Thursday, July 28, 2016

GB AT Community Celebration 2016

Another wonderful success for the Great Barrington Appalachian Trail Community Day!

Coolers ready to go!

Gathering at Beartown State Forest's Benedict Pond in the morning were a group of intrepid hikers preparing for a 7-mile guided hike from Fernside road in Tyringham back to Benedict Pond. While those folks were enjoying the forest, beaver pond, and view from the Ledges, there was much activity at the Pond. Tents went up, picnic tables were laden with potluck dishes, and the Berkshire Ukulele Band set up their music stands. What a surprise it must have been for the hikers (those who did 7 miles and those thru-hikers who had hiked hundreds of miles alike) to come out of the woods and find such a bustling event!

Thru Hikers write GB-themed postcards
Altogether, we were able to feed and entertain about 20 thru hikers and about 100 community members. The music from the Berkshire Ukulele Band was relaxing and many folks chose to take a dip in the Pond. Remarks from members of the organizing committee highlighted the hard work of AT volunteers and trail builders, the tenacity of the thru hikers, and the generosity and hospitality of the people of Great Barrington.













Family-friendly fun!
The GB AT Community Celebration is an annual event that happens on the third Saturday of July every year. The Great Barrington Land Conservancy, Appalachian Mountain Club, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, MA DCR, Greenagers, and Berkshire Magazine are all partners in making the event happen. Our thanks to the Berkshire Co-Op and Annie Bananie Ice Cream (Kent, CT). If you didn't make it this year, we hope to see you there next summer!






Adam Morris oversees the dessert table
AT Volunteers enjoying each others company



We even had folks from the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


AMC Leadership Trail Crew lent a hand

Partner remarks


The view from the bandstand

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Great Barrington AT Community Celebration

For anyone who hasn't heard, here's you're personal invitation to the Great Barrington AT Community Day, this Saturday at Benedict Pond in Beartown State Forest! It's going to be a fun and relaxing day filled with stories about the trail and the opportunity to meet people who are involved with the AT in all sorts of different capacities. See flyer below for details (click on it to enlarge).

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Upcoming Events - Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail!

Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail
Thursday, July 28 • 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Mason Library • 231 Main Street  Great Barrington, MA

Interested in what’s growing on the trail? Learn to recognize and key out some common wildflowers on the AT in Berkshire County. Bring your favorite wildflower guide and your curiosity to talk about the plants of the trail!

Wildflower Walk with Ted Elliman
Author of Wildflowers of New England
Sunday,  August 14 • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Tyringham Cobble parking lot • Jerusalem Rd  Tyringham, MA

Come learn wildflowers from the best -- professional botanist Ted Elliman will be leading a free wildflower walk along the gently sloping floodplains of Hop Brook in Tyringham. Wetland plants are sure to be in full swing at this beautiful site in mid-August!

Bring hiking boots, tick protection, trail snacks, and your favorite wildflower guide.

RSVP’s encouraged! For more information or to RSVP, email rcarden@appalachiantrail.org.
            
Events hosted by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Making it Official - Kellogg Conservation Center pollinator habitat is a success!

In October of 2014 as part of a grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, ATC reclaimed an old piece of pasture at the far southwestern side of our Kellogg Conservation Center property.  The area, about 1 acre in size, is nestled between an old apple orchard (still producing, though not managed) and a marginal agricultural field that was formerly grazed and is now mowed annually.  Utilizing volunteer labor on a few of our annual workdays, we had cleared out quite a bit of competing brush and trees throughout the orchard and so the next task was to chemically remove from the area of a variety of invasive plants and then rake up the dead vegetation and replant with a broadcast mix of pollinator-specific perennial plant seeds.  See our blog post from October 15, 2014 for photos and an explanation on that process.

Last summer not a lot appeared to happen on the plot.  After consulting with some experts it turns out that many of the plants take more than a year to become established.  So we waited...

This spring, things were looking good and that trend has continued through the summer with a variety of species making themselves apparent and the area teeming with bees, butterflies, and other various insects.  Seeing the plants establish themselves led us to register the site as a monarch waystation with MonarchWatch.org.  A path is mowed through the pollinator plot and it is an easy 5 minute stroll from our offices, so anyone who is inclined may visit the site.


















ATC dogs approve!