Business Briefs: New Lenox hiking trail; Jacob’s Pillow, Old Inn on the Green to partner; Bruun attends Fresh Air Fund conference; Burke receives mortgage professional award

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By Friday, Feb 23 Life In the Berkshires
The town of Lenox, Mass Audubon and Berkshire Natural Resources Council will partner to create a long-distance through-hiking trail on Yokun Ridge. Photo courtesy Berkshire Natural Resources Council

Lenox, Mass Audubon, BNRC to partner for new hiking trail

Lenox — The own of Lenox, Mass Audubon, and Berkshire Natural Resources Council Thursday announced their formal partnership in opening a long-distance through-hiking trail traversing Lenox Mountain, with a northern terminus at Mahanna Cobble and a southern terminus at Olivia’s Overlook. At its Feb. 21 meeting, the Lenox Board of Selectmen was presented with a memorandum of understanding signed by BNRC and Mass Audubon.

Yokun Ridge has been a focus area for all three partners, who have together conserved nearly 4,000 contiguous acres for wildlife and ecological habitat, water supply protection, and recreation, and believe a well-managed through-trail along the lands will benefit each entity and the nearby communities. The trail on Yokun Ridge is envisioned as part of BNRC’s High Road.

The trail route will follow existing social trails, wood roads and old town roads. For the first time, the path will be clearly marked and managed as a hiking trail from end to end. The route will follow the ridgeline from BNRC’s Mahanna Cobble reserve to Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to town-owned land, and then to BNRC’s Olivia’s Overlook. The partners will continue working together to finalize the route, plan physical improvements and open it to the public. While BNRC takes a leadership role in establishing the trail as a High Road route, each partner will provide significant input, and resources when possible.

BNRC, Mass Audubon and the town of Lenox have been collaborating for over a year to establish the parameters of the partnership, identify the exact route and improvements needed, and gain the support necessary from various boards and constituencies. The MOU formalizes the relationship and arrangement among the partners in order to work on the through-trail.

–E.E.

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Open-air dining at Jacob’s Pillow. Photo: Hayim Heron

Jacob’s Pillow, Old Inn on the Green to partner for 2018 festival

The Old Inn on the Green. Photo courtesy Old Inn on the Green

Becket — Jacob’s Pillow will partner with the Old Inn on the Green and its sister property, the Southfield Store, of New Marlborough for on-site dining options as part of its 2018 dance festival. The Old Inn on the Green at the Pillow, the Southfield Store at the Pillow, and the Southfield Store Coffee Bar will operate during the festival’s 10-week season from Wednesday, June 20, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

The Old Inn on the Green, led by executive chef Peter Platt, is a AAA 4-star, Zagat-rated restaurant known for creative, farm-to-table American cuisine. It has been named one of the “Best Restaurants of the Berkshires” by Boston Magazine and one of Travel+Leisure’s “Favorite American Winter Retreats.” The Old Inn on the Green at the Pillow will be located on the Pillow’s Great Lawn, offering full-service dining and specialty handcrafted cocktails in an open-air summer tent. Locally sourced dining by chef de cuisine Matthew Sweitzer will be available for dinner Wednesday through Saturday and for weekend brunch.

The partnership will continue throughout all of the Pillow’s public, on-site dining locations. The Southfield Store at the Pillow will offer lighter fare at its casual, pub-style location central to both the Ted Shawn and Doris Duke theaters, and including salads, wraps, and sandwiches. The Southfield Store Coffee Bar will be a quick-service counter featuring a menu of coffees, teas, beverages and snacks. Executive pastry chef Amanda Perrault of the Old Inn on the Green will provide desserts at all three locations.

–E.E.

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Volunteer leader Bruun attends Fresh Air Fund conference

Leila Bruun. Photo: Jerry Speier

Great Barrington — Fresh Air Fund volunteer leader Leila Bruun attended the organization’s annual Friendly Towns Leadership Conference Feb. 2–4 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City’s Times Square. Over the course of the three-day event, Bruun and other volunteers participated in interactive workshops with Fresh Air Fund staff and community agency partners. Volunteers also took part in professional development workshops throughout the conference with topics ranging from children’s safety, empathy and diversity, and community engagement. Former Fresh Air children delivered keynote speeches, sharing how the fund’s Friendly Towns Program impacted their lives. The nonprofit Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877.

–E.E.

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Burke receives Five Star Mortgage Professional Award

Spring Burke. Photo courtesy Salisbury Bank

Lakeville, Conn. — Salisbury Bank has announced that Spring Burke–its vice president, mortgage advisor–has been named a Five Star Mortgage Professional in 2018 and will be featured in the March issue of Connecticut Magazine.

To receive the Five Star Mortgage Professional award, a mortgage professional must satisfy five objective eligibility and evaluation criteria. The award process is conducted annually in each market and Burke has received the award for the fifth consecutive year.

Burke has been in the banking industry since she was 15, when she was part of a work-study program for school. Her official career was launched in 2001 at Canaan National Bank, which was acquired by Salisbury Bank in 2004. In the ensuing years she remained part of Salisbury Bank, where she has been a top performer in mortgage originations since 2010.

–E.E.


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