Berkshire Environmental Action Team
Rating: 5 stars 33 reviews
Location: 29 Highland Ave Pittsfield MA 01201 USA
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.
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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.
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.
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