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The Parks Commission was updated on the status of a number of ongoing projects on Tuesday.

Wetlands Derails Restoration of Pontoosuc Beach

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Wetland issues have derailed planned improvements to Pontsoosuc Lake Park.
The Friends of Pontoosuc Lake received $15,000 from the Community Preservation Act with the intent to restore the beach on the Hancock Road side. The city's Parks, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager Jim McGrath, however, said it was found that the former beach has essentially turned into wetlands.
"We can't disturb that area of Pontoosuc Park," McGrath told the Parks Commission on Tuesday.
McGrath said the way the drainage currently is in the park has led to wetland soils and plants covering the former beach so it is now treated as a resource area. McGrath said options now would be to re-orient the stairway and create another beach in another location. But, "it is going to be an involved project."
"If we are looking for an upgrade at Pontoosuc Lake park, it will be a bit more involved and we will have less space than we've had in the past," he said.
That section of the lake was once a highly used beach in the past but over the years the drainage led it to become mostly unusable because of wetness and mosquitoes. The Friends of Pontoosuc Lake hoped there could be a relatively easy fix to at least make that section usable but that won't be the case.
McGrath provided the update as well as an update on a series of park projects that are ongoing this summer. 
Greenagers are currently working on improving the trails at Springside Park as well as working at Wild Acres to create a handicapped-accessible trail.  
The Taconic track has been repaired, with a new surface in spot repairs. The next step is to fence in the baseball field to make the entire area inaccessible to vehicles. The city has had trouble with vehicles driving on the fields and causing damage.
The Durant Park restroom project was completed a few weeks ago and this past weekend it was vandalized. McGrath said the doors were spray painted and have since been removed. McGrath said all city parks have had a lot of trouble with vandalism this year.
Repairs to the dugouts and fences at the Doyle Softball Complex is being sorted out now and the work is expected to be done in the fall.
The bids for the Westside Riverway Park are due by Thursday and McGrath said he hopes a contract will be signed by the end of the month for construction to start in September.
Clapp Park's renovation is currently underway. McGrath said the underground work of water, sewer, and drainage has been put in, which will support the splash pad. He said substantial completion of the project should be completed by the end of August. However, there is still discussion over where the batting cage will be installed once the project is completed as space near the field has become tight.
The Parks Commission also adopted new rules to govern both parks and conservation areas. Since the last discussion, the only change of much substance was rewording of the section on firearms.
"There was some concern that the prior language would exclude properly licensed gun owners," McGrath said.
The language now is consistent with state law and McGrath said anybody who is legally able to carry would be able to do so without being out of compliance park rules.

Tags: parks commission,   Pontoosuc,   

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: July 10-16


Welcome to Cultural Pittsfield's weekly guide featuring in-person and virtual classes and events, information, and more. If you are a Pittsfield business and would like your event listed, please email us at Thank you and be well!
TONIGHT - Thursday, July 9 at 7 p.m.: Berkshire OLLI at BCC presents An Online Conversation with Jim Acosta. The Chief White House Correspondent for CNN will discuss "The Enemy of the People: One Year, One Impeachment, and One Pandemic Later," co-sponsored by Berkshire Gas and The Berkshire Eagle.

NEW DATE! Pittsfield's first everDrive.Walk.Bike City Art Show will take place on Friday, July 10 from 4-8 p.m. Artists will be displaying their paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, photography, fashions, sidewalk art, videos, and more on their porches, trees, lawns, and driveways, in their garages, or projected onto their homesView the list of participants and locations here!
Berkshire Theatre Group presents a virtual benefit performance live from Florence, Italy. Hershey Felder stars in Beethoven: A Play with Music on Sunday, July 12 at 8 p.m. 
Dramatizing Gerhard von Breuning's memoir, "Aus dem Schwarzspanierhaus," Felder brings Ludwig van Beethoven to life through the eyes of the Viennese doctor who spent his boyhood by the Maestro's side. Featuring some of the composer's greatest works, Felder's Beethoven is an intense, illuminating journey. 
Berkshire Artist Profiles NEW Jacob's Pillow Virtual Festival Learn from Home w/Berkshire Theatre Group | Classes w/Berkshire Music School Classes w/Berkshire Fitness & Wellness Center | Classes w/IS183 Art School | Painting Tutorials w/Berkshire Paint & Sip | Virtual Barrington Stage Classes w/Radiance Yoga | Classes w/Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness Classes w/Antil Fitness | Email for Online Drumming Classes | ONGOING Online Classes w/Berkshire OLLI | FRI 1Berkshire Town Hall: Reopening the Economy, Phase 3 | FRI DLE Virtual Culture Chat | MON WordXWord: Dancing in the Street Virtual Poetry Slam | WED I Now Pronounce You Lucy Stone Live Stream | WED 1Berkshire Virtual Team Trivia | THU Live Storytelling w/BCC Alums

Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness is now offering its Radiant Child Yoga class at Brattle Farm. Kids of all ages are invited to join instructor Julie Pellerin-Herrera on Fridays, July 10, July 31, Aug. 7 and Aug. 21 from 10:15-11 a.m. Pre-registration is required as class space is limited. $15/class.
Berkshire Theatre Group presents Sunset Cinema, outdoor film screenings at Taconic High School. Drive up and enjoy family-friendly movies in the comfort and safety of your vehicle ($25/car). A food truck will be on site offering concessions! Friday, July 10: Disney's Newsies: The Broadway Musical. Saturday, July 11: The Wiz Live! Thursday, July 16: Jurassic Park.Friday, July 17: The Iron GiantSaturday, July 18: Coco.

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