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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Berkshire Paraphernalia Pack; virtual town hall; Williamstown Farmers Market online; Tree Seed Photo Challenge

Representing the community, public and private higher education sectors, the panel will share the impacts felt, tactics utilized and outlook ahead as it pertains to higher education in the Berkshires and beyond.

Only in My Dreams Events launches new Berkshire Paraphernalia Pack

South Egremont — Only in My Dreams Events has announced the release of its new Berkshire Paraphernalia Pack: A Sample of Our Community, an imaginative kit full of local foods, fun supplies and needed practicalities.

Each Berkshire Paraphernalia Pack includes a variety of festive products that celebrate the best of what the county offers, from Berkshire Theatre Group mugs to tea from Harney & Sons, chocolates from H.R. Zeppelin, and maple syrup from Turner Farms. In addition, the box carries practical sundries such as a washable cloth face mask made by local drag queen and regular Only In My Dreams Events collaborator Boxxa Vine and hand sanitizer from Berkshire Mountain Distillers.

According to product co-creator and Only in My Dreams Events President Oskar Hallig: “This summer we are pivoting our focus and continuing to expand our mission because our normal business model is temporarily on hold due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Berkshires is a very special place and full of creativity, and the Berkshire Paraphernalia Pack is our way of honoring the region and shining a spotlight on our inspired community’s talent and treasures.”

–E.E.

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1Berkshire to offer ‘Higher Education During COVID-19’ virtual presentation

Williams College President Maud Mandel. Photo courtesy Williams College

Pittsfield — 1Berkshire will hold its fifth Virtual Town Hall, “Higher Education During COVID-19,” Friday, May 22, from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Moderated by 1Berkshire president and CEO Jonathan Butler, the panel will include Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James Birge and Williams College President Maud Mandel.

Representing the community, public and private higher education sectors, the panel will share the impacts felt, tactics utilized and outlook ahead as it pertains to higher education in the Berkshires and beyond. “Here in the Berkshires, we are lucky to be home to the first community college in Massachusetts, one of the top public liberal arts colleges in the country, and one of the top private liberal arts colleges in the country. The impact of these institutions both locally and beyond is immense, so having the chance to hear directly from their top leadership as they face the COVID-19 pandemic is sure to be an incredibly powerful moment,” said Butler.

The event is free and open to the public but registration is required. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar, or contact 1Berkshire at (413) 499-1600 or info@1berkshire.com.

–E.E.

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Williamstown Farmers Market moves online

Williamstown — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Williamstown Farmers Market has launched Williamstown Farmers Market – Essentials, an e-commerce website for preordered items, which will connect farmers with the community while following safety protocols and mitigating some of the challenges surrounding food access.

WFM-E offers contact-free ordering and payment, a central pick-up location, and delivery within a 7-mile radius (reserved for those who are unable to access transportation). Customers can drive or walk to the pick-up site. All will be required to follow the 6-1-1 rule: Stay six feet apart; limit pick-up to one person at a time; one mask per person. Sarah (Phelps) Lipinski, an eighth-generation Williamstown farmer and Sweet Brook Farm vendor, created the e-market and serves as this season’s market manager.

Pick-ups take place Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Williamstown Elementary School. All market sales are on a preorder basis. For more information, contact the Williamstown Farmers Market at wtownmarket@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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GB Land Conservancy fosters connections to nature

Examples from Great Barrington Land Conservancy’s Tree Seed Photo Challenge. Photos courtesy Great Barrington Land Conservancy

Great Barrington — During the month of April, the Great Barrington Land Conservancy held a Tree Seed Photo Challenge, which provided families and individuals with fun, nature-focused activities to do at home. Each week, a new photo of a mystery tree seed was used to challenge the identification skills of local naturalists. All participants were entered into a raffle prize drawing and the winners were randomly chosen on Arbor Day.

Said one participant: “This tree seed challenge has been such a wonderful bright spot amid the global craze! I’ve really enjoyed learning about local trees. Thank you so much for what you do.” A raffle winner wrote, “I’m thrilled to have won the tree guide and will use it with my school environmental club to enhance our outdoor knowledge.”

The tree information is available online, along with family-focused, at-home nature activities from local global organizations and organizers. The event was supported by Berkshire Environmental Action Team, the Bookloft, Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire, and Ward’s Nursery and Garden Center.

–E.E.

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