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Berkshire Family Hikes Launching Backpack Program

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The backpacks will have informational and educational materials, a safety kit and other items to make hiking enjoyable. 
DALTON, Mass. — Berkshire Family Hikes' "Uncommon Paths" program will allow hikers to borrow a backpack full of beginner hiking material from the Dalton Free Public Library starting May 20.
Library patrons can take out two curated backpacks filled with essential hiking supplies. Each backpack contains all the necessary gear for a safe and enjoyable outdoor adventure, including field guides, hiking tips, a first aid kit, and more.
Library cardholders can borrow a backpack at no cost; hikers can rent the bag for one week, which is non-renewable. 
This initiative aims to promote outdoor exploration and community engagement in partnership with the library and the town's Open Space and Recreation Committee.
Berkshire Family Hikes will celebrate the program's launch with a kickoff hike event at the Pines Community Forest on Friday, May 17, at 1:30 p.m.
Participants will have the chance to experience the beauty of nature alongside fellow outdoor enthusiasts and see the backpacks in action. In the event of inclement weather, the rain date is set for Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m.
This program is partly supported by a grant from the Dalton Cultural Council, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  In November, the Cultural Council approved the initiative for a $648 grant.
"We are thrilled to introduce the Uncommon Paths backpack program to the Dalton community. This initiative not only encourages individuals and families to connect with nature but also helps to boost the borrower's confidence in getting outdoors," Taylor Staubach, Founder of Berkshire Family Hikes, said. 
"We are deeply grateful for the support of the Dalton Cultural Council, as well as our partners at the Dalton Public Library and the Dalton Open Space and Recreation Committee, in making this program a reality."
Berkshire Family Hikes is a local organization dedicated to promoting outdoor exploration, education, and stewardship in the Berkshires through guided hikes, educational programs, and community initiatives. 
They strive to connect individuals and families with the natural world while fostering a sense of adventure and environmental responsibility.
The "Uncommon Paths" backpack program aligns with their mission to provide accessible outdoor experiences that promote physical activity, mental well-being, and 
More information about the Uncommon Paths backpack program and to stay updated on upcoming events here

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Lanesborough Has Hot, Quiet Election Day

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Voting was slow but steady at Lanesborough Town Hall.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town had a steady and sweltering election day that saw Deborah Maynard elected to the Select Board. 
Maynard outpolled Joseph Trybus 181-87 to fill the seat left vacant by longtime board member John Goerlach.
About halfway through polling hours, about 150 people had turned out in the 90-degree weather to cast votes for the Select Board, Finance Committee, Planning Board, library trustee, and town moderator. In total, about 400 votes were cast out of the 2,515 registered voters, or about 16 percent.
"It's been kind of slow but steady," poll worker Sheila Parks said. "No exciting news, which is good."
Town Clerk Ruth Knysh guessed that many would vote after work. Polls opened at noon at Town Hall and closed at 8 p.m.
"It's going great. It's been steady since we opened the doors at noontime. No issues at all," she said. "So we're hoping for smooth sailing until eight o'clock tonight."
Earlier in the day, there was road construction in front of the town offices that could have been a deterrent, she observed.
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