Saturday’s April Hill Transect yielded a nice assortment of tracks and sign. We were blessed with spring-like rays of sunshine and a quality tracking substrate of packing snow.
Starting across fields grazed by goats during the warmer months, we encountered red fox tracks, sometimes breaking through the top layer of snow, sometimes staying on top of it, great long cottontail leaps, and several vintages of coyote tracks. Along the Appalachain Trail we came across a red fox that had leaped over an electric fence about two and half to three feet tall as well as some bird tracks that we struggled to identify in the field. The bird tracks were two inches long which is about half the length of a crow track and still smaller than the track of a mourning dove (2.6 in via google images). I’m thinking a groundfeeding Junco is a good bet, despite the fact the tracks indicated it was walking rather than hopping. I’m interested to hear theories or at least get pointed in the direction of a good bird tracking resource!
Entering into the woods we encountered several sets of deer and coyote tracks moving north to south, parallel with a brook. At one point, while traveling parallel to the brook, we literally scared the scat out of a turkey–it flew away leaving wing imprints and a spray of reddish scat across the snow.
We inched along the outer bounds of a manmade pond–now colonized phragmites and cattail–finding raccoon, weasel, deer and turkey tracks as well as several curiously lemony-sweet smelling bushes that we later realized were spicebushes.
Doubling back, due south across the Appalachian Trail, and again paralleling the brook, we discovered porcupine nip twigs beneath a grove of hemlocks, more turkey, raccoon, and deer tracks as well as bear marks on an ancient sugar maple and a younger birch.
Running out of time, we weren’t able to circle around the larger wetland, we’ll have to return for that!
Have you heard about our “Close the Gap” Campaign to support our acquisition and stewardship of April Hill Conservation and Education Center (formerly Kellogg Conservation Center)?
Our new 100-acre house and farm will provide a permanent home and wider reach for Greenagers’ regional jobs and conservation education programs for teens and young adults
With more than $1.1 million quietly raised last year, Greenagers is now aiming to raise a final $350,000 to support the stewardship – now and forever – of this incredible place.
Our $1.5 million fundraising target secures the purchase and capital improvements at the property, establishes reserve funds, and provides for program expansion.
“We are so surprised and so very grateful, that this project has struck such a chord with our community well before any public announcement was made,” said Will Conklin, executive director of Greenagers. “Apparently, our friends agree with us that this could be the most important project underway on behalf of our region’s young people. Our Egremont neighbors especially have shown spectacular support.”
“The impact Greenagers has on our young people can’t be overstated, and when teens benefit, so does the entire community,” said David Sheehan, chair of the Greenagers board. “April Hill will give us room to grow and to serve more kids in a setting that mirrors our mission perfectly.”
The Kellogg property was transferred to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy by the estate of the late Mary Margaret Kellogg; the Appalachian Trail runs just south of the property. In late 2017, ATC moved to transfer its stewardship role and selected Greenagers as the organization most suited to the property.
We’re really looking forward to being a part of the crew again at the next Berkshire Grown Winter Market on Saturday, February 16th. Aretha and Leslie, our Climate Action instructors, will be holding down the Greenagers fort there with some of our awesome Climate Action kids. Please drop by and say hi and find out what they’re up to!
Thank you to all the brave souls who came out to celebrate with us on a cold and blustery night! We loved seeing you all at The Barn and sharing our vision for the new April Hill Conservation and Education Center with you. We especially loved hearing your thoughts and suggestions and feedback! For those of you who couldn’t make it, please check out our video and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Through the heat, humidity, thunderstorms, and lightning, local youth, ages 15-20, worked to rebuild stonewalls, cut and clear trails, and construct bog bridges on some of the premier cultural and conservation sites in Berkshire and Columbia County. It was not an easy summer to work in the out of doors, the heat index regularly climbed above 90 degrees and when it was cooler, torrential rains resulted in flood advisory warnings. Despite this, local teenagers got the opportunity to work on local properties, developing a sense of place, a sense of identity, and a better understanding of what makes their home unique. Continue reading “Summer 2018”→
Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, Greenagers is pleased to offer a scholarship to a graduating senior or young person under the age of 25 pursuing secondary education or work experience in the sustainable agriculture field. Special emphasis is placed on integrated practices and ecological farming. Continue reading “New Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship!”→
On Saturday March 10th from 9am-12:30pm Greenagers, the Great Barrington Land Conservancy, the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire, and Wild and Scenic Westfield River will be bringing a FREE film festival to the Triplex in downtown Great Barrington. The festival is a celebration of all things river, in particular the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Continue reading “Amazing Film Festival Coming to Great Barrington on March 10th”→
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