March 25, 2020 Mariah

COVID-19 BNRC Trails Update

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Dear Friends,

This week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued a stay at home advisory, requiring all non-essential businesses to close. He also encouraged people to take walks in parks and nature to maintain physical and mental health. With those directives to guide us, BNRC will leave most of its trails open to the public for the time being, with the exception of Parsons Marsh Reserve and accessible trail, as it is impossible to maintain appropriate social distance on the narrow boardwalks.

Top BNRC trail information here:
https://www.bnrc.org/trails-and-maps/top-berkshire-trails/

All upcoming hikes and happenings are cancelled until further notice.

Public enjoyment of the natural beauty of the Berkshires is essential to the BNRC mission that you make possible every day. We urge you to follow these common-sense guidelines for all your outdoor visits:

  • Stay local and avoid high-traffic destinations.
  • If you are over 70 or medically vulnerable, stay home. If you are not feeling well, stay home.
  • Avoid crowds; conduct your outings solo or with other members of your household.
  • Be ready to step aside or move quickly through areas where people congregate such as parking lots and trailheads. If you arrive at a location and there are more than a handful of cars in the parking lot, please come back another time.
  • Please be safe: maintain at least a 6-foot distance between yourself and others. Be prepared to step aside, and let people know you are near if they can’t see you.

Please note that, for the most part, our staff and volunteers will not be out clearing fallen trees or addressing other trail needs, so you may find the trails in rougher shape than usual. Please always feel free to let us know of any maintenance or safety issues you discover on BNRC properties, by emailing FrontDesk@bnrc.org.

Medical and scientific authorities advise that it is crucial for public and individual health that we take extreme measures immediately—to “flatten the curve” and prevent the spread of COVID-19 we must do everything we possibly can to stay isolated from one another. We think this can be done without closing our trails at this time, but if we learn that crowds are forming and it is impossible to maintain good distance on any of our trails, we may close them in the coming days.

Together, we can do this—and emerge from this challenge stronger and more connected than before.

While working at home, the BNRC team will continue sharing videos, photos, nature bits, and inviting conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Check out the Landkeepers Blog, and LEARN about mammal tracks, stone walls, woody plants, and much more on the BNRC website. There are even wildflower coloring pages you can print!

In other words, please stay in touch. We will too.

Thank you for all of your support. We can’t wait to be on the trails again with you, for hikes and volunteer workdays, enjoying the Berkshire outdoors together—hopefully soon.

Sincerely,

Jenny

Jenny Hansell, President
Berkshire Natural Resources Council

P.S. Currently, the BNRC office is closed and staff are working from home. This means it will take longer than usual to process donations sent by mail. If you have recently sent a gift to BNRC by mail, it will be in a secure location, as always. Online gifts made at bnrc.org/contribute can be acknowledged more quickly. Thank you for everything you do to preserve the special beauty and character of the Berkshires.

Berkshire Natural Resources Council