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Free Spanish Language Maps At BNRC Trailheads

Posted Thursday, June 10, 2021

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

Mapas de senderos—Spanish language trail maps—are now available for free 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 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 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 BNRC President Jenny Hansell. “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.”