Berkshire Natural Resources Council Blog

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BNRC is for Farmers

I love to end (or begin) a perfect day at one of the Berkshires’ many farm-sourced restaurants. And summers wouldn’t be complete without stops at Berkshire farmer’s markets or farm stores. I think we can agree that local, fresh ingredients just taste better.

Do you have a favorite spot to dine? Or a favorite marketplace? What is your favorite locally produced cheese?

We love our area farmers. But farmland is at risk across the United States and within the Berkshires. The latest Census of Agriculture, completed in 2017, showed a 10% decrease in the total number of Berkshire farms.

What will the 2022 census show? How many more farms will be subdivided because the land is worth more than the next generation of farmers can afford? Or because the farmer does not have heirs who want to take over the business?

As a BNRC donor you preserve Berkshire farms and support Berkshire farmers.

Donate to BNRC

The risk to farmland is, unfortunately, an issue nationwide.

The New York Times recently published this article: “Farmland Values Hit Record Highs, Pricing Out Farmers.”

The article highlights some distressing facts:

  • Nationwide, farmland values increased by 12.4%, the highest annual increase on record since 1970
  • Young farmers named “finding affordable land for purchase” the top challenge in 2022 in a National Young Farmers Coalition survey
  • About 40% of US farmland is rented, most of which is from landlords who aren’t actively involved in farming
  • Annually, less than 1% of farmland is available for sale

These facts are alarming. But together we can address these concerns in the Berkshires.

At BNRC, farmers and farmland are a top priority.

BNRC has facilitated the protection of thousands of acres of local farmland—in part using Agriculture Preservation Restrictions (APRs)—and will continue to do so.

BNRC purchases Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares–a system in which shares of a farmer’s harvest are purchased in advance, providing those farmers with immediate income at the beginning of the growing season to support their work.

BNRC also owns agricultural land, thanks to land donors. A thoughtful strategy is being developed by staff, with the help of other land trusts and community partners, to determine how to best serve local farmers with this land.

These efforts seek to ensure farmers can afford to live and work farms right here in the Berkshires. And to ensure residents and visitors can support local agriculture by shopping those farmer’s markets, those farm stores, those local restaurants.

These efforts are possible thanks to donors like you.

Donate to BNRC

BNRC is donor-funded. Your contributions today make all this happen in an ongoing way.

Thank you for all that you do as a BNRC donor!

Jenny Hansell
President, BNRC

Thank You Volunteers!

October 2022

By Charlotte Hood, Volunteer & Outreach Assistant

On a gorgeous fall afternoon, BNRC staff, volunteers, loved ones, and community partners gathered to recognize the hardworking and thoughtful individuals who volunteer their time to help care for Berkshire land and trails.  Coming together around food, drink, and games amidst the beautiful scenery of Wild Acres, a City of Pittsfield conservation property, painted a clear picture of how essential volunteers are to the sense of community and comradery that we value at BNRC.







With around 80 active volunteers, BNRC’s volunteer program is ever-growing.
 Volunteers in attendance went back as far as 30 years (shoutout to Ginny Akabane!) and as recently as this summer. Whether they be lifelong residents of Berkshire County or recent transplants, students, or retirees, we all unite around our love for the outdoors and the importance of access to nature for all.   

A short, leisurely hike to an observation tower at Wild Acres offered a spectacular view of Mahanna Cobble at the northern end of  Yokun Ridge. The creation of BNRC’s Mahanna Cobble reserve, (and many others) was made possible in large part by the hard work of volunteers, who helped build the dramatic switchback trail. Volunteers continue to help steward it by stocking maps (over 8,000 trail maps across BNRC reserves so far this year!), submitting trail reports, and helping clear blowdowns. 

The evening came to a close with an award ceremony—“Crushin’ It,” “Rock Star,” and “Ground Breaker” were among the titles—highlighting the dedication and personalities of volunteers. It was a time for us all to reflect with gratitude on the role volunteers play in the regional popularity of BNRC trails and reserves. Thank you, volunteers! 

If you’d like to learn more about volunteering with BNRC visit  



Your 2022 Autumn Newsyletter

Right now, BNRC donors are helping put together one of the largest land protection projects in BNRC history—one that will result in over 14,000 acres of contiguous conservation land.

I’ll get to that in a minute. First it’s important to remember how these projects come to be.

When you walk a BNRC property, when you pick berries, spot birds, and pause to enjoy the rushing waters or the soft breezes, take a moment to remember that every one of these places was once cared for by a family who had a choice to make.

When the land’s future was up for grabs, they made a choice that benefits all of us. And you make it possible for families to make conservation-minded decisions that shape the Berkshires forever.

Donate to BNRC

As this very busy summer winds down, it’s my pleasure to report to you on what you make possible when you donate to BNRC in 2022.

But first, this note about the past… and the future.

When I arrived at BNRC, we’d just celebrated its 50th anniversary with a big party. This year, BNRC is 55 and there’s no party. Instead, there’s… planning.

Yes, planning. If you’ve read some of my letters to you in the last few years, you’ll know I’m kind of a planning nerd. Along with BNRC’s (incredible) staff and (amazing) board, and you, we’re looking out 5, 10, 20 years and asking:

What does the Berkshires need that only BNRC can accomplish? (And by “BNRC” I mean all of us—staff, board, volunteers, donors, hikers…)

  • What lands are most endangered?
  • How can we build climate resilience?
  • Who doesn’t have access to nature?

About that last question: a few weeks ago, a team of Roots Rising Farm Crew teens took a walk at the Old Mill Trail in Hinsdale, with BNRC’s Director of Public Programs, Mackenzie Greer. She’s also a Roots Rising board member and is passionate about its mission to empower teens through farming, food, and meaningful work.

She shared with me that the teens were particularly excited that the Old Mill is accessible—they really connected to the importance of making it easy for people to experience nature.

The Old Mill, and Parsons Marsh, and the Hoosac Range, and over 50 other properties that you’ve helped protect, make it possible for teenagers to connect to nature. For people with physical challenges to get outside. For toddlers to discover their first salamander.

You help people experience the transformative power of nature.

Donate to BNRC

So, about those 14,000 acres.

You are leveraging enormous investment in nature.

Right now, you’re helping BNRC with one of the largest projects it has ever done—connecting over 14,000 acres in Monterey and Tyringham. It includes 836 acres of new conservation land (about the size of NYC’s Central Park).

Over $800,000 in donations from BNRC supporters will leverage nearly $2.4 million in grants and in-kind donations from state agencies and foundations.

The result: connecting, and adding to, large swaths of already-conserved land to create a habitat corridor for black bear, moose, and bobcat. Opening new opportunities for hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, mountain-biking, and swimming. Building the climate resilience of the Berkshires.

This happens when we build partnerships:

  • with families, who trust BNRC to look out for their interests and care for their land;
  • with other conservation organizations, who work together on projects;
  • and with state agencies, who know they can rely on BNRC to complete large and complex projects with integrity.

Huge as it is, this is only one of the projects in progress right now.

New land and farm conservation is going on in West Stockbridge, Richmond, Lenox, Great Barrington, Lanesborough, Williamstown, Sandisfield, and New Marlborough.

And trail and habitat improvements are underway in Great Barrington, Lee, North Adams, Dalton, and Pittsfield.


Thanks to you.

Donate to BNRC

You’ll see some new faces in the field… and in the office.

The NEW office, I mean—BNRC recently moved to sunny, spacious new digs in Lenox. In the Landkeepers Report, you met the summer crew—those hardworking folk who are doing the backbreaking work of moving rocks, heaving logs, and creating those effortless-looking foot paths.

You may have also run into Charlotte Hood out on the trail. BNRC’s new Volunteer and Outreach Assistant, this NYC native always found herself drawn to the natural world, whether it be the pigeon outside the window or the classroom bunny.

She quickly found herself at home amongst the trees while attending Skidmore College in upstate New York. With a degree in Environmental Studies and a background in environmental education, Charlotte loves sharing her love for nature with you.

I’m also really excited to welcome Deanna Smith, High Road Manager. Deanna owned her own trail-planning and building company, constructing trails across the country and the Berkshires. She is committed to sustainable and equitable access to nature. Deanna is hard at work fleshing out the plan for the next High Road legs throughout the county. I know she is really looking forward to sharing them with you.

And a few key people behind the scenes, too: Ashley Winseck joins us as the Special Assistant to the President. That lofty-sounding title doesn’t come close to describing the wizardry she is bringing to every aspect of the organization. She does everything from figuring out the best project management software to keeping track of all the board committees, all the while keeping me and BNRC’s meetings organized.

And Kathleen Mosher is BNRC’s new Assistant Director of Development. You will be hearing a lot from her—she’s organizing all kinds of get-togethers to help you stay in the know and connected to the work going on to care for and protect your Berkshires.

One final summertime thought:

Everything we do depends on dozens, if not hundreds of friends.

That’s one reason we are determined to pursue ideas and initiatives that benefit the whole community… to foster a belief that land can be shared, with plants and animals as well as with each other.

Your friendship and financial support is indispensable to successful projects like these… it’s essential to building a stronger community.

Thank you for caring for this land we all share.

Donate to BNRC

Yours truly,

Jenny Hansell

Your 2022 Spring newsyletter!

June 3, 2022

For those of you not signed up to receive BNRC’s “Newsyletters,” or for those wondering what a newsyletter is, these regular updates are one excellent way to keep up-to-date on BNRC’s recent accomplishments and upcoming plans – all sent right to your inbox! We hope that you’ll enjoy reading our spring feature below, and, if you like what you see, you can sign up to receive them by clicking here.

What do you love most about the Berkshires?

That question came up recently on a local Facebook group I follow. People were asked to respond with pictures.

Almost immediately, the photos started coming: serene lakes, mountain vistas, rugged trails. A secret tract of forest. Deer, bears, and bees.

Do you know why we have this serenity, beauty, and ruggedness? Why the views, and the quiet… why the wildlife isn’t gone?

It’s because of you, and people like you: people who love the Berkshires and who have decided its mountains, trees, and bees are important.

People who have chosen to act with their heart, their hands, and their money, to protect what matters most.

Donate to BNRC

It’s funny, isn’t it, to measure success in what hasn’t happened?

What if together we hadn’t acted to protect Baldwin Hill in Egremont?

When you walk Baldwin Hill today, what you don’t see is development. You don’t see the collective efforts of hundreds of people like you. All you see is—beauty. Open fields. The majestic elm… Egremont’s most beloved resident!

But it IS the work, the coming together, the focusing of our time, energy, and money on what we value, that ensured that Baldwin Hill… and Undermountain Farm in Lenox… and Hollow Fields in Richmond… and hundreds of other places across the county… will stay as they are—as our generations received them.

You did that. You and folks like you can do that this spring by donating to BNRC.

Donate to BNRC

But this wasn’t meant to be a typical fundraising letter! Actually, at this point in the year, I usually write what we call a Newsyletter—filled with updates on recent accomplishments and plans for the coming seasons.

So here’s some great news:

  • Thanks to the generosity of the owners of Ice House Hill Farm, BNRC has accepted a conservation restriction on 130 acres of the farm (formerly part of the Malnati Farm). This means the farm is preserved and its scenic views are protected in perpetuity. Because of donors, BNRC has expert land conservation staff who can act on opportunities like these on a moment’s notice…
  • Speaking of a moment’s notice, last November, BNRC was contacted by Cynthia and Randolph Nelson who wanted to donate their property of 120 acres that bordered Sleepy Hollow and Dublin Roads in Richmond. Their hope was to complete the donation quickly, and thanks to folks like you, it all came together just in time for the New Year’s Day holiday. This was a new opportunity for BNRC to offer more open land for public enjoyment, deepen its commitment to ensuring that farmers have access to farmland, and help land donors achieve their conservation goals. BNRC is in the process of learning more about this parcel and how best to open it fully to the public.
  • Over at Basin Pond in Lee, I’m thrilled that BNRC’s land stewardship team is currently in the permitting phase of improving the stream crossings along the trail that lead to the pond—a place that is perfect for picnicking, birding, and writing. Getting into those improvements this year will make it easier for more of us to use the trails (the stream crossings have been a bit precarious the last few years). It will be good for the streams too, keeping the edges of those beds in shape.
  • There’s also going to be improved access at the Olivia’s Overlook reserve on Yokun Ridge South—it’s seen a sharp rise in use since the start of 2020 and is also part of the newly opened High Road segment of trails to towns, thanks to the 600+ households that donated to the project several years ago.
  • Access is about more than trails too! Folks have written to the BNRC office and shared on social media that the Spanish language trail maps for BNRC reserves that you made possible are a huge hit!
  • You’ve also helped BNRC acquire outdoor equipment like snowshoes and gear packs, to share with local outing groups such as Berkshire Family Hikes and Latinas413.
  • In 2022, there will be new trail at Thomas & Palmer in Great Barrington, designs for parking access at the forthcoming Tom Ball reserve, and lots of other work on dams, bridges, culverts… which you might not notice but you would if they didn’t get done!
  • More conservation is in the works too. All in all, there are at least ten pending conservation projects, in various stages, amounting to over 2,000 acres of Berkshire forests, fields, vistas, farms, and waters—places that will remain unspoiled… where you can notice what hasn’t happened.

A final note: I wrote earlier in this letter that you all, together, are why the Berkshires look the way they do—why so many people on Facebook were able to share images of Berkshire beauty.

But I want to single out one particular person, who painstakingly, ferociously, persistently did the work to make these conservation projects happen.

If not for BNRC’s Director of Land Conservation, Narain Schroeder, the Berkshires would look very different today.

Narain is not someone who calls attention to himself. The only reason I’m doing so now is that, after 19 years, he’s decided to conclude this chapter of his career and seek new opportunities. As he told me, his kids have left for college and beyond, and now is the right time to go. He will be deeply missed.

For Narain… for the Facebook pictures… for the bobolink and moose… for the places where we fall in love… for the conservation projects in process… for free public access to nature…

please donate this spring to provide for everything we accomplish together through BNRC. It’s great having you on the team!

Yours truly,


Jenny Hansell


Saying “Hi” from The High Road

May 19, 2022

Dear Reader,

The view from Yokun Seat along Yokun Ridge.

If you’ve been keeping up with BNRC, you are likely aware of the many exciting changes afoot. In addition to new staff, new conservation projects, and even a new office, you may have heard about the new Yokun Ridge trail that opened last summer.

The significance of this trail is not due solely to its natural beauty, unique ecology, and scenic vistas (although I assure you, those exist in abundance). It is also the first completed leg of The High Road, BNRC’s vision to create a more walkable, interconnected Berkshire County.

Which leads me to my originally intended purpose of addressing you, the reader: To introduce myself as BNRC’s new High Road Manager.

My first exposure to this project was back in 2017. My neighbor, who knew I had a deep interest in both land conservation and trail development, excitedly brought me a copy of a BNRC newsletter with the inaugural showcase of The High Road on its front cover. I remember eagerly opening to the booklet’s colorful centerfold and becoming enchanted by the vivid and imaginative description of a sinewy network of woodland trails, which would someday connect the many towns dotting the Berkshire’s hilly landscape.

Back then, I had no clue that my neighbor’s introduction to The High Road would culminate with me taking a managing role on the project five years later. Nor did I know that in the intervening time, I would have the good fortune to be involved in many trail initiatives, both nationwide and here in the Berkshire region. And that in those years, I would develop a deep, crystalized belief in the importance of sustainable and equitable access to nature.

And so, when presented with the opportunity to join BNRC as its High Road Manager early in 2022, I jumped at the chance.

In the initial days, weeks, and months in this role, I look forward to speaking with and getting to know many of you. Learning the significance of this momentous project and how it fits into BNRC’s mission is paramount.

As they say, Rome was not built in a day, (nor were all roads purportedly leading to it), so I suspect that this “road” won’t be, either. And that, in my opinion, is a good thing. It is my hope to honor the original spirit with which The High Road was founded, while keeping an open mind to the inevitable twists and turns any project of this magnitude is certain to take.

I’ll leave you with a favorite quote of mine from the novelist, Louis L’Amour, one that I will carry with me as I begin my work on The High Road.

“The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for.”

-Deanna Oliveri, High Road Manager

From the Land Protection Toolkit: Conservation Restrictions 101

By Christopher Densmore

If you enjoy hiking in the Berkshires, you’ve probably noticed at some point that the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC), our regional land trust, owns over 11,000 acres of publicly open land in the county. With over 60 miles of maintained trails across many different sites, there are opportunities to hike, birdwatch, picnic, or even hunt and fish. You might wander the river bends at Housatonic Flats in Great Barrington, or you could hike the Hoosac Range Trail in North Adams to the views from Sunset Rock or Spruce Hill. You might picnic and survey the Stockbridge Bowl from Olivia’s Overlook, or swim from the dock at Steadman Pond in Monterey. These are just a few of the lands that BNRC’s Stewardship and Trails teams—with help from generous donor support and an abundance of volunteers—have conserved over the years for common recreational enjoyment and ecological health.

Beyond those reserves though, if you understand the finer details of Berkshire land conservation—or perhaps have researched conserving your own land—you might also note that BNRC protects another 12,000 acres in privately-held conservation lands. Nearly all of those lands are owned by individuals or families. So how does a land trust end up conserving the properties of other landowners? The answer is one of the fundamental tools of land protection in Massachusetts and around the country for several decades: the Conservation Restriction!

Protecting Private Land for Public Benefit

Conservation Restrictions (CRs) are a type of legal document: a voluntary and binding agreement to prevent land from being developed for residential or commercial use. These contracts are an agreement between the owner of the land and a qualified conservation organization, which from then on holds an interest in the land, recorded with the Commonwealth’s registry of deeds. So a CR conserves land forever, even if the ownership of the land changes. Also known as conservation easements in most other states, CRs (or CEs) have grown in use with the general land trust and conservation movements in recent decades. So how does the process of a CR work?

This conservation journey begins when a landowner decides they want to protect their land. They might reach out to a conservation organization for guidance and resources, or sometimes the organization itself might begin the process by inquiring about a particular parcel. Some landowners might want to gift or sell their land to a conservation organization, but if they want to continue to own the land while still conserving it, a CR may be the best path forward.

After some communication between the conservation organization—let’s say a land trust like BNRC—and the landowner, they visit the property together to assess how conserving the land serves public values such as:

  • preserving a watershed and water quality,
  • securing public access to scenic resources, though public access is not a requirement of CRs
  • reducing air pollution,
  • protecting important farms and farmland from development
  • providing habitat or migration corridors for fish and wildlife,
  • protecting scenic vistas,
  • sequestering and storing carbon for climate change mitigation,
  • or allowing sustainable agriculture or forestry, among other values.

The land trust and owner describe the values specific to the property in question, which are recorded in the agreement. They also document the baseline land conditions relevant to those values. This record allows the land trust to make sure the values will endure if there are any changes in the land.

Setting the Terms

The land trust staff will also discuss, with the landowner, their goals for conserving the land. The language of the CR can reflect different priorities. Some restrictions preserve a primitive or wild landscape with no development, agriculture or forestry. Others conserve a working landscape with some logging or a particular focus on agriculture. Sometimes different conservation organizations will specialize in working with particular types of CRs. In New England, the Northeast Wilderness Trust focuses on wild landscapes, whereas the New England Forestry Foundation specializes in working landscapes. BNRC does a combination of both!

Mining, dumping, and motorized recreation are all restricted. Sometimes, a building lot might be kept for a future generation. If the landowner lives on the land, their dwelling and surrounding land (lawn, driveways, utilities, etc.) would be excluded from the restriction. Ultimately, there are varied options for the landowners, but the CR prevents certain “restricted uses” and protects certain “reserved rights” in varying proportions.

Once the CR is finalized, the land trust assumes responsibility for stewarding the land in perpetuity—meaning they are in continual relationship with the landowners. Good CR stewardship requires annual assessments of the site conditions to ensure that the conservation values are being protected. At BNRC, these assessments are a considerable part of our stewardship department’s work. CRs are part of our investment in the future of conservation and require continued engagement and collaboration.

So, ultimately, CRs are a helpful and game-changing tool for landowners and land trusts to protect land together in a legally-binding way without transferring ownership. With this legal structure, they allow private landowners to support the public benefits of conserving land. According to the Land Trust Alliance, a national land trust advocacy organization, conservationists have used these easements nationwide to protect a total acreage that adds up to larger than the size of Massachusetts. CRs allow local residents to conserve land that adds up at larger scales! At BNRC, we’re glad to have CRs in our conservation toolkit to protect ecological and social wellness in the Berkshires. If you or anyone you know owns land and might want to conserve it, take note and spread the word!



MassTrails Grant Helps Connect Town and City Centers to the Outdoors

August 2021

Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) has received a $28,000 grant from MassTrails, an inter-agency initiative of the Commonwealth led by the Governor’s Office, in collaboration with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The grant will be used to expand trail options at BNRC’s Thomas & Palmer Brook conservation reserve, and to advance plans to connect Great Barrington’s downtown center by footpath to Thomas & Palmer Brook and other conserved lands heading north toward Stockbridge. The work proposed for this next phase will include the construction of a new woodland hiking trail connecting the popular accessible loop at Thomas & Palmer to the upland forest, and natural features within it.

BNRC President Jenny Hansell travelled to Cape Cod in July to participate in the MassTrails award ceremony. At the ceremony, Governor Charlie Baker announced nearly $4 million in grant funding to support 52 trail projects across the Commonwealth.

Also in attendance were Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Department of Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler, and Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Jim Montgomery.

“This is all about access for everyone to the Berkshire outdoors,” said Jenny Hansell, President of BNRC. “Making it easy for everyone to stay well outside is a top priority for BNRC. This means accessible trail design, and providing opportunities to walk out onto trail systems from downtown centers as part of BNRC’s High Road network. The MassTrails support of this vision is a wonderful gift to all who love the special character and natural beauty of the Berkshires.”

On its website, MassTrails states, “Trails are the intersection of conservation, community, transportation, and recreation. They connect Massachusetts residents and visitors to the places in which we live, learn, work, shop, and play.”

Work made possible by the MassTrails grant to BNRC will begin immediately.

Previous MassTrails grants to BNRC have funded work at the accessible-design Old Mill Trail in Hinsdale and Dalton, construction of the Parsons Marsh boardwalk in Lenox, and the initial accessible-design trail at Thomas & Palmer Brook.


BNRC y Berkshire Language Management trabajan conjuntamente para ampliar el acceso al aire libre.

10 de junio de 2021

Los mapas de los senderos, se encuentran ahora disponibles de forma gratuita en formato digital y/o impreso para los senderos del Berkshire Natural Resources Council (Consejo de Recursos Naturales de Berkshire). Silvana Kirby, intérprete certificada a nivel nacional y traductora fundadora de Berkshire Language Management, fue parte fundamental en la creación de estos nuevos mapas para los residentes y visitantes del condado Berkshire.

Después de varias conversaciones con organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro, empresas y miembros de la comunidad de los Berkshires, BNRC llegó a comprender que la accesibilidad lingüística estaba creando una barrera para que los hispanohablantes se sintieran cómodos y bienvenidos en las rutas de senderismo de la región. Posteriormente, la Sra. Kirby colaboró con BNRC para traducir todos los folletos de los mapas de los senderos del inglés al español.

Berkshire Language Management, fundada por la Sra. Kirby en 2004, es una empresa de servicios integral en la gestión lingüística, la conciencia cultural y la educación. Ofrece servicios de traducción, interpretación y competencia cultural.

BNRC participa activamente en la búsqueda de maneras de garantizar que sus reservas sean acogedoras para todos los que las visitan y para aquellos que llaman a los Berkshires su hogar. BNRC identificó como una prioridad inmediata la traducción de los mapas de senderos debido a su importante capacidad para ayudar a las personas a comprender cómo navegar en un sendero, qué esperar en términos de dificultad y la información que estos folletos brindan sobre el mundo natural.

Todos los folletos de los mapas de los senderos de BNRC en inglés, disponibles en más de las 56 reservas populares de conservación de BNRC, se han traducido al español. Estos mapas de los senderos se encuentran disponibles en el sitio web de BNRC y al escanear el código QR en los quioscos de inicio de los senderos de BNRC. Además, se proporcionan los mapas de los senderos en papel de forma gratuita en cinco de los senderos más populares de BNRC. Estos incluyen cordilleras, llanuras, riachuelos como los de Hoosac Range, los Boulders, Housatonic Flats, Thomas & Palmer Brook y Yokun Ridge South.

BNRC continuará ampliando estos esfuerzos, eventualmente imprimiendo todas las rutas de sus mapas en español y traduciendo otros materiales existentes y futuros de BNRC.

Sra. Kirby compartió que “Acepté la oportunidad de traducir los mapas y trabajar junto con BNRC. Nuestro equipo de traductores proporcionó un marco de conciencia cultural para llegar a la comunidad
hispanohablante en Berkshires y para educar a nuestra comunidad sobre los beneficios de caminar de manera segura por los senderos de este”.

“Todas las reservas de BNRC son gratuitas y se encuentran abiertas al público. Sin embargo, esto por sí solo no es suficiente para que sean verdaderamente acogedoras y cuidadosamente inclusivas”, dijo Jenny Hansell, presidenta de BNRC. “Al expandir las ofertas de idiomas de BNRC, buscamos eliminar un obstáculo de comodidad significativo en el terreno que BNRC pone a disposición para uso público. Y esperamos que el aumento del acceso a idiomas en las reservas de BNRC cultive un entorno más inclusivo para todos los habitantes de Berkshires que buscan explorar, disfrutar y mantenerse bien al aire libre”.

Creada en 1967, la misión del Consejo de Recursos Naturales de Berkshire ha sido proteger y preservar la belleza natural y la integridad ecológica de los Berkshires para el beneficio y deleite del público. Existen 56 reservas de conservación de BNRC repartidas por todo el condado de Berkshire, gratuitas para el público, abiertas para la recreación de todos, todos los días, gracias principalmente a los donantes. Con sus partidarios, BNRC conserva el terreno, construye y mantiene los senderos y, por lo general, ofrece salidas grupales gratuitas durante todo el año. Puede encontrar en línea en el sitio web más información acerca de todas las propiedades y senderos de BNRC, y sobre la aplicación gratuita de BNRC: Berkshire Trails.

Berkshire Language Management fue fundada el 2004. Nuestra misión como traductores es sobresalir en la teoría de la lingüística extranjera aplicando nuestro conocimiento de la competencia lingüística y cultural para brindar un excelente servicio al cliente y satisfacer las necesidades más actuales de nuestra industria. Visítenos en

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con Mariah Auman al 413-496-0596 o a
Consejo de Recursos Naturales de Berkshire | 20 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201


BNRC and Berkshire Language Management collaborate to expand access to the outdoors

June 10, 20121

Mapas de senderos—Spanish language trail maps—are now available for free in digital and/or print for Berkshire Natural Resources Council hiking trails. Silvana Kirby, a nationally certified interpreter and founding translator of Berkshire Language Management, was instrumental in creating these new maps for Berkshire residents and visitors.

After conversations with Berkshire non-profits, businesses, and community members, BNRC came to understand language accessibility was creating a barrier for Spanish speakers to feel comfortable and welcome on the region’s hiking trails. Subsequently, Mrs. Kirby collaborated with BNRC to translate all its English trail map brochures into Spanish.

Berkshire Language Management, founded by Mrs. Kirby in 2004, is a full-service language management, culture awareness, and education company. It offers translation, interpretation, and cultural competency services.

BNRC is actively engaged in finding ways to ensure its reserves are welcoming for all who visit and who call the Berkshires home. BNRC identified trail map translation as an immediate priority because of its important ability to help people understand how to navigate on a trail, what to expect in terms of difficulty, and for the information, trail map brochures provide about the natural world.

All of the English BNRC trail map brochures—available at the most popular of BNRC’s 56 conservation reserves—have been translated into Spanish. These mapas de senderos are available on the BNRC website, and by snapping the QR code at BNRC trailhead kiosks. Additionally, paper mapas de senderos are provided free at five of BNRC’s most popular trails. These include the Hoosac Range, The Boulders, Housatonic Flats, Thomas & Palmer Brook, and Yokun Ridge South.

BNRC will continue to expand on these efforts, eventually printing all trails of its maps in Spanish, and translating other existing and future BNRC materials.

Mrs. Kirby shared, “I embraced the opportunity to translate the maps and to work together with BNRC. Our team of translators provided a cultural awareness framework to reach the Spanish speaking community in the Berkshires and to educate our community with the benefits of safely hiking the trails in the Berkshires.”

“All BNRC reserves are free and open to the public. However, that alone is not enough to make them truly welcoming and thoughtfully inclusive,” said Jenny Hansell, president of BNRC. “By expanding BNRC’s language offerings, we seek to remove one significant comfort obstacle on the lands that BNRC makes available for public use. And we hope that increasing language access on BNRC reserves will cultivate a more inclusive environment for everyone in the Berkshires who seeks to explore, enjoy, and stay well in the outdoors.”

Established in 1967, the Berkshire Natural Resources Council mission is to protect and preserve the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the Berkshires for public benefit and enjoyment. There are 56 BNRC conservation reserves spread across Berkshire County, free to the public, open to everyone for recreation, every day, all thanks to donors. With its supporters, BNRC conserves land, builds and maintains trails, and typically offers free year-round group outings. More about all BNRC properties and trails, and BNRC’s free Berkshire Trails app, can be found online at

Berkshire Language Management was established in 2004. Our mission as translators is to excel in the theory of foreign linguistics by applying our knowledge of language and cultural competence in order to provide excellent customer service and meet our industry’s most current needs. Visit us at

For more information contact Mariah Auman at 413-496-0596 or
Berkshire Natural Resources Council | 20 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201