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Pittsfield Farmers Market Successfully Goes Digital for 2020
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:31AM / Sunday, October 18, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Farmers Market went virtual this to serve the community in a safe and effective manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The market is a program of Roots Rising, an award-winning nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower youth and build community through food and farming.   When confronted with the novel coronavirus pandemic, Roots Rising co-Directors Jamie Samowitz and Jess Vecchia quickly went into emergency response mode to figure out how they could best serve the community. They came out with a plan for a Virtual Farmers Market with the same values as the in-person market: food justice and affordable, accessible, local

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State Announces Rule Prohibiting Use of HFC Pollutants
12:35PM / Friday, October 16, 2020
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BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration released a proposed regulation to prohibit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions nationally and in Massachusetts.    HFCs are currently used in certain end-use products, such as aerosols, air conditioners and chillers, refrigeration units and foams. The regulations will help to significantly reduce local GHG emissions and will place the Commonwealth in line with 16 other states adopting comparable HFC regulations or legislation, coordinated by the U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA).   “Building on our Administration's ongoing commitment to fight climate change,

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State Urges Residents to Report Signs of Invasive Spotted Lanternfly
08:49AM / Monday, September 28, 2020
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BOSTON, Mass. — The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced that it has identified two dead specimens of the spotted lanternfly (SLF) in communities, and is urging residents to report any sign of the invasive pest.    The specimens were recovered in the towns of Milford and Norwood and were brought into Massachusetts on materials shipped from Pennsylvania counties currently under a spotted lanternfly quarantine.   Additionally, MDAR was recently notified that nursery stock with spotted lanternfly egg masses and adults may have been unintentionally imported and planted in several parts of Massachusetts.   MDAR is urging anyone who has

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EPA Recognizes Eight Massachusetts Organizations and Citizens
09:30AM / Friday, September 25, 2020
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BOSTON, Mass. — The Environmental Protection Agency recognized eight individuals and organizations for their work to protect New England's environment.    They were among 24 recipients across New England honored by EPA's New England office at the 2020 Environmental Merit Awards virtual ceremony.   EPA New England's annual Environmental Merit Awards are given to community leaders, scientists, government officials, business leaders, schools, and students who represent different approaches, but a common commitment to environmental protection.   "Initiatives led by individuals and groups like this years' awardees have driven progress toward clean

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State Awards $11.1 Million in Climate Change Funding To Cities And Towns
09:17AM / Thursday, September 17, 2020
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FITCHBURG, Mass. — Continuing investment in climate change resiliency, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $11.1 million in grants to cities and towns through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.   This announcement brings total state investment in climate change resilience through the MVP program to over $44 million since 2017. The popular grant and designation program provides communities with funding and technical support to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. The grants were announced by Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito in Fitchburg as

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State Awards Grants to Support Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership
02:06PM / Wednesday, September 16, 2020
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ROWE, Mass. — The Baker-Polito Administration announced $225,000 in grant funding to eight municipalities and a regional economic development organization to support forest stewardship and conservation, trail improvements, and nature-based tourism in the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership region.     The funding builds upon the Commonwealth's Shared Stewardship Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, which established a framework for partnerships between local governments and stakeholders to advance the goals of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership (MTWP) to conserve forests and enhance regional economic

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Chilling Snow Storm Draws Apprehensive Avian Migrants
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
08:00PM / Sunday, August 30, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — If ever there was a snow storm to remember it was that of early May in our Berkshires.   Forewarned by the aggressive weather watchers to inform us of the approaching tempest, one may wonder how our birds reacted to atmospheric signs that animals first perceive. Flocking birds of assorted genera appeared stunned by the daunting freeze that enveloped both the world of people and the spring migrating birds eager to resume nesting and procreation of their progeny.   All night the swirling snow fell in the valleys and foothills, and I felt concern for our cheerful charmers that must outlast the shivering cold swept upon them as they would take shelter

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Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Nearing Fundraising Goal
09:41AM / Monday, August 24, 2020
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LENOX, Mass. — Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is nearing its Opening Doors to Nature capital campaign goal of $1.2 million to address the sanctuary's aging facilities   Through donations, Mass Audubon's Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is now within $200,000 of its $1.12 million goal to fund the program barn expansion project.   The capital campaign was created to help ensure the sanctuary's aging facilities are brought up to date, with a focus on accessibility and related amenities.   The centerpiece will be an energy-efficient addition to the 18th-century program barn that includes modern restrooms, expanded lobby area, expansive decking,

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Massachusetts Residents Asked to Report Receipt of Unsolicited Seeds
Staff Reports,
05:45PM / Tuesday, July 28, 2020
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These seeds arrived in Washington State apparently from China. BOSTON — Random packages of seeds that appear to be from China and other countries have been appearing in mailboxes across the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and numerous agricultural agencies across the nation are warning  people not to plant what could be an invasive species.    The state Department of Agricultural Resources has been notified that several Massachusetts residents have received these unsolicited packages that appear to have originated in a foreign country and contain seeds.    While the exact types of seeds in the packages are unknown, the seeds are thought to be

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Pittsfield City Council Recognizes Environmentalist
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:20PM / Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council honored local environmentalist Jane Winn as one of the commonwealth's Unsung Heroines   Before breaking into the evening's business Tuesday, the council took a moment to recognize the executive director of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team.   "In regular times, before the world has turned upside down ... I would be with you probably with a full audience to celebrate as we do every year," said state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, who nominated Winn. "I am really pleased to present to you Pittsfield's 2020 Unsung Heroine Jane Winn."   The Massachusetts Commission of the Status of Women annually

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