image description
The Parks Commission is recommending an invasive weed removal project for Community Preservation Act funding.

Pittsfield Environmental Group Looks to Eradicate Invasive Kiwi

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The youth environmental group Greenagers hopes to secure Community Preservation Act funds to continue invasive kiwi control work at Burbank Park.
 
The Parks Commission voted Tuesday to move the Greenagers initiative to CPA project eligibility review.
 
"They want to continue the work that they have done already," Recreation Activities Coordinator Becky Manship said.
 
Manship had said at a prior meeting that there had not been enough information so it could not be grouped in with other possible projects at that time.
 
Both Greenagers and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team have worked on removing the invasive hardy kiwi that, according to the Massachusetts Audubon Society, can grow in closed-canopy forests, climb surrounding trees, and overwhelm vegetation.
 
The woody vine can grow more than 20 feet per year and it bears green, grape-shaped fruit. Ice and snow that accumulates on the vines can cause trees to snap.
 
Manship said the group in the past has eradicated a third of the largest "amphitheater" and has also targeted patches in the park.
 
She said if the plant is not kept in check it will spread to other parks.
 
"They noted that it is an emerging invasive species which means we have a very short window of opportunity to control it before it spreads to other parks," she said. "It is important work that they have been doing and would like to continue to do."
 
Manship said, to her knowledge, the plant has not yet spread to other parks.
 
The commission also approved two park event requests. One from Barrington Stage, which wants to do free performances at the Common throughout the summer.
 
The other request was for the 8th annual Sweltering Summer Ultramarathon at Clapp Park in August. 
 
"Last year, we had runners from three countries, 20 states, and right around 100 people," organizer Benjamin Griffin said. "They have eight hours to do as many laps as they want to do. I think the winner was right around 52 miles." 
 
He said they have raised more than $23,000 for Moments House, a local cancer charity, in the past.

Tags: CPA,   parks commission,   

3 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

PCTV Documentary Finds Pittsfield Parade Dates Back to 1801

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television's recently released documentary "Fighting For Independence:  The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" has traced the first Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade back to at least 1801.  

An article in the Pittsfield Sun from July 7, 1801, says that "at 12:00 o’ clock at noon a Procession was formed consisting of the Militia of the town."

Previously the Pittsfield Parade Committee acknowledged that the parade dated back to 1824.

"This was a fascinating discovery, as we researched to put this documentary together," said Bob Heck, PCTV’s coordinator of advancement and community production and executive producer of the program.  "Not only were we able to trace the parade back further than ever before, but to see how the parade has impacted Pittsfield, and how the community always seems to come together to make sure the parade happens is remarkable."

The Pittsfield Fourth of July parade experienced bumps in the road even back in the early 1800s - most notably, when Captain Joseph Merrick, a Federalist, excluded Democrats from the yearly post-parade gathering at his tavern in 1808.

The parade ran concurrently from at least 1801 until 1820. In 1821, Pittsfield’s spiritual leader Dr. Rev. Heman Humphrey, canceled the festivities so the day could be dedicated to God before resuming in 1822 after residents decided they wanted their parade.

"Fighting for Independence: The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" premiered July 4 at 9:30 am on PCTV Access Pittsfield Channel 1301 and PCTV Select.  The program is available on-demand on PCTV Select, available on Roku and Apple TV, or online.

View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories