NRCS soil health event Farming With Nature workshop, Nov. 5th -- Gallery!

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PAST EVENTS

November 2014

In collaboration with the Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden County Conservation Districts,
the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and UMass Extension, we are pleased to bring you a free soil health seminar
“Farming with Nature: Improving Soil Health on Vegetable Farms”
Wednesday, November 5th from 9am to 2:45pm
Immanuel Lutheran Church in North Amherst (nearby the UMass agricultural center).
See the attached flyer for registration information. Lunch will be provided.
Download Flyer

Lastly, we would like to invite you to attend our annual meeting and elections on 
Thursday, November 13th

Zucchini’s Restaurant in Pittsfield
Share a meal with us and a special presentation
“Raw Milk: History, Myths, and Reality” by Winton Pitcoff of NOFA/Mass Raw Milk Network
Christine Clarke, NRCS State Conservationist for Massachusetts will also share with us a slideshow presentation of her time in Hawaii.
Tickets are $30, covering the cost of a buffet dinner with coffee/tea and dessert.
See the attached invitation to RSVP by November 5th.
Download Invitation

 

Plant Sale!

PLACE YOUR ORDER BY APRIL 1, 2014
AND PICK UP YOUR ORDER ON

SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014 between 9 am and 2 pm
SPRINGSIDE PARK
874 NORTH STREET
PITTSFIELD, MA 01201


Master Gardener’s will be present for Soil testing on Saturday.


The Berkshire Conservation District is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to protect natural resources and promote environmental education in Berkshire County.

www.berkshireconservation.org 413-448-8940

 

2013 Annual Meeting and Dinner Benefit

Tuesday, November 12th at Zucchini’s Restaurant 1331 North Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Featuring guest speaker Scott Jackson, Extension Associate Professor of Ecology at UMass Amherst On Biodiversity: What is it and why is it so important? 5:30pm – Cash Bar/Meet and Greet 6:00pm – Dinner and Elections 7:00pm – Dessert and Evening Program Mail your RSVP or call (413) 443-1776 ext. 102 by November 1st

Click here to download registration form

Habitat and bird walk

Join us for a habitat and bird walk on Saturday, June 1st on Bliss Road in the town of Florida, MA. Meets at 8am. Please see the attached flyer for details, including a map and directions. Bring your binoculars! We hope to see you there.

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Regional Issues Committee

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Regional Issues Committee will be held on:

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. | Lee Library Meeting Room, 100 Main Street, Lee, MA

You are cordially invited to Berkshire Conservation District’s 2012 Annual Meeting

Tuesday, November 13th at Zucchini’s Restaurant
1331 North Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

5:30pm – Cash bar
6:00pm – Dinner and Elections
7:00pm – Evening Program

Featuring guest speaker Ken Gooch of the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation who will speak to us about the Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorn Beetle and the threats they pose to our local forestland.  

This meeting is open to the public, however, to attend the dinner you must RSVP by November 1st.

If you will be joining us for dinner, please return the bottom portion of your invitation with your payment enclosed by November 1st.

Click Here to download the invitation.

You are Invited to the 2012 Local Working Group Public Meeting

Saturday, September 15th from 9am to 3pm
At Hancock Shaker Village 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield

A Shaker-style buffet lunch will be served

If you would like to attend the lunch please RSVP by August 31st By calling (413) 443-1776 ext. 102

*Please let us know of any food allergies you may have.*
Those who do not RSVP may purchase lunch at the café or bring their own lunch

All in attendance get a free day-long pass to Hancock Shaker Village Open 10am to 5pm

Click here to download the Invitation
Click here to download the Fact Sheet
Click here to download the Conservation Needs Report

What is this project about?

The Local Working Group (LWG) is hosted by Berkshire Conservation District and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop a model LWG in Berkshire County that will convene periodically. Members are derived from local environmental organizations and agencies related to conservation, forestry, and agriculture, as well as public stakeholders. The goal of LWG is to accomplish a conservation needs assessment to prioritize specific natural resource concerns in the county. This assessment will guide funding of NRCS assistance programs and help provide solutions to our local environmental problems.

What can you contribute?

In order to participate fully and help us get useful data from this meeting, we ask you to please bring some information with you about any conservation problems you aware of and their specific location. You will find a two-sided Conservation Needs Report attached. Each report gives a summary of a known problem. Please bring as many reports to the meeting as possible. These reports will be used in the assessment process at the meeting!

Berkshire County Soil Evaluator Refresher Workshop (open flyer)

This course is designed for professionals who are Certified Soil Evaluators.  The focus of the course is interpreting the landscape (landforms), and describing, documenting, and interpreting soil conditions within deep observation holes located in areas with varied soil/geologic conditions.  The lecture portion of the workshop will be a review and update of the different aspects of Soil Science that are needed by Soil Evaluators to accurately describe the soil/geologic features in a deep observation hole.  During the field portion of the workshop participants will work in small groups and describe, document, and interpret soil conditions within 4 or 5 deep observation holes.  Participants will document their finding using the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Form 11 - Soil Suitability Assessment for On-Site Sewage Disposal.  A certified professional soil scientist will be available to provide individual or small group instruction.  At the completion of the workshop, a soil scientist will discuss his interpretations of the deep holes and lead a question and answer session.

Workshop Outline
 
Day 1 – Lecture and Hands on exercises

Date:  Monday, Nov. 2, 2009
Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Location:  South County Center, BCC, Great Barrington, MA.

Review of Geology and Soil Science, time is limited and participants will be asked to select the topics for discussion:

  • Glacial geology of Southern New England
  • Common landscapes and landforms found within Massachusetts
  • Effects of soil formation within Southern New England
  • Logging a deep hole
  • Identifying and interpreting soil horizons and layers
  • Field methodology for determining soil texture
  • Documenting soil colors
  • Understanding the different groundwater systems common to New England
  • Estimating the depth to seasonal high water table using soil features (redoximorphic features)
  • Field methodology for determining soil consistence (firm, very firm, extremely firm) and soil structure

Day  2 – Field Exercises

Date: Tuesday Nov. 3, 2009
Time: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Location: Bennett Farm, Ashley Falls, MA. (directions will provided during the lecture session)
 
Field Exercises: Describing, documenting, and interpreting soil/geologic conditions within deep observation holes

  • Participants will work independently or in small groups. A Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Form 11 - Soil Suitability Assessment for On-Site Sewage Disposal will be completed for each deep hole.
  • It is anticipated that each participant will have the opportunity to describe and log 4 to 5 deep holes.
  • A Certified Professional Soil Scientist / Soil Evaluator will review the soil/geologic conditions within each deep hole and address any questions and/or differences in interpretations.

Course Materials:  Each participant will receive handouts and a field guide.

Field Conditions:  The field exercises for this workshop are strenuous and require participants to traverse rough terrain, walk long distances, and enter and exit deep holes. Each participant needs to evaluate their own health and physical conditioning before registering for this workshop.

Weather Conditions:  Participants should come properly dressed for the field and wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions.

Field Equipment: Participants are to bring their own field equipment that is needed to describe and log a deep observation hole.
 
Refreshments:  Light snacks and drinks will be provided. 

Attendance:  All participants are required to be present during the times stated for the workshop.  Attendance will be taken at the start and close of each day. 

Limited Enrollment:  To allow for small group instruction/discussion, enrolment for this workshop is limited to 30 participants.

Certificate of Completion:  A Certificate will be awarded to each participant who successfully completes the workshop specifying the completion of 10 Training Credit Hours. The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, the approving authority, will be notified in writing.

Winter Tree Identification Hike
Co-Sponsored by Arcadia and The Berkshire Conservation District

Program Location: Dorothy Rice Sanctuary, Peru, MA
Instructor: Aimee Gelinas, Teacher-Naturalist
Program Audience: Adult
Program Code: 595-AR08FA1
Fee: Adults $12.00 m/ $16.00 nm
Number of Classes: 1
Program Date(s) and Time(s):    Sunday, December 14, 2008 -
10:00 AM - 2:00PM

Explore this highland forest on the Berkshire Plateau and learn how to
identify trees in their early-winter stages on a four-mile round-trip,
moderate hike. This "off-the-beaten-path" 276-acre sanctuary is owned
and managed by the New England Forestry Foundation.

Instructions and Directions: Bring water, lunch and wear layered, warm
clothing, and waterproof boots.

For more information, contact: 


Arcadia
127 Combs Road
Easthampton, MA, 01027
Phone: 413-584-3009
E-mail: arcadia@massaudubon.orgView Arcadia's event page


Wildlife Management Workshop For Private Landowners

Savoy Mountain State Forest
Saturday, September 27, 2008
9:30 am-12:30 pm

Managing for Early-Successional Forests

Sponsored by the Berkshire Conservation District, NRCS and DCR

Massachusetts private landowners are invited to attend a hands-on forest management workshop on September 27, 2008, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at Savoy Mountain State Forest in Savoy, Massachusetts. "Managing for Early- Successional Forests" is co-sponsored by the Berkshire Conservation District, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

A panel of experts from DCR, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), Ruffed Grouse Society, USDA Rural Development and NRCS will discuss the importance of shrub land and young forest habitat for ruffed grouse, woodcock and other wildlife. The techniques and tools of habitat management including timber harvesting, mowing and funding sources for private landowners will be discussed.

Wear comfortable shoes for walking and bring bug spray and raingear. This event will be held rain or shine. Meet at the parking lot on north side of Burnett Road in Savoy.

Plant succession is an ecological process in which one plant community replaces another over time. The early stages of plant succession – grasslands, shrublands, young forest – are typically called early-successional habitats. Early-successional habitats and the species that utilize them are gradually being lost to forest regrowth and development pressures. Planning efforts are underway across the state, including at the Savoy State Forest, to restore early successional habitat to the landscape.

The workshop will be held on an 18-acre block of old abandoned field now reverting to forest, dominated by mature aspen. Future plans include removing most of the overstory to allow the shrubs and saplings to return and thus the wildlife species that depend on them. This 18-acre block will connect two other parcels of recently- managed young forest habitat.

DIRECTIONS: From Route 116/Savoy Road, turn onto Center Road and go 2.9 miles. Turn left at Adams Road and go 0.2 miles. Turn right at New State Road and go 1.5 mile. Turn left at Burnett Road and go 0.4 mile. Look for the parking lot on the north side of road.

When was the last time you heard a ruffed grouse drumming in the early morning? Or the call of a whip-poor-will at sun down?  Or saw an American woodcock perform its unique mating display?  If you’re not experiencing these wildlife encounters, you are most likely lacking a habitat type very important to them- old fields, shrubs and thick sapling growth.   Unfortunately, you are not alone. Massachusetts forests are estimated to be 1% seedling/young forest, 19% sapling/pole forest, 77% sawtimber and 3% older forest. 

Research conducted in New England indicates that in a primarily forested landscape, biodiversity would be greatest with a forest age class mix of approximately 10% young forest/seedling, 30% sapling/pole forest, 50% sawtimber and 10% older forest.  Thus, biodiversity and the above species should benefit dramatically with the conversion of sawtimber into young forest or early successional habitat. 

The Berkshire Conservation District, in conjunction with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), held a hands-on-workshop, demonstrating “Managing wetlands, fields, and forest for wildlife and biodiversity” .

The workshop was held at the Moran Wildlife Management Area on Rte 8a in Windsor, MA . It  featured a fecon mower, a vegetation clearing machine that can efficiently mulch or “eat” standing trees up to  four  inches in diameter.  Jill Liske-Clark, the Upland Program Coordinator for MassWildlife explained , from a wildlife perspective, why it was time to clear the field.  A forester  was also on hand to talk about different timber harvest prescriptions that generate early-successional habitat, and how you determine if a timber harvest is appropriate for your site. 

Kate Parsons, district conservationist with NRCS in Berkshire county talked  about the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), that provides landowners cost-share to do these types of projects. 

 The hands-on workshop for Berkshire County landowners interested in enhancing wildlife habitat on their property WAS held on Saturday, September 9, 2006 at the Eugene D. Moran Wildlife Management Area, Route 8A in Windsor. The workshop was a HUGE success! Over 25 people attended the 4hour session. 

Thank you  to all who attended!

For more information call Kate Parsons, District Conservationist, Berkshire County at 413-443-1776, x109.

Berkshire Wildlife Habitat Workshop a Huge Success

WINDSOR, Mass. (Saturday, September 9, 2006) The Berkshire Conservation District hosted a hands-on workshop for Berkshire County landowners interested in enhancing wildlife habitat on their property and the event was a huge success!

Over 25 people attended the four hour “Managing wetlands, fields, and forest for wildlife and biodiversity” session held at the Moran Wildlife Management Area in Windsor.

The workshop was sponsored by the District in conjunction with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife).

The workshop featured a fecon mower, a vegetation clearing machine that can efficiently mulch or “eat” standing trees up to  four inches in diameter. 

Jill Liske-Clark, the Upland Program Coordinator for MassWildlife explained, from a wildlife perspective, why it was time to clear the field.  A forester was also on hand to talk about different timber harvest prescriptions that generate early-successional habitat, and how to determine if a timber harvest is appropriate for your site.

Kate Parsons, District Conservationist for NRCS in Berkshire county talked  about the federal Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), which provides landowners technical and financial assistance for wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement projects.

Founded in 1946, the Berkshire Conservation District is one of more than 3,000 Conservation Districts across the country. Authorized by state law and guided by an elected volunteer Board of Supervisors, Berkshire Conservation District is a not-for-profit agency dedicated to the conservation of natural resources in Berkshire County. The District works in cooperation with state, federal, and local agencies on matters of natural resource protection.  

 

 

 

 

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Berkshire Conservation District • Silvio O. Conte Federal Bldg.
78 Center St. Suite 206 • Pittsfield, MA 01201 • Telephone 413-448-8940

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