West Branch River Cleanup on the Housatonic River Saturday

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Saturday, June 26, from 9am – 12 pm, volunteers are invited to help cleanup the West Branch of the Housatonic River. 
"Repeated cleanups along the West Branch are making a huge difference. The piles of trash pulled out are getting smaller. We are seeing fewer heavier items in the river such as tires, appliances and shopping carts," Jane Winn, Executive Director of BEAT said. "One volunteer has seen otter playing in the river right behind her house. The West Branch provides valuable wildlife habitat."
Participants are asked to meet at Wahconah Park, 105 Wahconah Street, Pittsfield. 
Cleanup teams will disperse to nearby locations, gathering miscellaneous trash from the river banks and bottom. Canoes will be used to transport the trash. Old clothes, a hat, sunscreen, old sneakers or waterproof boots/waders, a full water bottle and sunglasses are recommended. A limited number of hip boots are available to borrow. 
"We saw an American bittern fishing the West Branch below the Pontoosuc dam," volunteer Carolyn Sibner said.
An additional West Branch Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday July 17, 9am to noon.
West Branch river cleanups are organized by BEAT and HVA and cosponsored by the City of Pittsfield and American Rivers. Support is also provided by Blue Q. The cleanup will be canceled in the event of pouring rain or thunder. 
For more information or to register to volunteer, contact either HVA at 413-298-7024 adixon@hvatoday.orgor BEAT at noah@thebeatnews.org.

Tags: riverbank,   

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Elizabeth Freeman Center Launches Rise Together for Safety and Justice

PITTSFIELD, Mass — Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC) announced the launch of "Rise Together for Safety and Justice," an evolution of their annual Third Thursday Walk a Mile fundraiser. 
Like the previous 10 years, EFC will continue to hold its annual event in September, soliciting the support and participation of local businesses, organizations, and individuals to help raise awareness and support for the work its staff, board and volunteers do every day in domestic and sexual violence prevention and response.
"While our fundraiser theme has changed, our vision remains the same. We envision our community free from domestic and sexual violence in which all people live in safety, with dignity and justice," Executive Director Janis Broderick said. "We have been so grateful for the support of our annual fundraisers that grew each year. We hope that you will continue to support Elizabeth Freeman Center and Rise Together with us."
Rise Together will continue to be a family-friendly, community event, gathering together (as much as public health advisories allow) to walk, march, stroll, dance, and move together against domestic and sexual violence and for safety and justice. The safety of the community is EFC's priority. Like last year, walks will be held throughout Berkshire County for increased accessibility and due to COVID-19 precautions.
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