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BNRC Releases Plan For Countywide Hiking Trail Network
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:29AM / Tuesday, October 04, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Natural Resources Council envisions a day when one can walk through a network of trails to each and every town in the Berkshires.   The organization has been working for the last couple years to do just that. The organization has raised $4.25 million toward the creation and maintenance of such a network.    "It is sort of a counterpart to the Appalachian Trail," President Tad Ames said, explaining that the network will allow someone to travel on foot the length of Berkshire County, stopping in at towns, staying a local hotels, while not having to carry food for a long trip.   The concept is something that's been done

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HooRWA Helping to Beautify The Spruces
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:34AM / Saturday, September 10, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — So what are those blue tubes at The Spruces?   Lauren Stevens of the Hoosic River Watershed Association said not worry. The blue tubes sticking out of the ground aren't from outer space but more importantly are not permanent.   "People heard there was planting going on but all they see are these blue alien tubes but these should be gone in a year so," Stevens said. "There are plants inside of them and the tubes are just here to keep the deer, mice, moles or any other little critters that might want to chew on them out."   The plants surround a water detention basin at the former mobile home park installed by the state

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Some Berkshire Farms to Receive Aerial Crop Planting
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Tuesday, August 09, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Farms in Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, North Adams, Sheffield, West Stockbridge and Williamstown will be seeding a little differently this August.

Instead of establishing a cover crop by hand, a helicopter will plant winter rye grass seed from above.

The airborne cover-crop planting is being done through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation program.

Farms through the state applied to the NRC's Environmental Quality Incentives Program to take advantage of financial and technical assistance for a conservation practice that allows farmers to take full advantage of a cover crop.   Chenail Brothers Dairy Farm's Wallace

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Mount Greylock Envirothon Team Succeeds in First Year
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:31PM / Saturday, August 06, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Recent Mount Greylock Regional School graduate Benni McComish says he long has been interested in environmental justice.

This year, he got into the science behind the issues.

McComish was one of eight Mount Greylock students who participated in the school's first Envirothon team.

Envirothon, a program of the National Conservation Foundation, is a nationwide environmental education competition that attracts 50,000 people from 4,000 public and private high schools each year.

It attracted McComish, who already was part of Mount Greylock's Youth Environmental Squad, because Envirothon offered a chance to do field research.

"I hadn't really been

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Williamstown Conservation Commission OKs Clark Solar Project
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:04AM / Wednesday, July 20, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute has the go-ahead from the town to install a solar photovoltaic installation on its property.   The museum's partner, Framingham-based Ameresco, Inc., was before the Conservation Commission last week to explain the project and get its approval to proceed without a Notice of Intent, which would have triggered a much more rigorous review.   The commission unanimously agreed that the 400-kilowatt, ground-mounted installation will not negatively affect the resource area on the property, specifically an unnamed stream that empties into Christmas Brook.   Ameresco project manager Jack Honor told the Con Comm that

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Williamstown Rural Lands Adds 'QR' Codes at Trailheads
04:45PM / Saturday, July 16, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is making it easier for hikers to access its trails on their own time with a system of downloadable maps and guides.

  WRLF has posted at the trailhead of three of its trails a QR (Quick Response) code that will enable a hiker with a smartphone who simply scans the QR code to download a trail map and a trail description, providing information about the length of the trail and its degree of difficulty, and describing the natural features to be encountered along the way.   All a hiker needs to do is to go to the "App Store" and enter "QR Code Reader" in the search box.   After clicking on the

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Williamstown Seeks Volunteers for Hiking Trail Maintenance
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:43AM / Friday, July 08, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Conservation Commission wants you.   The panel is looking for volunteers to attend a July 14 lesson on how to help maintain town-owned hiking trails.   At its June 23 meeting, hiking enthusiast and commission member Robert Hatton asked his colleagues to organize the session, scheduled for 6:30 at Town Hall in advance of the committee’s next regular meeting.   Hatton first announced his plan to generate a volunteer trail maintenance crew at a Board of Selectmen meeting on June 14.   A week later, he explained to his colleagues on the Conservation Commission why it is necessary to find new volunteer labor for continuing maintenance

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Guest Column: Bans on Plastic Bags Gaining Ground
By Rinaldo Del Gallo, Guest Columnist
09:24PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016
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I am pleased to announce that at last night's town meeting (Monday, June 20), Adams banned single-use plastic bags. (Article 25). It was a remarkable unanimous vote by the members of the town meeting.
 
Recently, there have been a series of single-use plastic bag bans. There has been a ban in Lee, a ban in Lenox, and last night a ban in Adams. Lenox was done by the Board of Health. In Lee, the ban on single-use plastic bags was done by town meeting — where it won by a considerable margin. In a similar manner, Lee and Lenox banned the use of Styrofoam.
 
What is less commonly known is my role in these bans. The ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags in Lee and

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