Berkshire County Communities Receive Trail Project Funding

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The Greylock Glen in Adams received funding for two projects
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $4 million in grant funding to support 52 trail projects across the Commonwealth as part of the MassTrails Grant Program. 
The grants will assist the construction, maintenance, and improvements for a variety of public trails across the Commonwealth, including hiking trails, bikeways, and shared-use paths. 
"Massachusetts has a vast network of public trails which connect communities and regions together, providing recreation, exercise, and tremendous access to the natural world, and this funding offers an excellent opportunity to continue building and expanding that network and support new opportunities for outdoor recreation," said Governor Charlie Baker. "We continue to see residents taking a greater interest in the great outdoors, and through our plan to put federal relief funding to immediate use in cities and towns across the Commonwealth, our Administration is proposing to direct $100 million in parks and open spaces, including the expansion of Massachusetts' long distance trail network."
Some of the projects were statewide, some were regional, and about a handful were Berkshire County specific. These projects include:
Lee, Lenox, Washington, Becket, and Pittsfield - DCR: October Mountain Dump Trailer acquisition.
Award: $7,520 Match: $2,000
The purchase of a new dump trailer allows for easier transportation of materials and equipment to and from over 105 miles of trails and roads within DCR's October Mountain State forest and its larger Pittsfield Complex. Managing the transport of both equipment and maintenance materials to and from intended worksites is imperative to keeping this region's state-owned trail system viable.
Washington - Patriots All Terrain Club: OHV Trail improvement October Mountain.
Award: $17,730 Match: $5,000
Patriots All Terrain Club will hire an environmental consultant to delineate and plan a ¾-mile trail repair along Schoolhouse Trail at October Mountain State Forest. Work areas are subject to wetlands review and thus a professional assessment is sought by the Club. This project is limited to design, engineering and permitting for the project. Construction funding will be sought in a subsequent grant or through a combination of funding and in-kind services.
Savoy, Hawley, Windsor, and Plainfield - Savoy Kanary Kats Snowmobile Club: Grooomer Maintenance and Bridge Redecking
Award: $10,000 Match: $5,800
This grant funds the yearly oil and filter maintenance of the Savoy Kanary Kats snow grooming fleet. Additionally, radios will be purchased for the grooming fleet to communicate while out on trails and in the caes of emergencies.
Great Barrington - Berkshire Natural Resources Council: Thomas & Palmer Trail System Expansion
Award: $28,350 Match: $7,388.
With this project, Berkshire Natural Resources Council is planning and developing a trail system at its Thomas & Palmer Brook Reserve. Located in close proximity to Great Barrington, this trail system is an important part of The High Road, a long-term effort to connect towns to trails in the Berkshires. Project work includes the construction of a new woodland hiking trail connecting the popular accessible loop at Thomas & Palmer to the upland forest. Additionally, the project will design a detailed plan for the next construction phase, which intends to close the larger loop trail within the reserve and provide opportunity to connect to downtown Great Barrington.
Berkshire County - DCR: Massachusetts' Appalachian Trail Ridge Runner.
Award: $13,004 Match: $9,404.80
This project funds a seasonal Appalachian Trail Ridge Runner position based exclusively on the National Scenic Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts. The AT Ridge Runner provides education and information to trail visitors, as well as works closely with volunteers to help keep trail and its overnight facilities clean. The AT Ridge Runner also monitors trail conditions, records trail use, and responds to emergencies as needed.
Adams - Adams Snow Drifters: Mt. Greylock Glen Road Crossing Gates.
Award: $29,023.48 Match: $12,503.04
This project fabricates and installs gates in four locations on the North-South snowmobile corridor of the Mt. Greylock Glen property, also known as Corridor 2 on the Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts' Trail System. Historically, large boulders are moved every fall and spring to block access to non-permitted users; these gates provide a more permanent and cost-effective solution to this situation. The project also purchases a set of groomer tracks to replace a worn set on the club's Thiokol 1450 Super Imp Snow Cat.
Adams - Thunderbolt Ski Runners: Greylock Glen Sustainable Trail Improvements.
Award: $50,000.00 Match: $13,415.00
The Thunderbolt Ski Runners trail building team has worked with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to build a single-track mountain biking trail system in the Greylock Glen. This project continues to make sustainable improvements to the existing trail system. Improvements to small segments of the trail system include better drainage and the addition of features that enhance rider experience. This relatively small investment in the Greylock Glen trails make the system more sustainable, require less maintenance over time, and provides a higher quality riding experience.
Pittsfield - City of Pittsfield Ashuwillticook Rail Trail Extension Phase C.
Award: $133,600.00 Match: $33,400.00
This project designs Phase II C (0.4 miles) of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. The 10 ft-wide shareduse path begins at the current trail terminus south of Crane Ave and extends south to Merril Rd (Route 9). It includes connections to the existing sidewalk network and Unkamet Brook Shopping Plaza. The new terminus and southern trailhead at Merrill Rd include a signalized crossing, new parking area with trail information, handicap parking spaces, and landscaping.
Sandisfield - Greenagers, Inc.: Yanner Park Trail Network.
Award: $50,000 Match: $52,023.48.
This project will fund youth crews to build a trail network at the Town of Sandisfield's Yanner Park. The network has a Universally Accessible Trail, a loop trail with easterly views, and a trail that connects to Hammertown Road. This trail system opens a 4-mile loop via secondary roads, a 4.5-mile loop via BNRC's Clam River trail and dirt roads, and the option for a 1-milespur to the Clam River Reservoir.
Washington, Becket, Lee, & Lenox - DCR: Lakes District Trail Maintenance.
Award: $50,000.00 Match: $52,023.48
This grant enables maintenance and improvement of a network of trails in two distinct parks in the Lakes Region of DCR's West Region: Granville State Forest and October Mountain State Forest. Within these parks are more than 62 miles of multi-use trails. The trails provide a safe network for activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling. This grant purchases two small ATVs and one snowmobile to transport trail maintenance tools and supplies to locations not accessible by truck.
North Adams - City of North Adams: North Adams AdventureTrail Phase I.
Award: $240,000.00 Match: $60,000.00
This project explores the feasibility of North Adams' Phase I AdventureTrail. The 1.7-mile study area begins at the Williamstown border and extends to Protection Avenue in North Adams via the TOURISTS hotel campus. The grant helps develop a conceptual alignment, performs wetland and environmental delineation, structural and geotechnical due diligence, conducts a topographical survey, and brings the route to 10 percent design. 
The full list of awards can be found here.
The MassTrails Grant Program supports projects that build public-private partnerships to maintain and improve existing trails and construct new ones across the state. This year's projects will help communities address trail drainage, develop new trails, expand universal access, support the construction of boardwalks and bridges, design and install new signage, acquire new land for trails, and expand and maintain biking trails.
"We've seen an explosion of interest in the great outdoors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with residents and families across the Commonwealth exploring our parks, trail networks, and open spaces," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. "These MassTrails projects are just one example of the significant investments that could be made to expand and improve access to outdoor recreation and open space through the Administration's federal ARPA spending proposal, especially for residents in communities hit hard by the pandemic."
The MassTrails Grant Program is funded through the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation's (DCR) capital budget, and from the motor fuel excise tax on off-road vehicles, including ATVs and snowmobiles, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Surface Transportation Act, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
"The Department of Conservation and Recreation is proud to be the steward of nearly half-a-million acres of public land that encompass hundreds of trails stretching for thousands of miles," said DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery. "The Baker-Polito Administration actively seeks to foster strong relationships between the state, local leaders, and organizations through programs and initiatives like the MassTrails Grant Program to further advance priorities that have positive impacts on local communities and regions."
All MassTrails Grant Program applications are reviewed in consultation with an inter-agency MassTrails Team and the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB). The program provides important funding for project development, design, and construction of shared-use pathways, which facilitate connections to where people live, work, and recreate. These funds are focused on construction and maintenance of recreational trails of all types and uses, including both motorized and non-motorized activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, paddling, snowmobiling, and recreational off-highway vehicle riding. 

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Pittsfield Announces a Matter of Balance Program

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City of Pittsfield Health Department announced a new program "A Matter of Balance", a nationally recognized evidence-based fall prevention course designed by Maine Health.
This four-week program is scheduled to take place on Mondays and Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum from March 4 to March 28. Participants are expected to attend both days, each week (a total of eight sessions) to complete the program.
This program is designed for older adults who have concerns about falling and want to make changes to reduce the risks of falling. Participants will also learn how to increase strength and balance while setting goals for increased activity.
This program is open to anyone who:
• Is concerned about falls.
• Interested in improving balance, flexibility, and strength.
• Has fallen in the past.
• Has restricted activities because of falling concerns.
To enroll in this course, community members must register in advance by calling the Pittsfield Health Department at (413) 499-9411. The registration deadline is February 29.
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