Buds, Twigs, and Bark: How to Identify Trees and Shrubs in Winter

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Join Chelsey Simmons of Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) for the February Berkshire Green Drinks virtual event to explore the buds, twigs, and bark of common trees seen in the New England landscape. 
 
It may be surprising, but winter is actually an excellent time to learn how to identify woody plant species. The absence of leaves allows for the opportunity to take a closer look at the characteristics that are often overlooked, like the subtle features of a twig, the arrangement of buds, and the overall form and structure of a tree. Chelsey will go over the steps to tree identification, break down twig morphology, and give helpful hints on remembering one species from another — all of which will aid in tree and shrub identification year-round.
 
The presentation will be live-streamed via Zoom at 6 PM on Wednesday, February 14. Registration is required to receive the meeting link. Register at: http://tinyurl.com/Feb2024-Berks-Green-Drinks
 
Chelsey Simmons is the programs director for Berkshire Environmental Action Team, a nonprofit based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. As part of her work for BEAT, she leads numerous naturalist walks throughout Berkshire County year-round. For the past few years, she's been working on an identification book of trees and shrubs found in western Massachusetts, meticulously drawing and painting each page by hand and sharing those pages with the public through BEAT's "Tree of the Month" series with the hope of getting people excited about trees and interested in the native species found in our region.
 
Berkshire Green Drinks (formerly Pittsfield Green Drinks) is an informal gathering that takes place once a month. A guest speaker talks for about 30 minutes beginning at 6 PM, and the presentation is followed by a discussion and Q&A. These nights are free and open to everyone with any environmental interest. 

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Second Chance Composting Comes to Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Second Chance Composting has recently brought their Residential Community Composting Program to Pittsfield.  
 
Memberships are open and ongoing for the 9 South Atlantic Avenue drop off location.  The program runs continuously all year, through all 4 seasons.
 
Memberships start at $9.99 per month, offering unlimited drop off of household food scraps to the location each month.  Members save their food scraps at home, and at their convenience, bring them to 9 South Atlantic Avenue and drop their material into the tote.  Members can come as little or as often as needed each month.  Any and all food and food scraps are accepted, including meat, fish, dairy, bones, and shells.  There are also other membership pricing options available for those who wish to receive finished compost back.
 
In addition to the new Pittsfield location, Second Chance Composting currently has drop off locations in North Adams, Williamstown, and Adams, which have continuous and ongoing membership signups.
 
Second Chance Composting picks up the material every week and it is brought to their MassDEP certified facility in Cheshire to process the food scraps into compost, which is then distributed back to the community to grow more food, flowers, plants, and trees.
 
Those interested in learning more or signing up for a membership can do so by visiting www.secondchancecomposting.com
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