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Roots Rising Awarded $430K Toward Youth Farm
04:03PM / Friday, April 15, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state awarded Roots Rising a Food Security Infrastructure Grant of $430,219 to go towards establishing a youth farm.   "It's so exciting that there will be a farm in the Berkshires whose central mission is to empower youth, connect the community to the land, and strengthen our local food system. The possibilities for what we can become and accomplish together are infinite. It's a different way altogether of thinking about community and agriculture," said Lauren Piotrowski, farmer and Roots Rising program manager.   The Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program seeks to ensure local food producers are better connected to a robust and

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Pittsfield Green Drinks Water Quality in Berkshire County
11:34AM / Wednesday, April 13, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Elena Traister will speak at the April Pittsfield Green Drinks event on Tuesday, April 19th at 6:00 PM.   Traister will talk about the Clean Water Act (CWA), give a summary of the primary pollutants affecting the Housatonic and Hoosic watersheds, and briefly touch on policy aimed at continuing to improve water quality.   Traister has taught environmental studies at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) for 16 years, where she also currently serves as coordinator of campus sustainability. Her research mostly focuses on rivers, especially water quality and sources of pollution to streams in the Hoosic River watershed.   As part of this

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Community Rallies to Replace Windy Ridge Farm's Greenhouse
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:00AM / Tuesday, March 22, 2022
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Windy Ridge had been a regular vendor at the Pittsfield farmers' market and donates produce to Christian Center and Berkshire dream Center. 

HAWLEY, Mass. — The community has stepped up to help Windy Ridge Farm after an early March windstorm destroyed its greenhouse — more than $20,000 was raised in just a matter of weeks.

"Our community absolutely showed up for us, which was just a really incredible feeling," owner and founder Julia Lemieux said.

"We've been farming in the same area and at the same farmers' markets for about 13 years so I consider a lot of our customers our friends at this point because they've been buying plants from us

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Area Farms Being Featured on GardenFit TV Series
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:34AM / Monday, March 21, 2022
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RICHMOND, Mass. — Two area farms — including Richmond's Black Barn Farm — are being featured on a new show called "GardenFit," which combines gardening and physical wellness while touring locations across the country.   The series premieres Monday on PBS stations.   "Our mission is to make sure that people take care of their bodies while they take care of their garden," co-host Madeline Hooper said.   The 13-episode series is co-hosted by Hooper — a gardener herself — and fitness trainer Jeffrey Hughes, who are both located right over the border in Canaan and Chatham, N.Y. The duo tours gardens from California to New

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Berkshire Planning Commission Preparing for Electric Vehicle Movement
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
08:10AM / Sunday, March 20, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is preparing for the statewide and national movement toward electric vehicles.

BRPC Transportation Planner Justin Gilmore presented a Berkshire County Electric Vehicle Charging Station Plan to the commission on Thursday that aims to put charging capabilities in every community.      

"The primary purpose of this plan is really just to educate and inform the reader on the current state of electric vehicles and charging station technology and certainly equip municipal officials with the information they need to start making strategic investments around charging station installation," Gilmore

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Winter Tree I.D. Walk at Springside Park
08:23AM / Monday, March 14, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. On Saturday, March 19 at 10 a.m. Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) will lead a winter tree identification walk at Springside Park.   Winter is an excellent time for learning tree and shrub identification. The absence of leaves allows you to take a closer look at features that often get overlooked — such as buds, bark, and tree structure. Join BEAT for this leisurely 2-mile walk. Participants will focus on trees and the attributes that help identify them during the winter and year round.    This slow-paced walk will begin at 10 a.m. and take a maximum of 2 hours. Anybody is welcome to join this walk, but the number of participants is limited.

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Experiencing Mass Audubon's Wildlife Sanctuaries
04:01PM / Wednesday, March 09, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Zach Adams, full-time Teacher Naturalist for Mass Audubon in the Berkshires, will speak at the March Pittsfield Green Drinks event on Tuesday, March 15 at 6:00 PM.     Adams will talk about mindfully and respectfully experiencing nature, how to deepen that experience, and what goes on behind the scenes at some of the Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuaries. He will discuss what goes on on the trails, the science, conservation, and work that goes into making the wildlife sanctuaries what they are.   Adams is a life-long naturalist who has studied throughout the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. He is a  birder, mammal tracker, mushroom collector,

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Treasurer Makes Appoint to The Massachusetts Gaming Commission
11:48AM / Wednesday, March 09, 2022
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BOSTON — Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg announced that she will be appointing Nakisha Skinner to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) as of March 21.    The Massachusetts State Treasurer has sole appointment for the one commission member with a background in corporate finance and securities, for a five year term.   "I am pleased to appoint Nakisha Skinner to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission," said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg. "Her experience and expertise will positively benefit the Commission and ensure the continued integrity of the gaming industry in Massachusetts."   A graduate of Suffolk University Law School, Skinner most

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New License Plate to Boost Striped Bass Conservation
10:00AM / Sunday, March 06, 2022
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BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration announced Massachusetts is now offering a new specialty license plate available through the Registry of Motor Vehicles to promote conservation of striped bass.   The plate was custom designed by Cape Cod artist, Janet Biondi, and depicts a striped bass in pursuit of alewives, one of its favorite forage species. The striped bass license plate is now available to all motorists who are registering a vehicle in the Commonwealth. For motorists who already have a vehicle registered and want this new plate, they can visit Mass.Gov/myRMV to order one.   "Striped bass is the premier game fish in Massachusetts marine waters and an

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EPA Issues Final Decision on $576M Rest of River Cleanup
04:41PM / Thursday, March 03, 2022
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BOSTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday issued its final permit decision obligating the General Electric Co. to perform a cleanup of the so-called "Rest of River" portion of the GE-Pittsfield/Housatonic River Site.   "EPA is requiring GE to move forward with the Rest of River cleanup plan documented in the final permit," said EPA Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "The communities along the Housatonic deserve access to a river free of threats posed by PCBs, and issuing the final permit today is a big step towards that cleanup goal."   The cleanup is estimated to cost $576 million and will take approximately two to three

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