Monday, July 22, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Gather-In; transportation to hikes; ‘The Magic of VIM’; Housatonic River cleanup

Participants will be picked up at and returned to either the Berkshire Athenaeum or the Berkshire Dream Center and transported to the various hike locations.

Gather-In festival to celebrate 46 years

Pittsfield — The Gather-In, Berkshire County’s longest running neighborhood festival, will celebrate 46 years with live music and dance, a basketball tournament, children’s activities, a barbecue and more Saturday, July 27, from 1 to 7 p.m. at Durant Park.

The main stage will feature local youth talent, singer Wanda Houston, drum circle leader Otha Day, a preview from Williamstown Theatre Festival, renowned folksingers Kim and Reggie Harris, the Soul Steps dance troupe from New Jersey, Youth Alive, the Soul Gospel Singers of Rhode Island and more. Activities for children will be featured and a wide variety of food vendors and community organizations will have a presence. The annual Gather-In basketball tournament will also be held.

NAACP – Berkshire County Branch President Dennis Powell has been involved in the Gather-in since its beginnings in 1973: “For over forty years the Westside community has invited the Berkshires to join them to celebrate family, creativity, community and equality together. The NAACP is proud to have started this vibrant annual festival, and to continue it today.”

The event is free, open to all and family friendly. For more information and a complete lineup of activities, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call (413) 464-7898.


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Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s Hollow Fields property in Richmond. Photo: Roxanne Gawthrop

BNRC, Berkshire Athenaeum to offer free transportation to hikes

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Natural Resources Council and the Berkshire Athenaeum will offer guided summer walks with transportation provided from two Pittsfield locations.

Participants will be picked up at and returned to either the Berkshire Athenaeum or the Berkshire Dream Center and transported to the various hike locations. The outings will take place on BNRC conservation reserves and entail walks on well-marked trails at an easy pace. The series includes properties with ridgeline views, a riverside trail, wetlands birding, and an urban forest. Two of the events take place on accessible walking paths. Each outing will start with pick-ups at 10 a.m. and drop-offs no later than 2 p.m. Actual walking time will be about two hours. The schedule of dates is as follows:

  • Saturday, July 27: nature hike at Hollow Fields, Richmond;
  • Saturday, Aug. 24: boardwalk stroll at Parsons Marsh, Lenox;
  • Saturday, Sept. 28: walk on the Old Mill Trail, Hinsdale/Dalton; and
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: forest hike at the Boulders, Dalton/Pittsfield.

The walks are free and open to the public. Sturdy footwear is advised, such as hiking boots or sneakers. Participants are asked to bring their lunches; trail snacks and water will be provided. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, contact the Berkshire Natural Resources Council at (413) 499-0596.


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VIM Berkshires’ 2018 gala at Gedney Farm. Photo courtesy VIM Berkshires

Gedney Farm to host ‘The Magic of VIM’

New Marlborough — Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires will hold its annual fundraising gala Thursday, August 8, at 6 p.m., at Gedney Farm. This year’s event, titled “The Magic of VIM,” is the organization’s largest fundraising event.

The evening will feature silent and live auctions, with items including a week at an apartment in Florence, Italy; tea for 12 at the Inn at Kenmore Hall, a private karaoke party at the Egremont Barn and other items. As in past years, the VIM gala will feature gambling. In addition, there will be dancing during coffee and dessert, and a range of magical surprises. The Gedney Farm chefs will provide evening-wide catering. Professional facilitator and corporate coach Ken DeLoreto will serve as master of ceremonies and auctioneer. Andy Wrba and the Berkshire Jazz Collective will provide musical entertainment.

Special pricing is available for attendees age 45 and under.  For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact VIM Berkshires at (413) 528-4014 or


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BEAT to hold Housatonic River cleanup day

Volunteers remove trash from the West Branch of the Housatonic River in Pittsfield. Photo: Alison Dixon

Pittsfield — On Saturday, July 27, at 9 a.m., the Berkshire Environmental Action Team and volunteers will set out from Wahconah Park, 105 Wahconah St., to collect trash from alongside and in the West Branch of the Housatonic River. The event will culminate at the Gather-In festival at Durant Park for a volunteers’ lunch and Blue Q goodie bags.

Children accompanied by parents or guardians are welcome. Participants are asked to bring waders, hip boots or boots if able, but there will also be a few pairs to borrow. Participants should also bring refillable water bottles, sunscreen and bug repellant. BEAT will provide work gloves and bags, and a few pairs of grabbers. Some groups will paddle in canoes and some will walk along the banks and/or wade into the river.

The event is free and open to the public. An additional cleanup event will take place Saturday, Aug. 17. For more information, contact (413) 230-7321, or



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