Jen Salinetti, of Woven Roots Farm, will lead a 6-week farm and food education series for youth aged 14-24. Workshops will be held here at April Hill every Wednesday from July 10th to August 14th, from 6-8 p.m. The workshops are free; we require all participants to commit to the full six-week program.
Each week will focus on curriculum, including hands-on activities, team building and constructive dialogue.
Topics to include: shared values; food and energy; exploration of food systems; food literacy; sustainability and stewardship; and our food story.
Ed Herrington, Inc., the region’s largest supplier of lumber, millwork and building supplies, has contributed $10,000 to Greenagers in support of its operations and the acquisition of the April Hill conservation estate in Egremont.
The gift from Herrington’s in Hillsdale, N.Y., underscores Greenagers’ expanding impact in Columbia County, where Greenagers teen work crews will improve public access lands and install Front Lawn Food gardens – similar to Greenagers’ work in the Berkshires.
Meanwhile, Greenagers recently completed the purchase of the historic April Hill property in Egremont, to provide a permanent home for Greenagers’ programs with teens and young adults. Capital improvements are under way at the property.
“Herrington’s generosity helps us at home here at April Hill, to secure our investment in this incredible conservation property, and it helps to cover the costs of our teen work crews, who are improving our landscapes and access to affordable food,” said Will Conklin, Executive Director of Greenagers.
Richard Herrington, Herrington’s VP/GM said ”I am excited about the Greenagers organization and we are happy to support it in this way because of their dedication and focus on the education of young people in our communities”.
This summer, Greenagers will deploy a total of seven work crews to improve public access properties in the Berkshires and Columbia County, install Front Lawn Food gardens and carry on middle-school programs at public schools in the Southern Berkshires.
In Columbia County, crews will install Front Lawn Food gardens at a Habitat for Humanity residence in Ancramdale, complete a trail for the town of Austerlitz, build, improve a trail in the Greenport area of Hudson and remove invasive water chestnuts at Hand Hollow in New Lebanon.
Ed Herrington, Inc., DBA Herrington’s, is a fourth generation, local family-owned lumber and building materials business that was established in Hillsdale, NY. The company offers quality lumber, millwork, building supplies, paint, stone and associated services. Today the company has six locations in Hillsdale, Hudson, Chatham and Millerton, NY, Sheffield, MA and Lakeville, CT. For more information, visit www.herringtons.com or call 800.453.1311. Herrington’s can also be found at Herrington’s Lumber on Facebook and @edherringtoninc on Instagram.
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”→