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Federal Grant to Fund 800 Tree Plantings in North Adams

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition will lead an effort to plant more than 800 new trees on public and private land in the city of North Adams over the next three years.
 
The tree-planting project, an initiative of the Franklin Land Trust and funded by a grant from the U.S. Forest Service, will offer trees to residents and businesses, and also will replace dying or dead trees along downtown streets and within city neighborhoods.
 
"Trees in urban and suburban neighborhoods provide many benefits to the people who live near them, including improving air and water quality, reducing energy costs, and increasing the physical and social well-being of residents," Bret Beattie, the coalition's tree-planting coordinator, said in a statement. "Trees reduce heating and cooling costs, help to control storm water runoff, and help cool city streets on hot summer days."
 
NBCC will work with the University of Massachusetts' Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the city's Department of Public Services to develop a tree-planting plan. Residents and businesses can receive free trees, but can also get involved to help plant trees and to become part of a local network of "tree stewards," helping to educate the public about the benefits of trees.
 
"This project provides an incredible opportunity to enhance our residential neighborhoods and our downtown by planting trees," said Mayor Thomas Bernard in a statement. "I'm grateful to the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition for leading this effort, which represents a terrific collaboration among local, state, and federal agencies; the nonprofit, education, and government sectors; and local residents interested in neighborhood improvement, environmental sustainability, resource management, and the natural beauty of our city and our region."
 
The U.S. Forest Service offers grant funding for conservation efforts, forest protection and urban greening. Pittsfield two years ago received funding through the state's Greening of the Gateway Cities program to plant 2,400 trees. 
 
Tree planting is scheduled to begin in the spring. Prior to the launch of the tree planting project, the coalition will host a public meeting for residents and volunteers to learn more and provide feedback. Anyone interested in learning more about the tree-planting program and related volunteer opportunities, or in requesting a free tree for a home or business located in North Adams can contact Beattie at 413-663-7588, Ext. 28.

Tags: trees,   urban forest,   

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Massachusetts Moves Into Phase 3; Gyms, Museums Can Open

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
BOSTON — Fitness centers, movie theaters, museums and other enclosed venues will be able to reopen on Monday with restrictions and the number of people allowed in an indoor gathering is now raised to 25. 
 
"We know that COVID-19 won't be taking any time off this summer. And we need to maintain vigilance if we wish to continue to move forward," Gov. Charlie Baker said at Thursday's announcement. "Today the public health data makes clear that Massachusetts is effectively bringing the fight to the virus as we've reopened. And thanks to all your efforts, Phase 3 will begin here in Massachusetts on Monday, July 6."
 
Dubbed "Vigilant," this next two-step phase will still require basic protocols of sanitation, social distancing and face coverings. Boston will have to wait one more week to enter this phase. 
 
"Phase 3 contains some bigger players that will draw more people into indoor settings, with respect to various activities like movie theaters and museums. Medical evidence continues to say that COVID has a much higher risk of spreading indoors and enclosed spaces, than it does in outdoor spaces," the governor continued. "This phase will last significantly longer than the other phases so that we can closely monitor the impact to our public health data."
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