Berkshire County Outdoor Recreation Plan announced
Pittsfield — In an effort to foster economic growth and a higher quality of life in the region, Mill Town and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission have teamed up to produce an extensive 210-page Berkshire County Outdoor Recreation Plan. The plan outlines analysis of the existing outdoor recreation landscape of the Berkshires as well as recommendations for growth in key areas such as infrastructure improvements, communication and marketing as well as growth in activities like biking, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, outdoor athletics, skiing and water sports. The plan also references several key development projects that are designed to further contribute to the region’s appeal as a major outdoor recreation hub for residents and visitors alike. Berkshire County has 605,637 acres of open space, 221,205 acres of which are protected and 179,009 acres are open to the public.
The Berkshire County Outdoor Recreation Plan was developed based on several data collection efforts to include a countywide 600-plus outdoor recreation asset inventory and an online public survey, which attracted over 2,000 responses, mostly from people ages 30-60 who are highly motivated to use the Berkshires’ natural resources. Improving accessibility for all ages and ability levels, developing stronger outdoor recreation-focused marketing, and securing increased funding for both asset maintenance and development are high-priority next steps as outlined in the plan’s recommendations.
Some of the major projects outlined in the plan include Greylock Glen, a 1,063-acre site that will include the future Greylock Glen Resort on 56 acres with plans for a lodge and conference center, campground and 18 miles of trails that could generate more than 330 full-time positions and nearly $20 million in revenues for the area. Also cited is Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s the High Road, a county-long trail resembling the European-style long-distance walking networks that will link towns and cities together throughout the Berkshires to include a newly opened section accessed via Bousquet Mountain.
Since the plan’s completion in late spring, new outdoor recreation projects have already launched. Mill Town has taken some immediate steps to act on the recommendations outlined in the plan with several recent investments and project launches.
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Berkshire Immigrant Center, 1Berkshire looking to identify, support immigrant-owned businesses
Pittsfield — In order to help advance and support immigrant-owned businesses within the region, Berkshire Immigrant Center and 1Berkshire are creating a list for internal purposes so that BIC can better help immigrant-owned and -operated businesses. By identifying, these businesses the BIC will be able to learn more of their individual and collective needs; help the businesses navigate challenges; aid in finding needed resources; and advocate for the tools and opportunities the businesses need to thrive.
Those who know of immigrant-owned businesses — including but not limited to restaurants, retail, hotels and specialty home-based businesses — and those who are immigrant business owners are invited to fill out this form.
The list is for the sole purpose of advocating on behalf of and supporting the needs of the immigrant business community and will not be shared with anyone outside of BIC and 1Berkshire. For more information, contact 1Berkshire at (413) 499-1600 or email@example.com.
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Stanley joins CDCSB as interim executive director
Great Barrington — The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire recently named Richard Stanley as interim executive director, replacing former executive director Tim Geller.
Stanley was instrumental in founding CDCSB in the early 1990s. He has been a member of the CDCSB’s board of directors for over 20 years. He is a real estate developer, an entrepreneur and owner of local businesses including the Triplex Cinema.
Stanley has formed a new team at the CDCSB that includes Allison Marchese, who served as CDCSB’s fundraising and marketing director for the past five years and was recently promoted to assistant executive director. LEED-certified architect Jim Harwood will act as interim project manager and board vice president. With over 30 years of experience in both New York City and the Berkshires, Harwood owns an architectural firm in Lenox and has been serving on CDCSB’s board of directors for the last decade.
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Berkshire Country Day School welcomes new dean of academics, director of advancement
Stockbridge — Berkshire Country Day School has welcomed Kate Skivington as dean of academics and Kelly Baxter Spitz as director of advancement.
With a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching from Susquehanna University, and years of experience teaching at independent schools, Skivington will focus on supporting the faculty in the development and implementation of curriculum. Skivington has conducted technology-teacher workshops on how to integrate technology into classrooms, as well as introducing new software, apps, 3D printers, robots and online resources for both student and teacher use.
Baxter Spitz began her fundraising career over 30 years ago, working in Boston, Albany and the Berkshires at institutions including Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Albany Medical Center. She also successfully led fundraising teams at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and Indian Mountain School. A graduate of UMass Amherst, Baxter Spitz is a Berkshire County resident.
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Greylock Federal Credit Union earns national ranking from Forbes
Pittsfield — Greylock Federal Credit Union has been recognized as one of “America’s Best Credit Unions in Each State” by Forbes Media and Statista Inc. The top 3.5% of the nation’s 5,236 credit unions made the list. Greylock was ranked No. 2 in Massachusetts.
Forbes and Statista determined Greylock’s rank based on an independent survey of more than 25,000 U.S. consumers, who were asked to rate credit unions at which they have or previously had checking accounts. Participants made recommendations regarding overall satisfaction; they also assessed credit unions in the following areas: Trust, Terms and Conditions, Branch Services, Digital Services, and Financial Advice.