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Business Briefs: BNRC’s High Road campaign surpasses goal; Fairview, Austen Riggs partner in newborn care; BOLA Granola celebrates 10 years; Salisbury Bank scholarships

According to BNRC president Tad Ames, the High Road will aim to conserve and connect unprotected lands that have important ecological, agricultural, scenic and recreational attributes.

BNRC’s High Road campaign surpasses $5 million goal

BNRC President Tad Ames, talking to the Edge about the Berkshire High Road, on BNRC land in Richmond. Photo: Heather Bellow
Berkshire Natural Resources Council President Tad Ames on BNRC land in Richmond. Photo: Heather Bellow

Pittsfield — A surge of donations since March 20, matched one-for-one by a pair of anonymous donors, has carried Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s High Road campaign past its $5 million target.

Launched quietly in 2014, the campaign will support the creation of a countywide town-to-town trail system, which BNRC has dubbed “the High Road” by BNRC.

According to BNRC president Tad Ames, the High Road will aim to conserve and connect unprotected lands that have important ecological, agricultural, scenic and recreational attributes. The proposed recreational hiking system will serve as a thread linking the natural areas to each other and to towns.

“Conservation and community go together,” Ames said. “We want to give folks the choice of a 30 minute walk at lunch, or a three-day ramble from town to town, with food, drink and clean sheets waiting at the end of the day. Europe has this. Why not the Berkshires?”

Ames also said that work on the High Road has already started: “We are working with a number of partners to solidify plans for the first long-distance town-to-town trail. Detailed conversations have led to a handshake on principles we all agree on. We’d love to make an announcement this fall, and we’re grateful for the time, energy and collegiality that all parties are putting in to get there.”


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Fairview Hospital, Austen Riggs partner to develop parent/newborn communication

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital’s Family Birthplace is collaborating with the Human Development Strategic Initiative of the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge in an effort to incorporate relationship-building skills as part of the routine care of newborns and families for all women who deliver at Fairview.

Pediatrician, author and Austen Riggs staff member Claudia M. Gold and Brazelton Institute director J. Kevin Nugent, Ph.D., will support maternity nurses in instituting the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system at Fairview Hospital, a relationship-building tool that offers an opportunity for listening to parents and babies without judgment.

Gold and Nugent recently conducted an NBO training at the Austen Riggs Center for Fairview maternity nurses, local pediatricians, home visitors, family physicians, nurse practitioners, lactation consultants and early intervention specialists with the hope that the NBO system can be instituted through the local network of pediatric care. A number of Austen Riggs staff members also attended the training.

The NBO consists of 18 structured neurobehavioral observations. It is a clinical application of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale developed by pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton, who was among the first to observe the capacity of the newborn infant for communication and connection.

“The NBO is not an evaluation. There is no score,” noted Gold. “It assures that time is reserved during the hospital stay for parents to learn about their baby and his or her unique qualities and ways of communicating. We are hopeful that the NBO brings an opportunity to set new families on a healthy path from the start.”


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BOLA Granola celebrates 10 years

Great Barrington — BOLA Granola is celebrating 10 years in business.

BOLA Granola founder Michele Miller has been a pioneer in the local food movement since the 1970s; she opened the first European-style bakery in Lenox, founded the Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, and was the chef/owner of the Boiler Room Café from 1987-1997. After a short respite from the food business, Miller decided to boost the tired granola market by offering the satisfying and healthy granola that she had been making friends and family for decades.

BOLA Granola now has a dedicated facility and full baking team, yet each small batch is still made and packed by hand. Its products are available in independent groceries, co-ops and specialty stores throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic as well as in select stores in California and Florida. The company currently produces three varieties–Original, Gluten-Free and Barely Sweet–and will be introducing a grain-free option this summer


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Salisbury Bank scholarship program

Lakeville, Conn. — Salisbury Bank is accepting applications for its annual Time to Shine scholarship program. Multiple scholarships may be awarded in the amount of $2,500 each to assist eligible students seeking college degrees in a variety of programs. Ideal candidates will be students of academic achievement who possess a variety of interests and leadership experience, and show consistent community involvement with the desire to make their world a better place. Online application packets are available. Completed applications and transcripts must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 15.



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