Berkshire Natural Resources Council Blog

Landkeeper's Blog

Join us in our mission to keep land open for everyone to visit and enjoy.
Scroll down to see what we're up to!

Hoosac Range Volunteer Workday, North Adams

Help to update the trail blazes.

Friday, October 5th 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Photo Credit: Gabrielle K Murphy

Join BNRC’s Stewardship Staff to update trail blazes on this popular and historic trail! BNRC will provide all supplies including gloves.

Please wear sturdy shoes, clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on and bring water and lunch.

Directions:

From North Adams: Take Route 2 east. Past the hairpin, on the top of the hill, the parking and trailhead will be on your right.

From Pittsfield: Take Route 8 North, at the Cumberland Farms in North Adams, take a right onto 8A. Then take a right, heading east on Route 2. The trailhead parking is on the right at the top of the hill, immediately after the Wigwam Cabins.

Please RSVP to Mariah at mauman@bnrc.org or 413-499-0596.

Olivia’s Overlook at Yokun Ridge South Volunteer Workday, Stockbridge/Richmond

Help to clear the waterbars on the Burbank Trail and Old Baldhead Road.

Tuesday, September 18th 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo Credit: Gabrielle K Murphy

Improve trail water drainage by clearing and re-shaping waterbars for rain runoff. Please wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and bring water. BNRC will provide all tools and gloves.

Directions:

From the center of Lenox (Routes 7A and 183): Take Route 183 west for 1.5 miles, passing Tanglewood. When Route 183 curves left, bear right onto Richmond Mountain Road (sign says to Rt. 41/Richmond). Drive 1.5 miles and the parking lot will be on your left.

From Pittsfield (intersection of Route 7 (South Street) and Route 20 (West Housatonic Street): Take Rt. 20 west 0.8 miles. Make a left onto Barker Road and drive 6.6 miles. Make a left onto Lenox Road and drive 1.8 miles to Olivia’s Overlook, on the right.

From West Stockbridge at the intersection of Route 102 and Swamp Road (across from Shaker Dam Coffee House & Stanmeyer Gallery): Head north on Swamp Road and make an immediate right onto Lenox Road. At 2.0 miles, turn right and continue another 0.1 mile to Olivia’s Overlook on the right.

Please RSVP to Mariah at mauman@bnrc.org or 413-499-0596.

Parsons Marsh Trail Opening Event, Lenox

Photo Credit: Gabrielle K Murhpy

Looking for volunteers to fill short shifts and help with parking, kid’s activities, tabling, crowd welcoming and clean-up.

Saturday, September 15th 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Directions: Stonover Farm’s Event Parking Area, across from 169 Undermountain Rd, Lenox, MA 01240.

Please RSVP to Mariah at mauman@bnrc.org or 413-499-0596.

Alford Springs Volunteer Workday, Alford 

Help to re-blaze the Mother Loop and Connector Trail.

Thursday, September 6th 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Photo Credit: Gabrielle K Murhpy

Together we can update the trail blazing on the trails at Alford Springs. BNRC will provide all supplies including gloves.

Please wear sturdy shoes, clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on and bring water and lunch.

Directions:

From Great Barrington: Take Taconic Avenue, which becomes Alford Road.  Drive past Simon’s Rock to a left on Seekonk Road; follow Seekonk Road (becomes Green River Road) for 3.6 miles. Turn right on to Mountain Road (if you come to the New York State line, you’ve gone too far). Follow Mountain Road for 0.8 miles, bearing left at the first “Y” and left again at the sharp right turn at 0.8 miles. Alternatively continue right to reach a second, three-season parking lot further down the street.

From Pittsfield: Take Route 20 West and turn left onto Route 41 heading south. Drive to Great Barrington and turn right onto Division Street which becomes Seekonk Road. Follow Seekonk Road which becomes Green River Road, turning right on Mountain Road (if you cross the NY state border you have gone a little too far. Follow Mountain Road for 0.8 miles, bearing left at the first “Y” and left again at the sharp right turn at 0.8 miles. Alternatively continue right to reach a second, three-season parking lot further down the street.

Please RSVP to Mariah at mauman@bnrc.org or 413-499-0596.

The Boulders Volunteer Workday, Pittsfield/Dalton

Put the finishing touches on the first leg of the new access trail!

Saturday, August 25th 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo Credit: Gabrielle K Murphy

Join us in putting the finishing touches on the first section of the new access trail at The Boulders Reserve. We’ll be trimming roots, applying soil, blazing and leafing-in the trail.

Please wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and bring water. BNRC will provide all tools and gloves.

Directions: To the trailhead parking area on Gulf Road, Dalton: take routes 8/9 east from the center of Pittsfield. Take a left onto Park Avenue, passing Craneville School.  Take a left onto Gulf Road. Park at the pull-off on the left, opposite the parking for the Appalachian Trail.

Please RSVP to Mariah at mauman@bnrc.org or 413-499-0596.

This trail is a partnership with the Berkshire Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association.

2018 August Enews: A New Trail Coming to the Berkshires!

Throw Some Shade

Some trees thrive in sunlight, others need deep shade. BNRC land stewards help each tree find its place in the forest, with your help.

Have you ever noticed that some trees grow very quickly, and others take many decades to mature? Or that trees near disturbances and forest edges behave very differently than those in deep undisturbed areas?  What’s the best way to ensure the health of a wide range of tree species, to support habitat for wildlife?

Hemlock forest. © Dylan Cipkowski

Some trees prefer specific environmental conditions; some like wet soil, some dry, some shady and others like full light.

Shade intolerant species are fast growers and they need lots of sunlight (50% or more direct sunlight). At the other end of the spectrum, shade tolerant species grow slowly and in low light (10-20% direct sunlight). Intermediate species can withstand anywhere in between.

Forests are not static—both human and natural changes can change the forest makeup. For example, when lots of sunlight reaches the forest floor in the event of a large disturbance (large forest fire, clear-cut, road etc.) shade intolerant species, such as aspen and paper birch, thrive.

At the other end of the spectrum, yellow birch, beech and hemlock trees have the highest tolerance for shade in the Northeast. In a mature oak forest, for example, small hemlocks are able to survive near the forest floor for decades, growing very slowly with minimal sunlight. A hemlock can be 4 feet tall and 70 or more years old, waiting for a gap to form in the canopy. When you walk into a forest of tall hemlock, yellow birch, or beech, such as at our Boulders reserve in Pittsfield, you know that they waited a long time to reach the top of the canopy.

While every forest has edges, we strive to keep large tracts of forest intact and undisturbed, so that essential species like hemlocks will always have a place to grow in the Berkshires.

So on your next outdoor adventure, pay attention to the forest composition and the story it tells.

You help make sure the thousands of acres of BNRC-owned forests are cared for to protect the trees and the wildlife that depend on them.  Thank you!

Help protect forests in the Berkshires, Donate Here.

Parsons Marsh Trail Opening, Lenox

JOIN US to celebrate the opening of the new accessible trail at Parsons Marsh in Lenox.

Music, Kid’s Activities, Hikes and Walks, Cider Press, Cider Donuts

A work in progress.

Saturday, September 15th (9:00 a.m. – Noon)

Free event! All are welcome!


Event Schedule

 9:00 a.m.    Bird Walk with well-known Berkshire birder Ed Neumuth
10:00 a.m.   Music, Kid’s Crafts
10:30 a.m.   Ribbon Cutting
10:45 a.m.   Music, Cider Pressing, Kid’s Crafts, Explore the new trail


Parking: Stonover Farm’s Event Parking Area, across from 169 Undermountain Rd, Lenox, MA 01240. Carpooling and walking encouraged!

 

Email frontdesk@bnrc.org or call 413-499-0596 with any questions.

 

This is a cooperative trail project between Berkshire Natural Resources Council, the Town of Lenox through its Community Preservation Fund, and the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Program, also supported by the Lenox Land Trust.

 

Volunteer Highlight: Ginny Akabane

She initiated her relationship with BNRC 25 years ago doing title searches for properties being acquired. Ginny Akabane, having been involved with BNRC for half the time it’s been around, has done it all – from mailings to organizing the volunteer monitoring of hemlock woolly adelgid.

Her favorite property “has to be Mahanna Cobble. While I was helping to clear the vista before George Wislocki’s bench was installed, a bald eagle landed in one of the dead trees. That tree had to remain in case the eagle ever comes back! I like that it is a lollipop loop trail coming in from West Mountain Road. and I love the name of the Secret Trail. I have had a beaver slap its tail at me at the beaver pond, which comes and goes as the beavers come and go. My dog enjoys running the lower part of the Bousquet loop trail and bushwhacking across the knoll back to the car. Also, it is co-owned with three friends of mine.”

Inspired by her mother, who was still working at the Oyster Bay Waterfront Center in her 90s, Ginny dedicates much of her time to volunteering. Her motivation for helping BNRC is that “it is the best land conservation organization in Berkshire County, has wonderful properties and has friendly, dedicated staff.”

Ginny, thank you! You are an inspiration to us all! Cheers to many more paint-covered days blazing trails!

 

July 2018 Enews: A Leprechaun at Hollow Fields?