Housatonic River Walk Launches 2010 Work Season on April 24 with Earth Day Cleanup
GREAT BARRINGTON — The Great Barrington Housatonic River Walk–a National Recreation Trail–will celebrate its annual Earth Day workday on Saturday, April 24, from 9 AM to 2 PM. The workday marks the project’s twenty-third year of clean-up and trail making activities along the Housatonic River.
This year’s work season includes a variety of restoration techniques for severely abused river locations—planting thousands of native plants propagated from seed collected locally, while ridding the riverbank of knotweed, bittersweet, garlic mustard, multiflora rose and other exotic-invasives. River Walk’s native plant propagation program, now in its eleventh year, produces the bulk of its inventory genetically native to Berkshire County. Plans for the season also include resurfacing of the half mile of trail, riverbottom cleanups, riverbank stabilization and bioengineering, and regular trail maintenance.
To help accomplish activities this year, River Walk received: $1175 from the Town of Great Barrington; $2500 from the Katherine L. W. and Winthrop M. Crane III Charitable Trust; and donations from local foundations and businesses, including Berkshire Corporation, Crystal Essence, and Windy Hill Farm.
On April 24, volunteers will meet at the W. E. B. Du Bois River Garden Park by the former Searles Middle School parking lot on River Street, near Bridge Street. Morning coffee and lunch will be provided. Tours will be given in the afternoon. Volunteers are invited to work on other days. Special workdays with other schools and groups may also be arranged. Service-learning education programs include student workdays, tours, and lectures about river ecology and the river’s rich historical heritage.
River Walk–a National Recreation Trail– is a public walking trail entering between Rite Aid and Pink Cloud on Main Street. An additional section follows the river adjacent to the former Searles Middle School and the Berkshire Corporation parking lot. River Walk easements are granted in appreciation of volunteer clean-up activities, including the removal of 400 tons of rubble and debris from various sites. To date, more than 2200 volunteers have worked to restore the riverbank to its native ecology and to produce ½ mile of public trail. River Walk easements are managed by the Great Barrington Land Conservancy.
For more information about River Walk events, visit www.gbriverwalk.org or contact Rachel Fletcher at 528-3391, or e-mail