams — the source of every lake, pond, stream, and brook.    Rich in oxygen and with temperatures that remain chilled throughout summer, these First- and Second-order streams make up an ecological community that is fairly unique on our landscape. Tyning will go into the importance of these headwater streams and how the species that rely on them for survival are at risk due to a lack of conservation.    He will speak for 30-45 minutes, then a discussion and Q&A period will take place. This event will be held

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Pittsfield and ener-G-save Selected for Mass Save Community First Partnership
07:43AM / Thursday, May 05, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city of Pittsfield and ener-G-save announced its selection to jointly participate in the 2022-2024 Community First Partnership offered by the Sponsors of Mass Save.    Pittsfield is one of 30 communities selected to participate in this new initiative.   Pittsfield and ener-G-save, a local nonprofit engaged in energy efficiency work for over 5 years, will work with local Mass Save Sponsors, Berkshire Gas and Eversource, to provide cost-saving energy efficiency solutions to residents, small businesses, houses of worship and local nonprofits.   There will be a particular emphasis on reaching renters and landlords, non-English speaking and

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