It’s Giving Tuesday and loyal Greenagers friend and supporter, Robin McGraw of Black Rock Foundation & the Donald C. McGraw Foundation, has upped his pledge this year to $10,000 to match your donations!
Check out the video to hear from Robin and Will Conklin our executive director.
Click on the button to help us reach our goal of $20,000 today! Gifts or pledges must be received by year’s end to qualify for the match.
If you choose to mail in a check, please put “Giving Tuesday” in the memo line. Remember, your Giving Tuesday gift will be doubled by Robin. Help us continue to make a big difference in our community and beyond!
It was a full and fulfilling summer! Thank you to our youth employees, our program staff, our program partners, and our donors who made it all happen. We are so grateful to work with you all.
We are holding on to all the successes of past programming and building a new foundation here at April Hill, one that will buttress our youth for generations. Instead of stone it is you, our community, that has held us up and will continue to hold us and support us. We couldn’t be more thankful or more excited.
Austen took the time to write about his experiences with Greenagers – we are so grateful for his hard work, thoughtfulness, and great spirit as a former trail crew member and now as one of our fearless trail crew leaders!
Here is his testimony:
My Greenagers journey started at 16 years old. It was my first “real job.” Full time and a meager 8.50/hour. Without any idea of what the job entailed, young and impressionable, I signed up. Next thing I knew we were hiking 45 minutes into the wilderness of northwestern Connecticut with a crew of 8 local teenagers on the fringes of normalcy. The payment was the experience. Waking up to the sound of birds, the orange hue of the fresh summer sun, it was liberation from a life of high school obligations. After the first day, led by a passionate and vivacious Elia Delmolino, we were all best friends. Elia’s passion was almost corny, yet unfaltering: contagious. When the work day concluded we would relax by the river and play poker for who had to carry the water jug. I continued with Greenagers until college; time passed, life changed. When I returned to the Berkshires, I was fresh off of a cross-country trip. Eager to get back into society yet nervous at the possibility of a lost opportunity. I assumed Greenagers was no longer, until a chance encounter with Elia. I popped into April Hill Farm the following week: lost, discouraged, 23 years old with no sense of direction. Once again, I found my niche in the woods. Greenagers had their first fall crew and I was offered the position of crew leader. I nervously accepted. Now, a tumultuous year later, I have a place in the organization. A true sense of belonging and direction. I’ve regained passion for the environment and once again, covered in dirt and worms, I’m happy. Happy to be part of something bigger than myself. I’ve traveled half the world, seen the silver spoon, eaten from a microwavable plastic platter, and through it all Greenagers was the unspoken angel on my shoulder, quietly laying the foundation for my future. I’m proud, truly happy, blessed, and still bewildered that these opportunities have come into my life. When I leave April Hill at 5 o’clock, I’m excited for the challenges of tomorrow, fulfilled with the day I’ve completed, and more than proud to tell my peers I’ve found my calling. It feels good to go home knowing I’ve done my part, and helped others along the way.
I’ve regained passion for the environment and once again, covered in dirt and worms, I’m happy.
Thank you to the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Berkshires for generous support of our Food Sovereignty Crew. The Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Berkshires, under the auspices of the Jewish Women’s Federation of the Berkshires, is “dedicated to sharing Jewish values by addressing needs in the community and supporting social action.” This year, the Foundation provided $59, 270 in grants to 18 community nonprofits working to address unmet community needs; Greenagers is honored to be among the recipients. Read the Berkshire Eagle grants announcement here.
Greenagers’ Food Sovereignty Crew installs free, organic vegetable gardens for local families in need. Greenagers started this garden program, ‘Front Lawn Food,’ in collaboration with Berkshire Community Action Council, to encourage local families to grow their own organic veggies. We partner with CHP WIC, BCAC, Berkshire VIM, Multicultural BRIDGE, and CONSTRUCT to reach out to families eligible for a free garden bed. The Food Sovereignty Crew travels around the county, installing these beds in the spring, returning in the summer for garden check-ins, and again in the fall to set-up the garden winterization hoop house. In addition to managing the Front Lawn Food program, the Food Sovereignty Crew assists Greenagers’ April Hill Farm Crew with the farm’s gardens and orchards and is responsible for delivering food to food pantries, health centers, and direct to families in need. The Crew also works with Berkshire Bounty’s gleaning program, harvesting food that would otherwise go to waste and delivering it to area food pantries.
Many thanks and so much appreciation to all of our farm crew members who worked with us this summer! We are so grateful to have such a hardworking, fun, supportive, and dedicated full crew from June through August!
We accomplished a lot this summer! From prepping beds, to planting, watering, lots of weeding, harvesting, washing and packing produce to donating all our produce and working with other local farms & gardens. We’ve learned to take care of eachother through it all! I’ve been on the farm crew for more than a whole year now. It has been full, exciting, I’m always learning, I feel welcomed, I’ve felt exhausted from the hard work, and I’ve met amazing people through this work and made true friends aswell. This year has taught me to care of our land and eachother as it all cares for me in return. I’m excited to continue doing this work throughout my whole life! Sasha, April Hill Farm Apprentice
Thank you to Mass Cultural Council and our local cultural councils for generous support of this program.
In a summer defined by stifling heat, soaking rain, and clouds of mosquitoes,
Greenagers’ youth trail crews nevertheless swung their pick mattocks, carried their buckets of mineral soil, and levered their boulders into place. Those youth trail crew members that worked over their summer vacation can rest assured that they’re a hardy bunch! Trails were built in Sherman (CT), Monterey, Becket, Richmond, and Pittsfield, while major improvements were added to trails in Lenox, Stockbridge, Sheffield, Great Barrington, and Sharon (CT).
Thank you to Mass Cultural Council and our local Cultural Councils for generous funding of this program.
We are so honored and grateful to be among the 12 Berkshire County non-profits awarded funding in Lee Bank Foundation’s first round of 2021 grant funding.
Lee Bank Foundation was established in 2021 to support Lee Bank’s long standing mission of community reinvestment on behalf of organizations working to improve the lives of Berkshire region organizations and the people they serve. In 2020, Lee Bank awarded $179,000 in funding to area nonprofits and for Covid-19 relief efforts. In 2021, the Foundation projects awarding $250,000 in grants and the Bank expects to award an additional $70,000 in sponsorships.
Lee Bank shows what it means to be a community bank: investing in the people and causes that provide the foundations of our community. We’re so grateful for their investment in our youth. Will Conklin
Announcing greenagers’ First Annual Environment Month Trail Run
WHEN: June 1st-June 30th
WHERE: Any of your favorite hiking trails in the Berkshires and beyond!
WHY: Greenagers is a nonprofit organization focused on providing employment and volunteer opportunities for teens and young adults in the fields of conservation, sustainable farming, and environmental leadership. World Environment Day is the United Nations’ way of raising awareness and action for protection of our environment. By running or walking, participants will receive a free Greenagers t-shirt to wear on their run or walk, while supporting Greenagers in their efforts to engage youth and the community in environmental conservation
HOW: Click on the link below to register. The registration fee is $22.60, included in this price is a Greenagers t-shirt to wear on your adventure. Take a picture of you (and your friends/family) wearing your Greenagers gear on your run/hike/walk and tag @greenagers_offical and hashtag #GreenagersTrailRun to be put in the annual Greenagers Environment Month Trail Run photo collection.
The registration fee is $22.60, included in this price is a Greenagers t-shirt to wear on your adventure.
Egremont, Mass. (May 20, 2021) — Greenagers has appointed Bronly S. Boyd of Stockbridge to its board of directors.
In 1980, Boyd established Boyd Technologies Inc., a Lee-based contract manufacturer and supplier of paper products for healthcare, medical and consumer markets. He is chair and treasurer of the business, which is now led by his three sons.
He is a graduate of American University and is a U.S. Army veteran, having served in the Vietnam War.
Boyd is in his third term on the board of Berkshire Health System, which he first joined in 1992, and has served two terms as chair. Previously he served on the board of Fairview Hospital from 1984-1992, including a three-year term as chair.
He has a longstanding interest in issues and programs impacting area youth and students. He is on the board of the Berkshire Hills Fund for Excellence, an endowed fund that supports educational initiatives of students and teachers in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District.
Boyd is a longtime member of the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge and is a member of its board of trustees.
He has also volunteered on Stockbridge search committees for town administrator, fire chief, treasurer and town accountant.
We are so thrilled to have Bronly’s enthusiasm and experience on our Board.
The idea of having skills, of being competent and being connected to the Earth in your community, to my mind, [is] just foundational. If we are able to provide opportunities for youth to develop those skills, those empathies and those concerns, then I think we’ll be better off.
Berkshire Agricultural Gives $10,000 Grant to Local Nonprofit Greenagers
Great Barrington, Mass —Berkshire Agricultural Ventures’ (BAV) announces a $10,000 grant to Berkshire-based nonprofit, Greenagers. The grant will both support Greenagers’ second year of apprenticeships ($2,800) at their farm at April Hill Conservation and Conservation Center as well as offset the cost of a pilot year of Greenagers Helping Farm Hands project ($7,200).
Specifically, this grant will help Greenagers apprentices learn how to re-engage the agricultural land at April Hill Farm from pasture and hay production to a diversified farm that will include tree nuts, tree and vine fruits, vegetables, beef, lamb, duck eggs, chicken eggs, conservation nursery stock, pollinator habitat, and honey.
Starting April 1, the Helping Farm Hands project grant would offset the cost of helping with the need for labor on local farms and allow youth crews a diversity of farming experiences. For more information on this program visit https://greenagers.org/april-hill-farm/.
“We need more farms and we need more farmers and we need more educated consumers. Helping Hands, by connecting youth with local farms, supports the labor needs of farms–elevating profitability and puts young people on farms. If out of twenty youth that participates, one becomes a farmer and nineteen know more about their agricultural landscape and the power of their food choices, we will be making great strides toward a more resilient and just food system.”, Will Conklin, Executive Director of Greenagers.
“We are happy to be supporting Greenagers training the next generation of farmers through their apprenticeship at April Hil. We also see a big win/win getting young adults working for Greenagers exposed to a variety of farms through the Helping Hands Program, all while giving the farmers the extra hands needed for big projects.” – Dan Carr, Outreach & Technical Assistance Coordinator at BAV
About Greenagers: Through its paid employment programs, internships, and apprenticeships, engages teens and young adults in meaningful work in environmental conservation, sustainable farming, and natural resource management. In the Berkshires and nearby New York State, our trail crews maintain existing trails and build new trails for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Trustees of Reservations, Columbia Land Conservancy, and other conservation organizations. Our Farm Apprentices work with local farmers, learning animal husbandry and organic agriculture. Our volunteer teams install front-yard gardens for area families, to encourage home-based food growing.
Greenagers participants learn the value of teamwork, collaboration, initiative, and solid work ethics. They learn about community partnerships through collaborations with area nonprofits, businesses, and organizations that both hire Greenagers and partner with Greenagers’ broader mission of youth and community engagement. We embrace the values of service and stewardship, and we support social and environmental progress in all of our work. For more information on their services, please visit https://greenagers.org
About Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV): Over the past four years, BAV has given over 100 low-interest loans (0-2%) and/or grants to farmers and food businesses. BAV is a 501(c)3 IRS tax-exempt, nonprofit based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. BAV’s mission is dedicated to supporting farm and food business development and viability by offering access to technical assistance and nimble financing including low-interest loans, grants, and other professional resources. BAV brings together collaborative financing programs for farmers and food makers in the region of New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut by using donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses.