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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
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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,   

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BCC's Nursing Program Restored to Full Approval

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College's Associate Degree in Nursing program is once again in full compliance with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing requirements and will start accepting students again in the fall of 2020.

This news was announced at the Board of Registration in Nursing's Dec. 11 board meeting. A site survey was completed by board designees in October 2019 and the positive results of that visit were shared this week. In that site survey, board personnel reviewed documentation, met with students, faculty and staff, toured the facilities, and carefully examined both current data and plans for future data collection.

The college's Practical Nursing program (PN) also underwent a scheduled 10-year site visit this fall, which reviewed the certificate program. This program continues to be fully compliant with MABORN requirements.

"This was a campus-wide effort to meet the needs of our community. We are very proud that our collective efforts and focus resulted in the full reinstatement of the ADN program," BCC President Ellen Kennedy said in a statement. "Berkshire Community College has been offering nursing education for over 50 years and we will continue to provide high quality nursing education that leads to employment and meets the needs of health care providers."

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