Bob was one of our 2021 April Hill Farm Apprentices and we are so happy that he is continuing on with Greenagers in his new role as April Hill Livestock Farmer. Yay!
Thank you, Bob, for all the work you do and for sharing your thoughts with us.
“Greenagers has provided me with an opportunity to obtain a position in my preferred career path, first as a farm apprentice last season and now as the lead livestock farmer. Working here has given me the ability to wake up every day and look forward to working with great staff and great youth, all involved in the amazing programs provided by Greenagers. I get to go outside every morning and I am greeted by our 9 sheep as they run into the barn bleating and hungry for fresh hay. I’ve been able to watch the April Hill landscape change with the seasons. Through the heat of summer and unsympathetic cold of winter, I am outside working in the elements with the backdrop of the Berkshires. It’s not always easy work but I love what I do and I am humbled to be able to do it with a company that does so much for the southern Berkshire community.”
Our Front Lawn Food program is in its 11th year of operation – this means hundreds of Front Lawn Food gardens have been installed throughout the community. For every garden purchased, a garden is donated to a family in need.
Hello, my name is Jacob Kulyniak. I am originally from Greenport, NY, located outside of the city of Hudson. Growing up I spent as much time as I could outdoors hunting, fishing, and hiking. I found out at a very young age that I had a love for wildlife and the environment and quickly learned that I never wanted to have a job where I would be stuck inside for long periods of time. My first job was working for Greenagers during the summer as a crew member.
I did this from July 2014 to August 2017. Working for Greenagers, I learned how to create and maintain trails using hands-on conservation techniques. In the spring of 2017, I graduated from Columbia Greene Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Science. In July 2018 I became a crew leader for Greenagers and held this position for two summers. In 2018 I was accepted into SUNY Cobleskill for their Wildlife Management program. Cobleskill gave me lots of hands-on experiences in the field and only further increased my passion for wildlife. I was also given the opportunity to travel to Panama for two weeks in 2020 to study the land’s biodiversity. To complete my degree at Cobleskill I wanted to do an internship. However, with the outbreak of Covid-19 it was difficult to find an internship in my field. So, in June 2020 I worked at Kline Kill Fruit Farm, where I learned various agricultural skills and how to operate heavy machinery. In April 2021 I accepted an internship working as a research assistant for Cary Institute of Ecosystem studies. Here, I worked with a small team on The Tick Project. At Cary I learned how to identify and collect data that is important for a county wide project that has been ongoing for five years. In May 2021, with my internship complete, I graduated from Cobleskill with a Bachelor’s Degree of Technology in Wildlife Management. On January 3rd 2022 I am set to begin my full time position as an Assistant Farm Manager for Klocke Estate: a fully organic farm which produces various types of brandy and wine. I am excited to take the next steps in my career and will always be grateful for the people that have helped me get to this point.
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).
We will be running a small fall crew through November. If interested in a position on this crew, please contact Elia.
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.