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RPI Interns Join Berkshire Innovation Center's SolaBlock
08:14AM / Sunday, August 07, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduates Rachel Soto-Garcia and Abdullah Abid have joined clean-and-construction technology company SolaBlock, a member of the Berkshire Innovaction Center, through Rensselaer's "Invent@Rensselaer Startup Immersion" program.

"This internship gives me an opportunity to understand and appreciate the renewable energy industry in a new light. I want to help places that are still developing and help the world for a better tomorrow," Soto-Garcia said, adding her parents experienced frequent power outages from rain in their home country of Guatemala.

They will create a depository of all blueprints for the company,

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Family Forest Carbon Program Expands to Berkshire County
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:31PM / Saturday, July 30, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Small forest owners in Berkshire County — and beyond — can now receive annual payments to implement climate-friendly practices on their land.  

Earlier this month it was announced that the Family Forest Carbon Program is available to small woodland owners with as little as 30 acres in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties.

The program, developed by the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, allows family forest owners to access carbon markets so that they can address climate change while getting paid. This kind of market trades carbon emission allowances in an effort to lower them.

Because trees and

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Activists Demand Climate Legislation 'In the 11th Hour'
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
08:06PM / Monday, July 11, 2022
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Their are four bills in the Legislature addressing air quality, energy facilities, jobs and clean energy. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local activists are pushing for the state Legislature to adopt a series of strong climate bills, saying we are in the "11th hour" for such initiatives.

These include an act to improve outdoor and indoor air quality for communities burdened by transportation pollution; an act relative to energy facilities siting reform to address environmental justice, climate, and public health; an act for building justice with jobs; and an act transiting the state to clean electricity, heating, and transportation.

Berkshire Environmental Action Team, in

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Berkshire Taconic Grant Funds BEAT Youth Program
08:00AM / Monday, July 04, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Crane Family Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation awarded $2,200 to Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) in support of connecting kids with nature through programs in parks in the Westside of Pittsfield.    The grant will allow BEAT to purchase materials and plan programs that will give kids the opportunity to collect insects. the program will teach them how to collect in a safe and mindful way that is beneficial to themselves and the insects.    It will also allow teaching opportunities on pollination, biodiversity, and the importance of insects to the global ecosystem.     

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Commissioner Transition Announced at DCR
04:00PM / Thursday, June 30, 2022
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BOSTON — Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card announced the departure of Department of Conservation and Recreation Acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper and the appointment of Doug Rice, former General Counsel at DCR and currently Director of Procurement for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) as the incoming Commissioner.   "Acting Commissioner Cooper has been a vital asset steering the Department of Conservation and Recreation, she demonstrated her commitment to the agency's mission, its staff, and the state parks system every day. I am very grateful for her service, " said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. "I

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West Branch Housatonic River Cleanup on Saturday
08:16AM / Tuesday, June 21, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Saturday, June 25, from 9 am – 1 pm, volunteers are invited to help clean up the West Branch of the Housatonic River.    Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) said cleanups make a considerable difference in the health of the Housatonic River and the wildlife that depends on it. Over the years, BEAT and Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) have collected an array of debris — including mattresses, shopping carts, inflatable pools, bicycles, televisions, tires, construction materials, metal barrels, and all kinds of everyday trash. Once, they even found an empty ATM. Since beginning annual cleanups, their efforts have made a noticeable

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Pittsfield Green Drinks: 'Reduce, Reuse, and Rethink Your Trash'
08:15AM / Friday, June 17, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Self-proclaimed waste-reduction nerd Mary Stucklen will speak at the June Pittsfield Green Drinks event on Tuesday, June 21, at 6:00 PM on Zoom.    Stucklen will talk about all things waste: reducing your waste, easy ways to reuse, as well as how to compost and recycle effectively. She'll also give out some simple tips and tricks that everyone can do to reduce the amount of waste they're producing.    Stucklen is a local to the Berkshires and is an avid volunteer in the community. Stucklen has participated in various local green committees, waste-reduction programs, conservation commissions, and even began BEAT's Berkshire Zero-Waste

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Tag Sale Fundraiser for BEAT
03:46PM / Tuesday, June 14, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) will hold a tag sale on Saturday, June 18, from 9 AM to 1 PM at their Environmental Leadership & Education Center, 20 Chapel Street in Pittsfield.    The event will be rain or shine; the sale will be moved indoors if necessary.    BEAT are renovating the former Immanuel Community Church. It now serves as their Environmental Leadership & Education Center.   According to a press release htere are 18 soild wood pews available for sale for $100 each, a piano, a small organ, electric stoves, a metal cabinet, reversible rolling chalkboards, and lots of plates. They also have an assortment of

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Berkshire Natural Resources Council Receives State Conservation Grant
12:00PM / Monday, June 13, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state awarded the Berkshire Natural Resources Council a Landscape Partnership Grant of $1,250,000 grant to conserve 836 acres in Monterey and Tyringham.   The grant will go toward the Mount Hunger Conservation project and the continued forest management of the area, expanding public access for passive recreation, and building climate resilience by adding to a connected conservation corridor of over 14,000 acres.   "Investing in these important projects will make our communities more resilient to climate change, protect critical drinking water supplies, and ensure communities benefit from access to open space," said Gov. Charlie Baker.

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Berkshire Farmers Markets Receive Grants
04:00PM / Thursday, June 02, 2022
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) has awarded $100,000 in grants to nine Berkshire area farmers markets to support SNAP matching programs.    In Berkshire County North Adams Farmers Market, Pittsfield Farmers Market, West Stockbridge Farmers Market, Lee Farmers Market, Great Barrington Farmers Market and Sheffield Farmers Market received grants.   "When we started farming, it was important for us to be able to produce great food for more than just a narrow segment of our community," said Michael Gallagher of Square Roots Farm (Lanesborough). "The market match programs at our markets in Pittsfield and North Adams have been a

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