June 27, 2023 Joe Berkshire

200% Berkshire, Challenge Match Campaign

When I’m in the woods, or driving along the little roads of the region, or at the BNRC office looking at Yokun Ridge, I think about how unique and special life is in the Berkshires.

The outdoors are nearly everywhere, inviting us to live in well-worn boots, to go down to the river on hot days, to enjoy the Milky Way at night.

And everywhere you look there is criminally delicious food, grown and raised by farmers we run into at the post office, or the dump, or the Southfield Store.

You did that. It’s the biggest part of why I choose to live here. It’s why I hope you’ll be part of BNRC this season as a donor.



Why did YOU choose the Berkshires?

Is it the kisses of cool air atop the BNRC Hoosac Range trail in North Adams?

Is it because you smile to yourself as you walk your dog at Gould Meadows in Stockbridge—thinking about the memories you made at a Tanglewood concert on the other side of the road? (It’s a little-known fact that BNRC helped conserve Gould Meadows, back when the organization primarily assisted other entities, like towns, to protect land.)

Is it because you look forward to picking up your CSA share—perhaps at a farm BNRC has helped protect, like Square Roots in Lanesborough—then delighting in the rich flavor and special moments that come from putting local food on your Berkshire kitchen table?

Or maybe it’s because you saw a bobcat sneak across your backyard. To spot the elusive bobcat! Or because of the fireflies that come out in July.

Perhaps you chose the Berkshires because of its sprawling forest canopy and fresh running waters that provide a climate resilience that keeps life here comfortable—and also affects environmental health from the Hudson River to the Green Mountains.

If you have donated to BNRC in the past, you have done all of this. And you’ve done it well.

ACTUALLY, that’s the problem!!!

The problem is that because you’ve been so amazing at protecting the Berkshire outdoors, TWICE as much effort is required than before… TWICE as many resources.

Because now—locally, and statewide—MORE is expected of BNRC than ever before.

So this spring, a few generous souls have pledged to MATCH your contributions to BNRC, 1-to-1, up to $100,000 total.

Because together we’ve got TWICE the work to do (at least). So, here’s a chance to make your donation go twice as far as it has in the past.

Will you join me in going 200% for the Berkshires this spring?


You’ll make a lasting difference: for the natural beauty of the Berkshires, for wildlife, for climate resilience in these hills as coastal waters rise and the planet heats up.

But you’ll also make countless individual lives better, too.

Letters that come into the BNRC office regularly tell us this is true—written by people wondering who to thank. Really, their thanks are for you.

Some of these letters are from people grateful for accessible or mostly flat, easy trails you’ve created in Lenox, Hinsdale, and Great Barrington. Letters from people who don’t know how else they would get outside, how they thought their days of being in nature were over—because they are older, or because their kids use strollers, or they are recovering from an injury, or something else.

And these are just a few of the dozens of BNRC trails donors help care for.

People send thanks for how helpful it is that all of the FREE trail maps, at trailhead kiosks and on the BNRC website, are available—in both English and Spanish. And how much that means for public health across all the Berkshire communities.

With every conservation win that you’ve made possible comes a perpetual legal obligation to monitor and manage those lands for conservation characteristics.

The MORE you conserve, the MORE there is to care for—over 200 properties now.

So, if you are able, please consider giving generously. Giving more. Let’s MAXIMIZE those matching funds.


BNRC donors have long helped local farms, especially by way of BNRC assisting farmers in their applications for agricultural preservation restrictions with the state.

Still OTHER farmers call BNRC because they want to farm, but they can’t afford land—especially land with housing for farming families.

That Berkshire growers are looking to BNRC for help is because of what BNRC donors have made possible. People are so good at it… being BNRC donors… that the work is ours to own and continue together.

The Berkshires—and our neighbors—are counting on us. We are the ones who have chosen this place.

And those fireflies in the backyard? That long-sunset connection to being a kid? That quiet nirvana of the Berkshire summer that you wish you could hold?

Those lightning bugs are here because of a healthy mix of forest, water, fields, and temperate summers. That’s what they need. That’s what you do via BNRC.

For all these reasons… the lands still to conserve (according to the science)… for the lands we have already made commitments to together… for the wildlife, the farmers and food, the four seasons… for the extraordinary mix of the outdoors and the arts that we enjoy…

Please donate generously to this 200% BERKSHIRE fundraising drive.


And if you need any other assurances, here’s one more bit of BIG news:

BNRC was recently accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Only about 10% of Massachusetts land trusts are accredited, and only about one-third nationally.

This signifies the Commission’s confidence that lands protected and cared for by BNRC will be protected and cared for in perpetuity. That BNRC has “strong standards, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

So what do you say?

Would you make a bold and loving donation to the Berkshire outdoors? A donation that will be matched?

The bobcats, trout, farmers, trees, climate, kids, codgers, dogs, and so many others will be better for it. They’ll be grateful. They won’t know who to thank. But that’s okay.

You’ll know.

And in July, the fireflies will offer a midsummer dance and lightshow, in appreciation for the part of yourself that you have generously given to these hills.


Rich Montone
Director of Development

P.S. You can quickly find your best way of going 200% Berkshire at bnrc.org/donate.

To help realize all the matching dollars available, you can give cash, stocks, from your IRA, donor advised fund, crypto, and more.

And check out donorbox.org/2xbnrc to create a personal BNRC fundraiser of your own to share with friends!