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5 Simple Things for Earth Day

Staff Reports

The Nature Conservancy sent us simple things anyone can do to take the pressure off Mother Earth on April 22, the 60th anniversary of the first Earth Day. You can make difference even with the smallest act.

Often it's the smallest changes – multiplied by millions of people – that have the biggest impact. Here are five simple things that we all can do on Earth Day and beyond:

1. Know your carbon footprint:  We all want to be greener in our daily lives, but in order to do that effectively, we each need to know our carbon footprint. Take five minutes (really, it's that quick!) and use The Nature Conservancy's online tool at www.nature.org/carboncalculator. Then, commit to using just a little less carbon.

2. Time your shower: With the warmer months ahead of us, now is the time to start thinking about conserving our water. The next time you take a shower, time it. The next day, reduce that time by a minute or two. If you listen to music, shut off the faucet after two songs.

3. Go for a walk: Even if it's just around the block, getting outside is one of the best things you can do to connect to nature. Bring your kids, too. A growing body of research suggests that a lack of exposure to nature is linked to rises in obesity, attention-deficit disorder and depression in children.

4. Speak up on climate change: Sen. John Kerry – along with Sens. Lieberman and Graham - have introduced national legislation to reduce U.S. emissions. This is a critically important step in the fight against climate change. Let your legislators know you support it!

5. Find a farmer's market: Farmer's markets – selling locally made fare – abound throughout the summer and fall. Find one near you at www.farmfresh.org and mark a date in your calendar to check it out. Or, simply opting for a PB&J instead of roast beef once or more a week is a great way to green your lunch.

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Barrett Public Service Awards Accepting Nominations

Staff reports

Know someone who's got a strong commitment to their community, a generous spirit, and has made a significant contribution to Adams, Cheshire or Savoy? You have until May 1 to nominate him or her for the Margery and William Barrett Public Service Award.

Nominations for the award, which was established in 2000, willl be reviewed by a committee of local residents. Criteria for the award include leadership, perseverance and innovation as well as the impact of the nominee’s work on the community. The selected nominee will get to choose a nonprofit organization to receive a cash award of $500 in his or her name.

Applications and previous award winners are available on Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Web site or by calling 413-528-8039.

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Town of Adams: Don't Forget to License Your Dog

Staff reports

ADAMS, Mass. — The Town Clerk's office wants to remind residents that it's time to license your dog.

All puppies age 3 months and older must be licensed, and all dogs over the age of 6 months must have an active rabies vaccination in effect in order to get a license. The town will not issue a license without proof that the dog has received a rabies shot.

Licenses for non-spayed or non-neutered dogs are $20 each; the cost for spayed or neutered dogs is $8 each.

If your dog is newly spayed or neutered, bring a statement from your veterinarian, and you'll be eligible to receive the lower-priced license.

Licenses not purchased by June 15 are subject to a $10 late fee in addition to the cost of the license. To purchase a license, visit the clerk's office at 8 Park St.

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Farmers Markets Coming to a Service Plaza Near You

Staff reports

Want some squash to go with your fill-up?

Next month, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will begin its annual farmers market program, which brings farmers markets to 18 highway service plazas throughout the commonwealth. MassDOT says it's expanded the 10-year-old program from 11 turnpike locations last year to all 18 state highway service plazas this year.

MassDOT invites local farmers to take advantage of free vending space to sell their home-grown produce and made-in-Massachusetts products. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis at  the Massachusetts Turnpike service plazas located in Lee (east /west), Blandford (east /west), Ludlow (east /west), Charlton (east /west), Westborough, Framingham and Natick. New this year are service plaza locations on Interstate 95 in Newton, Lexington , Route 128 Beverly, Route 24 Bridgewater (north /south), Route 3 Plymouth and Route 6 Barnstable.

Farmers can sell their goods as long as they do not compete with the businesses that operate within the service plazas.  MassDOT also assists in setting up and promoting the markets.

To date, there are farmers already signed up for Charlton East and West, Lee East, Blandford West and Westborough. Local farmers or customers who want more information should contact program coordinator Dave Fenton at dave.fenton@state.ma.us or 413-572-3171.

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Northern Berkshire Neighbors Looking for Leaders

Staff reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Outreach worker Aldona Adams is looking for leaders to represent  Mill Street, Hall Street, Maple Street and Linden Street for a recently formed neighborhood organization in the Mill Village Historic District.

The Northern Berkshire Neighbors Program, through the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, recently formed the neighborhood organization, training area outreach workers to help neighborhoods and neighbors come together and learn about area social services and events.

The next neighborhood meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m., at the Williamstown Youth Center, 270 Cole Ave. Lauren Gaherty from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and Williamstown Selectwoman Jane Allen will speak about the prospective bike path that will lead through this neighborhood and surrounding areas. Adams also is looking for ideas that may help beautify the neighborhood, and seeks ideas for fun summer activities.

For more information, contact Aldona Adams at 413-458-0320 or aldonaadams@yahoo.com. For other Coalition information, visit www.nbccoalition.org.

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