Busy Days in the Berkshires

      A Berkshire Teen Trail Crew headed out to Becket Land Trust Historic Quarry and Forest Trails this past week to chip away at an extensive grant funded maintenance project. The Recreational Trails Program grant-and-match funded project runs the gamut when it comes to trail work and includes a little bit (or a lot) of everything. Between side hilling, rock stair cases, water bars and check steps, the Berkshire Teen Trail Crews will play a large role in the collective efforts of the Greenagers crew and AMC's Professional Trail Crew.

     Meanwhile at Noble View, AMC's Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) partnered with the nation’s longest-running environmental charter school Common Ground. Common Ground is based out of New Haven, CT and was founded by teachers, environmentalists, concerned citizens and philanthropists with a mission to "cultivate habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practice among a diverse community of children, families, and adults."
     One of Common Ground's many goals is to help youth find connections to the local environment and impart key ecological knowledge that connects young people with the natural environment. A not so coincidental byproduct of this connection is the creation and fostering of young environmental stewards.
Several Common Ground students came out to Noble View to learn trail skills in one of this year's four week long programs offered by AMC's YOP. 

     The mission of the AMC's YOP pairs perfectly with the mission of the unique charter school. YOP's aim is to make the outdoors accessible and meaningful to urban youth. YOP operates as a resource center for youth agencies throughout the Northeast offering a well scaffolded program that is designed to work as a skill-share and assist youth-agency workers in growing their own knowledge of and confidence in outdoor use. All of this is done so that the youth agency members are able to independently lead their participants outdoors. 

     The Common Ground students were very eager to learn a new skill set and as the week came to a close they had several ideas as to how they could practically apply some of the rock work and drainage techniques introduced, back at school and even in their own backyards! The Common Ground students at Noble View were models of all the great things crew leaders hope for in crews and the Berkshire's staff certainly hopes for their return next season.