Gov. Deval Patrick recently announced the release of $1.1 million in environmental investment for a community turf field to be located at Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) main campus. Patrick also approved funding for the restoration of Baker’s Pond in Kennedy Park in Lenox, a project that has involved BCC faculty and students.
“Funding these projects will positively impact the Berkshires and Berkshire Community College is so proud to be engaged in both,” said BCC President Ellen Kennedy.
The town of Lenox has partnered with BCC to assist with the project monitoring and implementation of the remediation of Baker’s Pond, an effort driven by Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, allowing for invaluable hands-on learning opportunities for students. BCC’s involvement has been spearheaded by Timothy Flanagan, professor of Environmental and Life Sciences, and Bruce Winn, assistant professor of Environmental and Life Sciences. The environmental cleanup is expected to begin in early December.
The turf field will serve as a community facility to be used by Berkshire County students, athletic teams and community organizations. The funding, part of $2.2 billion environmental and energy bond bill championed by Sen. Benjamin Downing, will mitigate previous unintentional damage to wetlands surrounding the athletic fields at BCC, while allowing for better drainage and the redirection of runoff to the vernal pools and wetlands.
On Nov. 12, the Pittsfield City Council approved $200,000 for the community turf field project at the request of Pittsfield Mayor Daniel Bianchi.
“We are truly grateful for the support of Gov. Patrick and the entire Berkshire Delegation. Senator Downing and Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier have been actively involved and engaged from the beginning. Additionally, the involvement of dedicated community members including Fran Marinaro, Gary Bianchi, Ed Robinson, and, most notably Mike MacDonald, our defacto leader, have been instrumental in driving this important community project. This effort is a testament to how much the community – all segments of the community – cares about our youth and their athletic pursuits,” said Kennedy.
Approximately $700,000 is needed to complete the turf project, which is slated to be completed in the spring. The remaining funds are being raised privately.