BERKSHIRE ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION TEAM

Rating: 5 stars   32 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: 29 Highland Ave Pittsfield MA 01201 USA

Mission: 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.
Results: 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.
Target demographics: the environment & wildlife
Geographic areas served: the Berkshires
Programs: 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.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 27-0054356
413-230-7321
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I feel so lucky to have an organization like BEAT in my area. They keep me well informed and deeply connected to what is happening locally. They offer and coordinate intensive trainings that develop knowledgeable volunteers and enthusiastic participants. I can't rate them highly enough or thank them well enough for their years of hard impassioned work. Thank you from the bottom of the river to the top of the clouds for all you do to make this a more beautiful and healthy place to live.
Meredyth Babcock Becket resident

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Rating: 5 stars  

BEAT is a tremendously important environmental organization in western Massachusetts. I began volunteering with BEAT in 2008 as a stream crossing coordinator. Along with countless other volunteers I took to the rivers and streams of Berkshire County, surveying bridges and culverts for wildlife "passability". It was fun, engaging, and I felt like I was making a positive impact. Shortly thereafter I interned with BEAT, helping the organization with their Geographic Information System (GIS) projects. Later, after lots of hard work, I became the Program Manager at BEAT and part of their paid staff.

Presently (2014), BEAT is involved in a pipeline battle, finishing a wildlife tracking project, cleaning sections of the Housatonic River with the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA), publishing a newsletter, fielding questions on all manner of environmental matters, educating children about the environment and wildlife, and pushing to have culverts replaced for wildlife passability and sound infrastructure.

Overall, BEAT is a integral piece of the western Massachusetts landscape, working with you to protect the environment for wildlife.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a student at Berkshire Community College (BCC). I am majoring in Environmental Science. I became involved with B.E.A.T. during the spring semester of 2013 by taking an Environmental Advocacy class that Bruce Winn & Charlie Weinstein taught together at the college. I soon began finding ways to get involved with BEAT when I saw how committed Bruce was to Environmental Justice and Sustainable Land Management. While tagging along and trying to spread the word about B.E.A.T. in the community, Bruce and Jane Winn made me aware of a hotel that someone was trying to build dangerously close to, and in between, wetlands on Dan Fox Dr. in Pittsfield, MA. With B.E.A.T., I went and participated in site visits, attended Conservation Commission hearings on the matter, watched them help citizens of the community appeal the city's decision to the Department of Environmental Protection, and I saw the decision to let the hotel be built, not just in an environmentally sensitive area, but just up and across the street from a giant hotel (Patriot Suites) that lays dormant, DENIED! The "World" needs more organizations like this, we really do.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would expand, duplicate it in every state, and make it bigger...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I became associated with BEAT through the Keeping Track program which they sponsor. This important program trains citizen scientists to recognize tracks and signs of wildlife, and to interpert, record, and monitor these signs. This information is critical for knowing local biodiversity and it can be used for local conservation planning. Beat also sponsors programs to monitor stream crossings, for river clean ups, vernal pool certification, monitoring movement of animals at road crossings, and educating the community about local conservation issues. It amazes my how much BEAT is able to accomplish on a small budget and with a small staff.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Encourage more financial assistance for it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Berkshire Environmental Action Team...no doubt in my mind, the #1 non-profit - that supports and fights
for environmental justice...keeps our rivers clean...keeps people informed...and much more! I am on disability, so i am only able to do ...what i can do...so i donate my time and resources to Bruce and Jane whenever possible....acting as a cameraman on Berkshire Environmental Action TODAY-our T.V. show on PCTV and in the field during the Housatonic River cleanups...etc...there is more to do than can be done with existing resources! Please donate time/ money or whatever you can to help this worthy cause...Lets work together to help save the environment!!! David T.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not "change" anything...just try to help enlist more volunteers, workers ...get them the financial assistance they need to "GET IT DONE", and keep on doing it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) is an absolutely wonderful nonprofit serving our community and the environment with passion, commitment, and respect for different points of view. I have been involved with BEAT for the better part of 7 years as a volunteer, donor, and a community member with experience in the field. I have long been inspired by Jane Winn's organizational approach and persistence, as well as her willingness to speak truth to power no matter how many times she has to do so. She never fails to impress me with her astute research and preparedness in community meetings, particularly those relating to the Housatonic River clean up and ongoing negotiations with GE and the EPA. Her honesty and integrity are completely integrated with BEAT's mission, directives, and culture. This is truly a model organization committed to preserving the environment creatively and intelligently. BEAT's outreach and coverage are excellent. Our local environment would be far less clean and secure and the community less well informed had BEAT not been here working tirelessly on its behalf, year after year, no matter what the challenges.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change anything. I only regret not having more time of my own to work with Jane and BEAT.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a member of the local community, I like to know what's going on with local environmental issues, ranging from the cleanup of the PCBs in the Housatonic River to the protection of wildlife throughways. BEAT keeps me informed, and they also assure me that, even though I travel a lot for work and don't have time for much volunteer work, somebody is on the job. (We do donate, though.) They work extremely well with the network of other nonprofits in our community and are great community builders.

Knowing that BEAT exists and out there doing the job every single day gives me great comfort.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more money. They do an amazing amount with very little.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

There is always something new to learn from Jane and BEAT, whether on the river, in a vernal pool, tracking wildlife, improving culverts,or attending the monthly GreenDrinks discussions on native and invasive species, carbon fuels, melting sea-ice, wind and solar energy, biodiesel, hydro-fracking, and the Keystone XL pipeline. BEAT works collaboratively with the Housatonic Valley Association, churches, camps and others to bring us all closer to appreciating the environment and how to take care of it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Thank you for the great review and for all your help and especially for encouraging other people to volunteer! We are planning another presentation about the effects of climate change on the arctic - this time from a wildlife point of view. Thank you, again! -Jane

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been occasionally volunteering and attending presentations with BEAT for a couple years now. They are enthusiastic, hard working, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to work with. I became involved in monitoring turtle mortality via road kill with them a few years ago. This project helps the highway department know where potential problems are with animal crossings, and they use this knowledge to make roads safer for both drivers and animals crossing the road.

From river clean-ups to vernal pool identification to highway culvert monitoring, they truly put an all-out effort into improving our environment in the Berkshires.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 

Thank you for the great review, and for all your help! Our Connecting for Wildlife program is really gearing up and there will be more tracking opportunities in south county this winter. And thank you for checking out that culvert. It sounds like they have a good plan for replacing it... just need to raise the money to do so. Thank you, again! - Jane

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been volunteering with BEAT for 4 years and never cease to be amazed by the energy and enthusiasm that Jane and Bruce bring to to organization. From clean ups to environmental education, wildlife protection and more they work to improve and protect the Berkshire environment. It is a wonderful organization!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 

Thank you for the great review, and for all your help! Our Connecting for Wildlife program is really gearing up and there will be more tracking opportunities in south county this winter. Thank you, again! - Jane