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 (shout–out 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 bnrc.org/volunteer.