CHP Opens New Hiking Trail in Great Barrington
Posted: October 27, 2016
CHP, Community Partners, Expand Hiking Trails in Great Barrington
What do you get when you bring together Community Health Programs, the teen employees of Greenagers, the outdoor assets of Berkshire Natural Resources and the stunning outdoor space surrounding CHP’s Stockbridge Road location?
On Friday, Oct.7, leaders and friends of those organizations gathered to open a newly created 1.3-mile hiking and walking path, north of town, accessed at the north end of the CHP parking lot. Spearheaded by CHP, and helped by grant from Great Barrington, the new trail connects to the nearby Fountain Pond Trail to create a walk of about four scenic miles north of town.
CHP received a $10,000 Community Preservation grant for the two-year project, and hired Greenagers’ youth trail-building crews to cut and prepare the new path. Berkshire Natural Resources Council owns nearby land, and helped CHP to plan the project. The state Department of Conservation and Recreation provided access to its property, to allow for the trail construction, and the Field Pond Foundation donated $5,000 to map the project. Great Barrington Trails and Greenways has contributed a new kiosk.
“Collaborations are integral to almost everything we do here at CHP, and encourage our patients and families with children to explore the outdoors is an important part of our work,”said Lia Spiliotes, interim CEO of CHP. “This project brings together some excellent conservation and recreation groups in a unique partnership that encourages people to get outside.”
Tad Ames, executive director of Berkshire Natural Resources Council, said of the new trail, “Getting outdoors is a great thing for young families and we are happy to help bring this about.”
The new trail at 444 Stockbridge Road loops around the CHP property, and links to the DCR’s 3-mile loop between Berkshire South Community Center to Fountain Pond at the north, just across Route 7 from Monument Mountain State Reservation. Across Route 7 street from CHP is a BNRC recreational walking loop, the Housatonic Flats, with access to the Housatonic River and wetlands wildlife.
State Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, who provided support for the project as well, also attended the event and commended Mary Feuer, of CHP Family Services, for her diligent two-year effort to bring the project to life. A ribbon was cut, and the walking began.