Berkshire Environmental Action Team
Rating: 5 stars 36 36 reviews 3,139
29 Highland Ave Pittsfield MA 01201 USA
BEAT’s mission is to protect the environment for wildlife in support of the natural world that sustains us all. BEAT involves volunteers in citizen-science wildlife monitoring programs, Stream Continuity Surveying, Turtle Watch, Salamander Watch, and Vernal Pool Certifying. BEAT maintains an educational website - http://www.thebeatnews.org - where people can learn more about the environmental laws, BEAT activities, issues, and events, and how they can participate in protecting the environment.
BEAT publishes a free, weekly e-newsletter with environmental news, calendar, and public notices. Hundreds of volunteers actively working to protect the environment! Miles of river cleaned. Riverside conservation land protected from being turned into a parking lot. Riverside waste transfer station stopped. Stream crossings surveyed and evaluated to prioritize for replacement to help fish move upstream under roads.
the environment & wildlife
Geographic areas served:
Being an environmental watchdog - keeping the environmental community connected and informed - promoting environmental stewardship with river cleanups, monitoring wildlife habitat, and working to help wildlife cross roads where it is most critical.
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Reviews for Berkshire Environmental Action Team
Berkshire Environmental Action Team and its citizen scientists lead the pack on issues of wildlife habitat and connectivity in the Berkshires -- their field work influences our conservation strategies at Berkshire Natural Resources Council.
BEAT works tirelessly to protect the environment in Berkshire County. They attend dozens of town meetings all year long (select board, conservation commission, zoning, and other meetings) to provide technical assistance on issues related to environmental regulations, wetlands regulations, and so forth. Often, BEAT staff are the only people in the room who fully understand the local, state, and federal regulations that apply to a certain piece of land, stream, or wetlands area. Thank goodness they are there to protect the environment for the creatures that depend on it, and for people who love Berkshire County. BEAT also creates and distributes a consistently professional, thorough, and detailed weekly newsletter providing a great deal of information, including articles, a calendar of upcoming events, public notices, and an environmental index. These newsletters enable people who work in the field and the general interested public to know what is going on in the county. It is the ONLY place this information is compiled in one place and distributed weekly. BEAT works on a shoestring to achieve all this and much more. They have been OUT FRONT in the fight against the fracked gas pipelines proposed to cross our county, including many natural and protected areas. They have worked hard to educate concerned citizens and to act as a resource for timely and accurate information on these major proposed projects. I can't imagine Berkshire County without BEAT!
I have been a member of BEAT for a number of years because I want to kept abreast of what is happening in my surrounding community in relation to environmental issues. This organization has done a stellar job of explaining many issues i.e Kinder Morgan fracked gas pipe line proposed for our area. They organize river clean-up days and days when people can get into the woods and learn more about the nature that surrounds us.
This is certainly the organization I would go to if there were an environmental issue in my town and I needed good solid information to bring to the powers that be.
My friend Tom Irelan invited me to a BEAT board member meeting in late July. I went and was happy to find a vibrant community of people who care about the environment! But the thing that impressed me most was that they discussed concrete actions that could (and should!) be taken to counter unsustainable behaviors in our community. I know many people who are upset about environmental degradation, but few have the resources or concrete ideas to take action against it. However, BEAT has concrete ideas and actively works to raise funds to take action in counteracting environmental degradation! Hooray for BEAT, thanks for your efforts to preserve our home planet for future generations.
I will never forget the moment in time this past winter when I decided that "someone out there" knew what was going on with what was then called the Northeast Expansion Project (Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline). I was confused, angry and felt terribly diminished by the eventuality of my land being defiled once again. In the midst of my almost frantic research, I found Jane Winn and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team. I can not remember how the connection happened; I only know that the individual on the other end of the phone was empathic, calm in the midst of my storm, well informed about the subject matter, and very encouraging. Moreover, Jane picked up the phone on the first try and talked with me for nearly a half hour! Jane was able to demonstrate a high level of expertise about the pipeline and its various features and to explain the picture to me in a "user friendly" way. I learned from that first phone conversation that I was not alone in what has turned out to date, to be the biggest fight of my life. Since that day Jane and her husband have been my advisors and the "go to people" when I need clear and accurate information about updates. In an effort to provide the public with well researched information about the pipeline, Jane and Bruce have tirelessly served our communities both in Massachusetts and in neighboring New York State by conducting well structured speaking engagements tailored to the needs of the audience. Recently I had the opportunity to speak directly to our governor and certain members of his Office who had been assigned the task of periodically acquiring updates since the end of July. When I told the Governor and his staff that the Berkshire Environmental Action Team does "its homework" I meant it with 100% certainty. If we win this fight, it will largely be due to the consistent commitment and integrity of Jane and Bruce Winn. I thank them in advance.
1 person found this review helpful
I have always been interested in participating in the clean up of the Housatonic River. I saw how terrible it was with endless amounts of trash tossed into it over the years. I connected with Berkshire Environmental Action Team a few years ago and attended a river cleanup. I was impressed with the group and their strong devotion in not only helping to clear up our river but in trying to educate and inform the public on the importance of preserving our natural environment.
Thank you so much for helping with our river cleanups! Looking forward to getting wet and dirty with you again next summer. - Jane
The first time I was told about Berkshire Environmental Action Team was about seven years ago when my town, Cummington, became very active in matters of sustainability and community resilience. Friends who were involved in wildlife tracking and river watches, told me that BEAT had a projector they could lend out to like-minded groups, and I got to know Bruce and Jane in this capacity. Over several years of stopping by to borrow the projector and talking about our activities in town, Jane made me familiar with the many avenues of environmental work she and Bruce undertake, and let us know that BEAT could help our group find grants and other support.
This year, when I found out our whole region was under threat of a massive high pressure natural gas pipeline, I immediately turned to Berkshire Environmental Action Team as regional experts in environmental impact. Sure enough, they had already been researching and investigating the potential impacts of this enormous industrial development and had found that it had implications on many other levels as well; including economic, legal, regulatory and for the larger global climate. When they offered to make a presentation on the subject in Cummington, I jumped at the opportunity.
Fellow townsperson, Katy Eiseman and I had started a Facebook page for pipeline information that was quickly becoming unmanageable. Jane and Bruce offered us web space and a domain name to organize our budding anti-pipeline movement. No Fracked Gas in Mass was born just a couple of days after I found out about the pipeline, thanks to their help. Katy and I filled out the site, established a local resolution as well as a statewide petition against new pipeline expansion and scheduled BEAT's presentation for the Cummington Community House. The hall was packed with people from across the state and after the thoroughly researched and in-depth presentation by Bruce, we broke out the audience into county groups who talked, organized and took home "starter kit" information. Within days, we were hearing about local meetings against the pipeline springing up all across the state.
Since then Jane and Bruce have continued to research alongside us, and have travelled all along the affected towns making presentations with me and with Katy, who has moved on to form the state-wide coalition of anti-pipeline groups, MassPLAN. They also supplied webspace and domain name for MassPLAN's website and Jane is on the group's Executive Committee along with us and others. They were also instrumental in helping the Berkshire 350-MA group get established. That Pittsfield-based group has been key in anti-pipeline organizing in the Berkshires, among many other goals their group pursues. And Bruce and Jane done all this while continuing their usual work protecting and defending waterways, wetlands and the environment for all of Berkshire County.
I had heard high praise of BEAT's work for years, but had no idea the degree to which their dedication and hard work made a difference for our region. Without their high standards of research and dedication not only to anti-pipeline outreach, but help in getting our groups going and finding funding, none of the progress we've made at this point would have been possible.
BEAT has done a stellar job of informing and mobilizing the public about a proposed fracked gas pipeline, which threatens some of the region's most precious conservation lands, as well as private homeowners, everyone's safety and our democracy. I cannot say enough great things about Jane and Bruce Winn, a husband and wife dynamo that have done more for the Berkshires than most large, well-funded nationally known organizations. They deserve to be extremely well-supported in every way. They are people of the highest integrity, with enormous hearts, and unflagging energy and commitment to the well-being of our Berkshire environment. I have had the opportunity to volunteer with Ms. Winn for several months and have only the highest admiration for her work.
It has been wonderful to collaborate with BEAT this year in our efforts to oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline. From logistical support to technical research to collaboration on advocacy strategy, BEAT has been an extremely valuable partner.
I have been volunteering with BEAT for over two years now and I am inspired by their knowledge and work ethic every day. If I need information on local environmental issues, I consult with BEAT; they are always helpful and supportive! I credit BEAT for my renewed commitment to environmentalism and conservation. Before I was introduced to their river and park cleanups, my activism was limited to signing online petitions and recycling. Now I am more involved than ever! They do excellent work for the Berkshires, the state, and the environment. I am so thankful that I work with BEAT.