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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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State, USDA Worked to Contain Avian Flu in Berkshire County
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff
05:07AM / Saturday, April 30, 2022
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture and several state agencies are working to contain an avian influenza outbreak in Berkshire County after samples from a 240-bird flock in Lanesborough were confirmed to have the virus in late March.

The non-commercial flock contained ducks, chicken, geese, quail, and turkeys, all of which are capable of getting sick with and spreading "highly pathogenic avian influenza," or HPAI. The state and the USDA euthanized the flock and quarantined the area to prevent further spread.

Local officials declined to identify the location of the flock and referred to inquiries to the state. 

"It's important to note that

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Roots Rising Awarded $430K State Grant for Equipment
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:49PM / Thursday, April 28, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A substantial state grant will help Roots Rising further its mission to address food insecurity and empower youth.   The nonprofit was awarded $430,219 from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs for the purchase of farm and industrial kitchen equipment during its land acquisition process.   This is the largest award that the organization, founded and directed by Jamie Samowitz and Jessica Vecchia, has received by far and they are notably excited for what is to come.   "The grant is for our upcoming youth farm," Samowitz said. "We were in a land analysis for a year and a half now, we've been

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Pittsfield Arbor Day Celebration
04:02PM / Tuesday, April 26, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Department of Community Development Parks and Recreation Program will be hosting a community Arbor Day celebration at noon on Friday, April 29 at the new Kellogg Park, 44 Lincoln St.   The public is invited to attend the event which is dedicated to spreading the message of the importance of trees in the community landscape.    Jane Winn, executive director of Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), will be the keynote speaker.   For more information, please call Becky Manship, recreation and special events coordinator, at 499-9371.

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