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Butterflies Like it Hot at Mountain Meadow
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
02:26PM / Sunday, October 25, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Adventuresome butterflies highlight the widespread nectar oases in a special habitat teaming with nectar to meet their spurious flight demands.    Thanks to lucid awareness of the ecological value of so many concurrent species — upwards to 30 — the Trustees of Reservations has saved these 20 acres called Mountain Meadow Preserve. Although seldom seen altogether since they have different flight periods, and separate nectar preferences, a surprising assortment of butterflies can be seen imbibing at the same plant.    What a potpourri! Hardly a dull moment in July.   Milkweed reached peak bloom by July 1 with signs of

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MassDEP Issues Penalty to Cretecrew Concrete Services for Waste Site Cleanup Violations
12:21PM / Monday, October 19, 2020
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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced it has assessed a $31,000 penalty to Cretecrew Concrete Services, Inc., a concrete foundation company based in Westfield, for failing to complete cleanup of a hydraulic oil spill that occurred at a construction site in Chicopee.   On Sept. 20, 2019, the Chicopee Fire Department notified MassDEP regarding the spill of up to 15 gallons of hydraulic oil associated with the failure of a hydraulic hose on a concrete form truck owned and operated by Cretecrew. The spill occurred at a construction site at 114 McKinstry Avenue in Chicopee.    MassDEP staff inspected the site that day and

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State Announces Rule Prohibiting Use of HFC Pollutants
12:35PM / Friday, October 16, 2020
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BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration released a proposed regulation to prohibit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions nationally and in Massachusetts.    HFCs are currently used in certain end-use products, such as aerosols, air conditioners and chillers, refrigeration units and foams. The regulations will help to significantly reduce local GHG emissions and will place the Commonwealth in line with 16 other states adopting comparable HFC regulations or legislation, coordinated by the U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA).   “Building on our Administration's ongoing commitment to fight climate change,

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Sheffield Land Trustís Spring Bulb Giveaway
01:18PM / Wednesday, October 07, 2020
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SHEFFIELD, Mass. — The Sheffield Land Trust will hold a spring bulb giveaway on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 am to 2 pm in the parking lot of Sheffield’s Bushnell-Sage Library.   At the bulb giveaway, people will have a choice of six types of early bloomers: white daffodils, squill, glory of the snow, snow drops, species crocus, and a particularly squirrel-proof type of crocus known as "tommies."    The Land Trust will give away 1,000 of each type of bulb, one bag per person, with five daffodil bulbs to a bag and ten per bag of the other types.   "With spring temperatures warming up earlier than usual because of climate change, pollinators like

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State Urges Residents to Report Signs of Invasive Spotted Lanternfly
08:49AM / Monday, September 28, 2020
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BOSTON, Mass. — The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced that it has identified two dead specimens of the spotted lanternfly (SLF) in communities, and is urging residents to report any sign of the invasive pest.    The specimens were recovered in the towns of Milford and Norwood and were brought into Massachusetts on materials shipped from Pennsylvania counties currently under a spotted lanternfly quarantine.   Additionally, MDAR was recently notified that nursery stock with spotted lanternfly egg masses and adults may have been unintentionally imported and planted in several parts of Massachusetts.   MDAR is urging anyone who has

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Great Barrington Multicultural BRIDGE Team Up for Climate Action
02:24PM / Friday, September 25, 2020
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Great Barrington and Multicultural Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups through Education (BRIDGE) are teaming up with a program to broaden climate action outreach and engagement with minority and lower-income area residents.   The town received a $70,400 state grant for the program; a total of $11.1 million was awarded to municipalities across the state for sustainability programs.   "Climate change is a poverty multiplier affecting our more vulnerable neighbors more so than those of higher income and privilege,' Natalie Narotzky, chair of the town’s Sustainability and Livability Committee sad. "These neighbors

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State Awards $11.1 Million in Climate Change Funding To Cities And Towns
09:17AM / Thursday, September 17, 2020
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FITCHBURG, Mass. — Continuing investment in climate change resiliency, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $11.1 million in grants to cities and towns through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.   This announcement brings total state investment in climate change resilience through the MVP program to over $44 million since 2017. The popular grant and designation program provides communities with funding and technical support to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. The grants were announced by Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito in Fitchburg as

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State Awards Grants to Support Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership
02:06PM / Wednesday, September 16, 2020
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ROWE, Mass. — The Baker-Polito Administration announced $225,000 in grant funding to eight municipalities and a regional economic development organization to support forest stewardship and conservation, trail improvements, and nature-based tourism in the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership region.     The funding builds upon the Commonwealth's Shared Stewardship Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, which established a framework for partnerships between local governments and stakeholders to advance the goals of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership (MTWP) to conserve forests and enhance regional economic

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Chilling Snow Storm Draws Apprehensive Avian Migrants
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
08:00PM / Sunday, August 30, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — If ever there was a snow storm to remember it was that of early May in our Berkshires.   Forewarned by the aggressive weather watchers to inform us of the approaching tempest, one may wonder how our birds reacted to atmospheric signs that animals first perceive. Flocking birds of assorted genera appeared stunned by the daunting freeze that enveloped both the world of people and the spring migrating birds eager to resume nesting and procreation of their progeny.   All night the swirling snow fell in the valleys and foothills, and I felt concern for our cheerful charmers that must outlast the shivering cold swept upon them as they would take shelter

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Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Nearing Fundraising Goal
09:41AM / Monday, August 24, 2020
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LENOX, Mass. — Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is nearing its Opening Doors to Nature capital campaign goal of $1.2 million to address the sanctuary's aging facilities   Through donations, Mass Audubon's Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is now within $200,000 of its $1.12 million goal to fund the program barn expansion project.   The capital campaign was created to help ensure the sanctuary's aging facilities are brought up to date, with a focus on accessibility and related amenities.   The centerpiece will be an energy-efficient addition to the 18th-century program barn that includes modern restrooms, expanded lobby area, expansive decking,

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