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Be a Conservation Hero

Posted Friday, May 17, 2024

Have you seen a moose in the Berkshires?

I haven’t, yet, but I am always watching out for them. They come down from Maine and Vermont from time to time, and they can travel safely because the forest is connected all the way down—they have to cross a few roads, but mostly they can stay hidden in the woods.

(I have it on good authority that sometimes, a mountain lion passes through, too.)

Together with you, BNRC is working to make sure that the forest stays intact. Will you give today to protect the land, for all the animals whose lives depend on it?

Your gift does more than create healthy habitat for wildlife. The trees you save sequester and store carbon, too—which is critical if we are going to minimize the effects of climate change.

In fact, one gift toward forest protection does so much more: It keeps the drinking water clean. It creates buffers to soak up rainwater, preventing flooding as these spring and summer storms get more intense. And your generosity today ensures there’s somewhere we can all go to get away, to find peace, to connect to something greater than ourselves.

It’s all in the neighborhood.

I love that in the Berkshires everyone pitches in—we all help each other. And your gift to conservation does just that—it helps yourself, your neighbors, and everyone who lives here.

Here’s another example of “all in the neighborhood.” In North County, a man whose property has been in his family for generations realized what was at stake if he didn’t act now to protect the land. He saw how quickly large parcels around him were being snapped up for complex development projects.

Right now, where he lives is part of a vast unbroken swath of forest, alive with wildlife and wildflowers at every season. He wanted to keep it that way, so he called BNRC.

And BNRC staff were there to answer the phone, thanks to you.

But there’s more to the story. He realized the impact of his generosity would be multiplied if his neighbors joined in. He literally went door to door, inviting every neighbor to learn more about land conservation, and now there are six families working together with BNRC, who collectively are conserving a thousand acres of mountaintop.

Your gift makes that possible. I hope you’ll give now to make sure this project, and others, get to the finish line.

The decision to protect land is very personal—each person does it for their own reasons. But when someone—a farmer, a long-time resident, a newcomer— realizes that they can make a lasting difference by putting their land into conservation, BNRC is here to help because of you.

In fact, every glorious conservation reserve where you enjoy walking, birdwatching, or fishing was once owned by a family not so different from yours. When the land’s future was up for grabs, folks like you stepped in to help, time and time again.

Will you be there for the next one?

There are at least twenty-five important Berkshire conservation opportunities in process right now, representing thousands of acres of habitat across the county. The landowners want to do the right thing, but it takes time, expertise, and money to complete these complex projects.

Will you be there to make sure the next family, and the next, can do what’s right for the land?

What if … ?

It’s a strange thing about the work of land conservation. Success is measured by what doesn’t change. We’ve succeeded when the forests aren’t cleared, when farms aren’t chopped up for overdevelopment.

But what if we weren’t successful? What if there were no land conservation coordinators at BNRC who pick up the phone?

We’ve all seen landscapes where the intact forest is a distant memory, where strip malls and traffic jams have spread until there is no place left for the moose or the Blackpoll warbler. These malls and roads are named after the nature they are building on top of—I can imagine a Berkshires with Gould Farm Shopping Center or Hollow Fields Highway. There would be no farm, and no field, if that were to happen. I know you won’t let that happen here.

Be a Conservation Hero

Every day, nature sustains us. Your gift now sustains nature. I invite you to become an “Everyday Conservation Champion” with a commitment of $365.

Giving back every day makes it possible to work with families from Clarksburg to Sandisfield, and make sure that the Berkshire outdoors is accessible to everyone.

Or, perhaps you’d like to join BNRC’s monthly giving circle? Donors who choose to give monthly provide continual, and critical, support throughout the year.

For the moose, for the mountain lion, and for your neighbors, will you join the circle of conservation heroes?

For the moose, for the warbler, for your neighbors, for you—please give today.

Jenny Hansell
President, BNRC