Earth Day River Festival Builds in the Berkshires

Earth Day River Festival Builds Community for Preservation

Our local rivers keep the landscape alive – celebrate their importance at the first ever Earth Day River Festival honoring the Berkshires’ Housatonic River! Hosted by the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), the event includes opportunities for community members to learn about and connect with the Housatonic River, and to consider the role that the river plays in their daily lives. Held on Saturday, April 23rd from 11am-1:30pm at Pittsfield’s Fred Garner Park, the Earth Day River Festival brings together environmentally-focused community organizations and offers a rich variety of ways to gain knowledge and skills for conservation and self-sufficiency.

The event will begin with a community clean-up of the park, with participants donating their time to help reduce the human impact experienced by the public natural area. Lending a hand to ensure that healthy green spaces continue to exist locally in local communities is a meaningful and empowering way for youth to engage with their communities and their surroundings. Gloves and bags will be provided so that cleaning can be done safely.

Additional festival activities will begin at 11:30am, following the clean-up. Families can learn about the creatures who call the river bottom home, explore the water cycle by imagining themselves as droplets in the Housatonic, and get tips for home composting. In addition to these structured activities, families can meet representatives from local organizations connected to and/or working for local rivers. The most exciting learning opportunity of the event is the chance to explore a local vernal pool – one that was damaged and eventually restored to its amphibian-filled glory by General Electric. The pool itself is a fascinating sight during mid-spring, and the unique habitat is made even more interesting by its unique history. A visit to the pool can teach young naturalists about the delicate nature of local habitats, and can further illuminate the impact that humans can have on their surroundings if acting without care and caution.

Fred Gardner Park is located on Pomeroy Avenue. For more information about the event, call 413-230-7321.

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