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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Education, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

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.

Community Stories

64 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

BEAT is an amazing organization dedicated to not only directly taking action on environmental issues, but also sharing their wealth of knowledge with local students. I am a high school science teacher and BEAT has volunteered multiple times in my classroom, teaching students about issues such as renewable energy, local water health, and invasive species. They are currently working, intensively, with a student who needed more credits to graduate. They have volunteered countless hours so she can gain an understanding of local environmental issues, and policy making regarding this topic. They have been a critical resource to my students.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was introduced to BEAT when I first moved to the Berkshires. It was recommended because of the calendar of events in the weekly newsletter. And while it's true that BEAT's calendar is the best place to find out about county wide activities related to the outdoors, I've leaved that the organization has so much more to offer. I enjoyed a recent BEAT sponsored talk about some of the wildlife in our area. The event drew a packed auditorium crowd. I rely on the newsletter and occasional email alerts for the most important news related to our community and environment. And, I'm lucky to work alongside BEAT staff on community events and issues related to climate change. Their extensive knowledge and boundless energy is inspiring and really makes a difference in our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about BEAT while exploring options for my graduate school capstone project. Their proposal, the development of a text guide and outreach presentation for the removal of the invasive plant, Hardy Kiwi, suited my interests perfectly. Despite hesitations about the challenges of working cooperatively on a project mostly remotely, as I live nearly two hours from their main office, I was grateful when we all agreed to collaborate. In retrospect, I needn't have worried at all! My interactions with BEAT exceed my expectations in every way. As I'm now reaching the completion of a graduate program that required numerous internships and community collaborations, I'm confident in saying my experience with BEAT was the best of those. It was everything an internship should be. They were flexible with our dynamic schedule. They respected our strengths, but gave meaningful feedback and support. They gave us time to work independently, but maintained regular communication. What BEAT has accomplished and continues to strive to achieve with such a small staff, is inspiring. It's been a pleasure to have worked with them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We cannot speak too highly of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and its head, Jane Winn. There is no escaping the positive presence and influence BEAT has and the high regard in which it is held in the Berkshires, thanks to the seemingly inexhaustible energy of its founder, Jane Winn, and BEAT’s protean involvement in every aspect of the environment from protecting vernal pools to combating new and hazardous natural gas pipelines and unremediated industrial pollution. All the people of the Berkshires look to BEAT to keep them informed and to defend their interests as guardians of the earth and Mother Nature. No other environmental organization in the Berkshires is more in the thick of things, more willing to take on the challenges and mount the battles we must engage in as a community to move in the direction of green renewable energy and to preserve our woodlands and wilderness. As a source of information and as a network hub, BEAT is unsurpassed. In fact, it is unique. The BEAT News connects the community with every local event relating to the environment, from meetings of government commissions and regulatory bodies, to woodland hiking and birdwatching opportunities. Jane Winn is probably more informed about the broad swath of environmental issues and concerns local, statewide, as well as national, than any single individual in the Berkshires. And she spreads her knowledge far and wide, by making it a point to personally attend as many public meetings as possible where her input can help determine the most effective response to the problem at hand; and to attend hearings and comment on critical issues before the key local, state, and Federal oversight agencies. What is also remarkable about BEAT is that it coalesces seamlessly with other environmental organizations in Western Massachusetts and elsewhere and works alongside those groups in a synergy that provides a united front of extraordinary effectiveness. It is no exaggeration to say that BEAT is an indispensable part of the Berkshires. If it didn’t exist, we would have to invent it.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a support of BEAT since I moved here full time in 2011. As a long time environmentalist and one of the coordinators of 350Mass-Berkshires, I have admired their work and collaboration with other local and state wide organizations. Their weekly newsletter is very informative and inclusive of all Western Mass related environmental events. I especially admire their fight against new fossil fuel infrastructure within the Berkshires. especially the CT pipeline which could evolve into a test case for amending FERC
They are a true example of acting locally and thinking globally and I am proud to be a member as well as a partner organization

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

As one of the coordinators of 350Ma-Berkshires I appreciate the tireless work that BEAT does to enhance and protect the environment in Berkshire County. They are active members in our organization and attend dozens of town meetings all year long to provide technical assistance on issues related to environmental regulations. BEAT staff are extremely knowledgeable on local, state, and federal regulations that effect our environment and often provide fact based testimony at important meetings and hearings.

Also, their weekly newsletter provides a great deal of information, including articles, a calendar of upcoming events, public notices, and an environmental index. They enable people who are concerned about our local environment to learn what is going on in the county.

Irmgard S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over many years now BEAT has been a tremendous advocate for our Berkshire communities. With amazing energy and accurate and timely information, BEAT has been educating the public on environmental issues and has been instrumental in changing public opinion.
BEAT has been a fighter for many environmental causes, such as clean water, protection of wildlife and public health. With her small but competent and dedicated staff, Jane Winn, BEAT’s Director has been tireless in pushing for environmentally sound solutions. Her efforts have greatly contributed to stop the construction of the NED pipeline system. I hope that this organization will be around to support us for a long time.

Susan508

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BEAT is an amazing organization. With a very small staff they have accomplished very large tasks. An example of this was being instrumental in building state wide coalitions and grass route networks of citizens that have so far successfully fought off the NE Direct gas pipeline that was slated to cross MA.
Within Berkshire County they have educated and inspired thousands to get involved in being stewards of our cherished Berkshire Environment. I have had experience with many different non-profits and know of none that have been so good at getting people involved and excited about environmental direct action stewardship. Their enthusiasm is infectious, their knowledge is priceless.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

NO ONE does more for the natural and human habitat of Western Massachusetts than the good people at BEAT. Tireless and tenacious, BEAT never turns down a cause and they fight to the bitter end. BEAT has stood against GE, the EPA, Kinder Morgan, and a variety of town halls. With a budget of pennies, they've battled billions - and won!

We all benefit from BEAT's work, mostly in invisible ways. The Housatonic is cleaner, our air clearer, our roadsides prettier, and our wildlife more abundant because of BEAT's passion.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BEAT is a wonderful organization and Jane Winn herself is truly a wonder. She is extraordinarily well informed, indefatigable and passionate about the environment and all living things that live in it. She has proven herself to be an exceptional teacher, listener, organizer and leader in all that she does. I feel fortunate that Jane and the talented BEAT team exists in my community and is actively and effectively committed to the stewardship of our beautiful Berkshires. A big thankyouthankyouthankyou back at you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) has been a force dedicated to the advocacy and well-being of the ecological systems of Berkshire county and, arguably more importantly, how the general public regards and participates in these actions. Whether it be a relatively small-scale urban tree watering schedule or a much more involved rive clean-up project, BEAT has directed the helm to inform the public about ecological issues within their community and engaged the larger audience into action towards lasting sustainable goals. Their accessibility to the general public has been a cornerstone to their overall mission: community-based sustainability.