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A view of the Umpachene River watershed, part of a 114-acre tract of land recently acquired by the New Marlborough Land Trust (see item below).

Bits & Bytes: Four Freedoms march & rally; ‘Just Eat It;’ New Marlborough Land Trust acquires 114-acre tract; ‘Christmas Tea with Mrs. Morgan’

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By Tuesday, Jan 3, 2017 Life In the Berkshires

March and rally will commemorate FDR’s ‘Four Freedoms’ speech

Sen Edward Markey.

Sen Edward Markey.

Pittsfield — On Saturday, Jan. 7, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., the Four Freedoms Coalition will hold a march and rally in downtown Pittsfield to commemorate Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech, which was given on Jan. 6, 1941, and stressed the need for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

Organized by the newly formed nonpartisan Four Freedoms Coalition and led by the NAACP Berkshire County Branch, the Berkshire Central Labor Council and the Berkshire Brigades, the event has garnered the support of over 80 community partners including the City of Pittsfield, faith communities, cultural organizations, local businesses, and more than 20 elected officials such as Massachusetts senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer and North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright.

Dennis Powell, president, NAACP Berkshire County branch.

Dennis Powell.

Participants are invited to gather in front of St. Joseph’s Church at 12:30 p.m. The march will step off at 1 p.m., heading down North Street to First Church of Christ. At approximately 1:30 p.m., an indoor rally will be held in the First Church of Christ, where Eleanor Roosevelt once spoke, and speakers include Markey; James Roosevelt, grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; attorney and member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women Tahirah Amatul-Wadud; NAACP Berkshire County Branch president Dennis Powell; 2015 Berkshire Labor Person of the Year Elizabeth Recko-Morrison; Berkshire Community College Multicultural Center director Eleanore Velez; MIT Center for Civic Media director Ethan Zuckerman; and spoken word poets from Miss Hall’s School. Reverend Sheila Sholes-Ross of First Baptist Church will serve as the mistress of ceremonies. An open house will then be held at First Church, featuring information tables set up by an array of Four Freedoms partners in order for attendees to learn more about local volunteer opportunities and sign up to support specific issues and challenges.

For more information, contact 4freedomscoalition@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Mason Library to screen food documentary

1486674_770740109612108_4548715367152570883_nGreat Barrington — The Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries will screen “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story” on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 7:45 p.m. at Mason Library as the first of four films in the First Saturday Documentaries for Everyone winter series.

The 2015 film traces filmmakers and food lovers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin who dive into the issue of food waste from both farm and retail by pledging, for six months, to survive solely on food that would have been discarded. The film is not rated.

The library doors will open at 7 p.m. with a free wine and cheese social. A community discussion will follow the film until 10 p.m. The film and social are free and open to all ages. For more information, call the library at (413) 528-2403.

–E.E.

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New Marlborough Land Trust acquires 114-acre tract

A map of the 114-acre New Marlboro Preserve. The preserve is outlined in red; the New Marlborough village green is at the top.

A map of the 114-acre New Marlboro Preserve. The preserve is outlined in red; the New Marlborough village green is at the top.

New Marlborough — After a six-month effort, the New Marlborough Land Trust has acquired the title to the New Marlboro Preserve, a valuable 114-acre parcel of land adjacent to the village of New Marlborough consisting of fields, forest and Umpachene River watershed.

“The New Marlboro Preserve was the missing puzzle piece to connect a number of nearby conserved properties,” said land trust executive director Martha Bryan. “We hope to make this scenic, unspoiled land a resource for the entire community.”

The purchase price was $260,000. Illinois-based CML Berkshire Land LLC was the seller. Once its offer was accepted, the land trust mounted a crash campaign to raise the funds before the end of 2016. More than 200 individuals, businesses, land trusts and town entities donated to the effort. The nonprofit land trust was established in 1983 and now owns a total of approximately 589 acres in the town. It intends to restore the open fields for productive agricultural use.

–E.E.

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Ventfort Hall hosts ‘Christmas Tea with Mrs. Morgan’

Anne Undeland.

Anne Undeland.

Lenox — On Saturday, Jan. 7, at 3 p.m., Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will step back in time to Christmas 1894 with the living history event “Christmas Tea with Mrs. Morgan.” Portrayed by actress Anne Undeland, Mrs. George Morgan (Sarah) will share with her guests a sumptuous and historically accurate tea, full of stories about the mansion; its large staff; Morgan’s husband, George, and brother J. Pierpont; the Victorian Era and the Gilded Age holiday itself.

Undeland is a Shakespeare & Company-trained actress who has also performed with Mixed Company, Austen Riggs Center’s Riggs Theatre 37, Castle Hill Theater, Barrington Stage Company and Capital Repertory Theatre. She was also a recurring voice in BBC Radio plays by Gregory Whitehead.

Tickets are $35 and reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, contact Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or info@gildedage.org.

–E.E.


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