Events to Mark Earth Day in Western Mass
40th Anniversary of Earth Day
April 22nd, 2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. This month we have many opportunities to work towards building a healthy community as local organizations, community members, museums, and schools all over Western Massachusetts are offering up ways to participate and join together to create a clean environment and sustainable economy. Movies are being screened and songs are being sung; classes on gardening and sustainability are being offered; opportunities to recycle and clean-up; nature studies, art, local food … the celebrations and opportunities are abundant this month.
With the excellent help of Susan Olshuff, we’ve put together a list of events in April that address the concerns and needs of our communities here in Western Ma, with locations ranging from Pittsfield out to Amherst, from Greenfield down to Springfield. Below are many opportunities to get involved, explore your local environment and entertain/educate your family. And more events are coming in, so check back often as this list is updated. If you have an Earth Day event to share, please post in the comment box at the end of this list:
Plant Sale – The Berkshire Conservation District is proud to offer a wide variety of tree seedlings, ground covers, flowering shrubs, and perennials for spring planting. Most trees and shrubs are sold dormant, bare root and hardy.
Info at: www.berkshireconservation.org
Saturday, April 10th in Chesterfield, MA
9am-12Noon – Organic Gardening Workshop at Crabapple Farm (100 Bryant Street). The owner and operator of Crabapple Farm, Tevis Robertson-Goldberg, will be teaching the workshop. He grows a diverse array of crops for people who buy shares of vegetables at his farm and who patronize his stand at local farmers markets. “I’ll be demonstrating practical ways of integrating organic, biodynamic, permaculture, and traditional farming practices into whatever scale garden you plan to have,” said Robertson-Goldberg. Registration required. (413) 658-5374. More info here.
Saturday, April 10th in South Williamstown, MA
9am-12Noon – The Little Red Schoolhouse on Route 7 is holding an Earth Day recycling event. The public is invited to bring cans and bottles that can be redeemed for deposit to the school. The cans and bottles will be brought to the Northern Berkshire Container Redemption Center to benefit the preschool. The public also is invited to bring gently used children’s clothing and toys as well as household items (no appliances please) for Little Red’s upcoming tag sale on May 1st. Williamstown’s COOL Committee, a group of volunteers from Williamstown working to implement the town’s Climate Action Plan, will have an informational table and activity for children. Info at 413-458-8668. www.lrsh.org
Sunday, April 11th in Williamsburg, MA
3-5pm – Transition Williamsburg: Come learn more about The Transition Movement at a Community Mapping Project happening at the Williamsburg Grange. There will be a screening of the film In Transition: From Oil Dependence to Local Resilience, along with a clothing swap and community potluck. Child care available. Come check out what all the buzz is about! Click here for more info. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)
Monday, April 12th in Williamstown, MA
7:30pm – Garbage Docs: No Impact Man at Images Cinema. Author Colin Beavan leaves behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption…no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray. The Onion A.V. Club writes, “The value of No Impact Man, a compelling and suitably exasperating documentary about one family’s attempt to not harm the environment for a year, is that it forces viewers to reflect on their own casual consumption and waste.” (413) 458-1039 www.imagescinema.org
Friday, April 16th in Greenfield, MA
7pm – Earth Day Family Concert with Sarah Pirtle and Jim Scott at the All Souls UU Church. This concert will appeal to all ages and will be the first time these award-winning musicians, who have been sharing their ecology messages through music since the ’70s, have performed together. The evening will begin with a light supper in the All Souls Parish Hall at 5:30 PM, with the concert following at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary. (413) 773-5018 www.uugrenfield.org
Saturday, April 17th & Sunday, April 18th in Greenfield, MA
10am-7pm; 10am-4pm – Home Show & Green Fair at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. Workshops, kids’ activities and fresh local food. Discover crafts & recycled products, locavore living, green thinking, home resources, and much more. (413) 774-2791 www.franklincountyhomeshow.com
Saturday, April 17th in Holyoke, MA
10am-3pm – Dispose responsibly of your old electronics & appliances while supporting WGBY. No registration, open to all. Click here to see what is acceptable and for fees. Document shredding available too. Location: Parking lot near the Holyoke Mall. www.wgby.org. More info here.
Saturday, April 17th in Hampden, MA
10-11:30am – Vernal Pools at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary: Vernal pools are unique and critical habitats that are breeding grounds for many state-listed amphibian species. April is the best, and often the only time to see animals such as spotted salamanders and wood frogs. Join Naturalist Kevin Kopchynski to explore a vernal pool, looking for egg masses, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. Learn why it’s so crucial to protect these small bodies of water and what you can do to help ensure their protection. Family event, suitable for children ages 4 – 16 yrs. Registration requested. 413-584-3009.
Saturday, April 17th in Sheffield, MA
10am-12Noon – Discover Life in a Vernal Pool at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Trustees of Reservations naturalist, Rene Wendell, will explore a shallow spring pond, enjoying a hands-on search for the egg masses of wood frogs, spotted salamanders, and many other forms of life. Expect to get wet and muddy! Members: Adult/Child $4; Family $10. Nonmembers: Adult/Child $6; Family $15. Please pre-register. (413) 229-8600
Sunday, April 18th in Northampton, MA
10am-12Noon – Gardening 101: Want to have your own garden but don’t know where to start? In this workshop we will cover everything you need to know to get going. We will cover soil testing, site preparation, planting schedules, weed and pest management and more. With Molly Merrett. Registration required. 413-825-6795 x306. More info here.
UPDATE: Sunday, April 18th in Easthampton, MA
8am-1pm – 4th Annual FreeMarket at the the Williston Northampton School. Anyone can bring their unwanted reusable items to the Athletic Center for donation and then shop amongst all the free stuff there. You can also choose to drop off and not shop or shop without dropping off. A great opportunity to clean out attics, closets, cupboards, under beds, storage or where ever! Items, in past years, have included luggage, books, toys, game systems, small appliances, dishes, lamps, sports equipment, bicycles, and more. They also get tons of great clothes. As long as it can be carried away you can bring it or find it. Drop off 8am-11am or Shop 9am-1pm – or do both. Open to the public. Questions? Nola-rae Cronan at (413) 529-3286 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Week of April 19th-29th in Lenox, MA
9am-4pm except on April 22, open till 9pm – Earth Day Art Show at Lenox Town Hall. High School student sculptures and art work using recycled materials from our daily lives and Elementary school students’ works on the theme of environmental stewardship and responsibility featured in the auditorium and town foyer. Come view their work and take the lenox unplugged pledge, showing your commitment to your community and its energy challenges. Sponsored by lenox unplugged and the Lenox Public Schools.
Monday, April 19th in Williamstown, MA
7:30pm – Garbage Docs: Garbage Warrior at Images Cinema. For 30 years New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green disciples have devoted their time to advancing the art of “Earthship Biotecture” by building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities where design and function converge in eco-harmony. However, these experimental structures that defy state standards create conflict between Reynolds and the authorities. When communities are devastated by tsunamis and hurricanes. Reynolds and his crew seize the opportunity to lend their pioneering skills to those who need it most. Shot over three years and in four countries, Garbage Warrior is a timely portrait of a determined visionary, a hero of the 21st century. (413) 458-1039 www.imagescinema.org
Tuesday, April 20th in Pittsfield, MA
1pm – Falconry and the Medieval World: Live Bird of Prey Demonstration at 1pm the Berkshire Museum. Falconry was a court sport in England and France; the most desirable birds were legal property of the nobility. Experts from Wingmasters bring a golden eagle, two falcons, a red-tailed hawk, and other raptors to explore the 4000-year history of falconry, explain how the sport reflected the lifestyle of Medieval society, examine the characteristics of the birds of prey used, and elucidate the historical reasons behind falconry’s rise and fall. Free with Museum admission. (Please note: space is limited. Free tickets will be available at the front desk beginning at 10 a.m.) Call (413) 443-7171 ext.17 for more information. www.berkshiremuseum.org
Tuesday, April 20th in Williamstown, MA
7pm – School Lunches: Changing What and How Children Eat with Josh Viertel, Director of Slow Food USA at Williams College at the Brooks Rogers Recital Hall. Joshua Viertel, President of Slow Food USA, has made significant contributions to the sustainable food movement in the past as a teacher, farmer, and activist, and, for the past six years, as a co-founder and co-director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. At Yale, Viertel oversaw the University’s transition to a local sustainable food program, created and managed an organic farm on campus, and built educational and academic programming around food and agriculture. Under his leadership, the Yale Sustainable Food Project has earned a reputation as a leader in the national and international sustainable food movement. (413) 597-4522
Wednesday, April 21st in Pittsfield, MA
5pm – Spring Walk & Talk at Springside Park (5pm walk, 7pm talk). Join Trustees of Reservations naturalist Rene Wendell for a 5pm guided walk to some wonderful stands of bloodroot and trillium along the trails of Springside Park, or join him for the 7pm slide show about spring wildflowers. FREE. Cosponsored by the Springside Greenhouse committee. (413) 298-3239 x3003
Thursday, April 22nd in Worthington, MA
7:30pm – The Worthington Sustainability Committee will host a solar energy informational meeting in the town hall. For more info email email@example.com
Thursday, April 22nd in Springfield, MA
11am-4pm – Earth Day Festival at the Springfield Science Museum. Face painting, paper making, renewable energy demos, free tree seedlings, casting lessons, and many environmental exhibits. There will be music from 11-3pm; birds of prey demo at 11:30am. (413) 263-6800, ext. 404. www.springfieldmuseums.org
Thursday, April 22nd in Sheffield, MA
9am-12Noon – Earth Day Eco-Volunteers at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Pitch in to protect biodiversity at the Berkshires one and only National Natural Landmark. Discover why Bartholomew’s Cobble is such an amazing place for spring wildflowers. Trustees of Reservations staff will teach you how to identify and pull out garlic mustard so that you can protect the native plant populations. Bring gloves, long sleeves and long pants. FREE. Please call in advance for information. (413) 229-8600
Thursday, April 22nd in Pittsfield, MA
2pm – Green at Hancock Shaker Village, the City of Peace. Celebrate Earth Day in the Shakers’ Heaven on Earth. Held in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 at 2:00pm, this family-friendly event will feature a tour of Hancock Shaker Village’s historic-to-modern green and environmentally-friendly features. Included will be information on sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, architectural design and construction, smart growth town planning, and more. There will be a demonstration of the 1858 water power turbine in Laundry and Machine Shop and up-close investigation of the historic passive solar features of Shaker buildings, compared with Hancock Shaker Village’s new solar photovoltaic array, which generates 89.9 kilowatts, supplies 66% of the Village’s electrical energy needs today, and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 3.7 million pounds over the life span of the system. Free with general admission. (800) 817.1137 www.hancockshakervillage.org
Friday, April 23rd in Lenox, MA
7pm – Lenox Town Hall Earth Day Celebration: The Lorax at 7pm and Taking Root at 8:15pm. Bring the family to enjoy the classic Dr. Seuss best environmental film ever: The Lorax. (“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.”) Perfect for kids! Cookie break. Screening of Taking Root. Powerful, inspiring film. Planting trees for fuel, food and timber is not something that anyone would imagine as the first step toward winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet with that simple act, Wangari Maathai of Kenya started down the path that helped to reclaim her country’s land from a century of deforestation while providing new sources of livelihood to rural communities. She gave previously impoverished and marginalized women the tools to participate for the first time in the political processes of their communities and the growing movement to end Kenya’s twenty-four-year dictatorship. Donations welcomed.
Friday, April 23rd in Lenox, MA
All Day – “think green, it’s Friday!” in downtown Lenox at lenox unplugged, a Western Mass Take Charge campaign, launches its first “think green it’s Friday!” Local businesses and organizations who have taken the unplugged pledge will offer customers “green and unplugged” incentives that reward customers for thinking green, offers like discounts for using reusable bags, green-minded menus at restaurants, and dollar coffees with a reusable mug. Lenox residents can take their pledge at www.townoflenox.com/lenoxunplugged and Berkshire County residents can go to www.cetonline.org/takecharge.php. Lenox unplugged will be sponsoring events throughout the town during the week of Earth Day. Check the website www.lenoxunplugged.wordpress.com for the schedule and to see a list of all the deals and incentives on “think green, it’s Friday!”
Saturday, April 24th in Amherst, MA
10am-4pm – The First Annual Amherst Sustainability Festival, held on the Town Common and around town. The festival combines The Renewable Energy Fair, Amherst Grows Green and Arbor Day event. There will be tree pruning and tree climbing demonstrations held at Kendrick Park. Sustainable product suppliers, local artisans, consumer information regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy providers will be on hand on the Town Common. A diverse group of entertainers performing on stage on the Common include Drew Hickum and the Colonels, Jay Mankita, Piti Theatre Company, The Raging Grannies, and Marcy Gregoire. In between along the “green path,” local businesses will participate in a scavenger hunt and offer special discounts and incentives to festival attendees. Don’t miss what is destined to become a premiere Valley event!
UPDATED: Saturday, April 24th in Amherst, MA
3pm-5pm – Daffodil Lectures on Sustainability and the Environment at UMass in the Integrated Science Building. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is organizing lectures on sustainability and the environment, which include experts in climate change, communicating with the public about science, and environmental ethics and social movements. (413) 577-0149 www.honors.umass.edu/tenth More info here.
Saturday, April 24th in Williamsburg, MA
9-11am – Third Annual Ashfield Road Clean Up Day. The snow has melted, revealing a year’s worth of trash along our road. Let’s get together and clean it up! And we can meet our neighbors too. (Rain date: Sat. May 1) Meet at 102 Ashfield Rd. Bring your morning beverage and we’ll share potluck muffins, donuts, etc. from 9 to 9:30. Then we’ll work in teams to pick up the trash. We can leave it in neat piles along the road and the Williamsburg Public Works Dept will take it away on Monday. For more info call Lisa Hall 268-9271
Saturday, April 24th in Northampton, MA
1-4pm – Mushroom Log Inoculation: Come learn how to grow your own shitake mushrooms. Take home a log of your own. With Jonathan Bates 413-825-6795 x306. More info here.
Saturday, April 24th in Great Barrington, MA
9am-2pm – Annual Earth Day Clean-up of the Housatonic River Walk. Lunch provided and tours provided after 2pm. Must be 10yo+. (413) 528-3391 www.gbriverwalk.org
Saturday, April 24th in Williamstown, MA
12Noon – 4pm – Earth Day Celebration at Wild Oats Market. Free, food demos, informational booths from local area organizations and businesses involved in environmental issues, workshops on composting, photovoltaics, and spring planting (for kids & adults), kids’ activities, music from staffer Mike Wood and his “Rebel Alliance” band, and music from world music DJ Mike Card, and more. Spring bedding plants, composting bins and other garden supplies will be available for sale. And, chef Greg Roach will be grilling local foods on the grill, weather permitting. (413) 458-8060
Saturday, April 25th & Sunday, April 26th in Pittsfield, MA
10am-4pm & 10am-1pm – Center for Ecological Technology (CET) will hold its 15th annual Textile Drive to collect old clothing and household textiles for reuse and recycling. The event will be held in partnership with Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Materials will be accepted at CET in Pittsfield on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition, residents may drop clothing in the storage bin at the back of the parking lot at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center, 15 Crissey Road in Great Barrington, from April 10 until April 25. In North County, clothing can be dropped off at the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation at Sheep Hill between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays from April 12 to April 16 and from April 20 to April 23. For more information contact CET, (413) 445-4556 or (888) 577-8448 ext. 10 or 30, or visit www.cetonline.org.
Sunday, April 25th in Northampton, MA
11am-4pm – Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day at the WGBY Family Funfest and Eco-Fair in Northampton’s Pulaski Park and at the Northampton Center for the Arts. A free event with music, demonstrations, and activities for all ages. Music on the Earth Day Stage (courtesy of WRSI): Swing Caravan, Mister G & Primate Fiasco. Over at the Noho Center for the Arts will be Tom Knight Puppets.
Entertainment and games for the entire family, inside and outside! Trash audits, recycling, composting, eco-friendly ideas and exhibits from Green Northampton, Pedal People, MassBike, Northampton Public Schools’ Green Teams, and more Earth Day activities for the whole family! 800-781-9429 ext. 258
Sunday, April 25th in Great Barrington, MA
11am – Free Screening of No Impact Man at the Triplex. Saving the world, one family at a time. Follow the Manhattan-based Beavan family as they abandon their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle and try to live a year while making no net environmental impact. Speakers and food after the film.
Sunday, April 25th in Sheffield, MA
10am-12Noon – Secrets of Spring Wildflowers: Guided Walk at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Visit now, at the peak of the spring wildflower season, to find out why this National Natural Landmark such an amazing place to view and identify spring wildflowers. On your walk you will be guided by Trustees of Reservations naturalist Rene Wendell. Members $5. Nonmembers $7. Please pre-register. (413) 229-8600
Saturday, May 1st in Springfield, MA
8:30am-12Noon – The Springfield Science Museum is holding its 20th annual Earth Day Clean-up. The museum is partnering with Keep Springfield Beautiful to remove trash from public areas in Springfield. The Science Museum’s team will be focusing on a conservation area. Volunteers should meet at Duggan Middle School, 1015 Wilbraham Road in Springfield. Gloves, trash bags, buckets and directions to cleanup sites will be provided. A complimentary lunch will be served. To volunteer for the Science Museum’s clean-up team, please call Dan Augustino at the Science Museum, 413-263-6800, ext. 404.www.springfieldmuseums.org