BEAT is a fantastic and very effective non-profit....I feel very lucky to have gotten to work with them over the years! Go BEAT!
BEAT is a highly effective environmental educator and advocate that couples a very small staff with a growing base of enthusiastic volunteers and makes a real difference to the quality of life in Western Massachusetts. One of our best examples of an energetic and dedicated area nonprofit, BEAT represents the interests of the citizens of our area and the natural amenities we love, often against corporate interests that would harm and exploit our environment for their own purposes. Its weekly newsletter provides information about environmental and conservation issues I often don’t see covered in other local media and its “boots on the ground” approach to training and environmental action ensures it a seat at the table when such issues are discussed. Berkshire County and the rest of Western Massachusetts are well served by its efforts.
I have worked with BEAT for several years through our work with 350Mass-Berkshires. BEAT has been instrumental in the fight against new fossil fuel infrastructure within the Berkshires. Their work to fight fossil fuel infrastructure that contribute to climate change while disturbing precious wildlife has brought a crucial and fresh perspective to the movement. The contributions of BEAT have added this new and exciting facet to local climate activism within the Berkshires and throughout the state. They have reminded all of us that nature can't pay the price for our thirst for energy. We are grateful!
BEAT is THE go to group for me in the Berkshires. They are integral to the movement and I don't know what we would do without them!
I've worked with BEAT for a number of years on habitat connectivity-- they really know their communities and have great passion for getting results!
Berkshire Environmental Action Team is a terrific organization. As a partner in the environmental field––I work for a national environmental nonprofit––I can say we were pleased to award BEAT with a Grassroots Leadership Award this year, 2015. BEAT has been incredible at educating their members and neighbors, mobilizing a broader swathe of advocates, stewarding the local environment through clean-ups and by watching regulations. What's truly incredible is the way BEAT, as a small organization, is able to work on so many issues -- speaking up about chemicals, their watershed, and clean and dirty energy sources -- while also spending so much time working with individuals.
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.
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.