Still Going Strong

Michelle Foley's Contribution to the Art ShowYes, Covid has slowed down the people working on Cooler Communities in 7 Berkshire and Pioneer Valley communities – but it’s not stopped them! Have a look at the first virtual Cooler Communities event, set up in partnership with Berkshire Museum and the team organizing the yearly Berkshire Earth Expo.

Close to 30 students participated both in an extraordinary art show as well as other projects, presented in podcasts, from research on the anti-fungal properties of local honey to songs composed in honor of the earth and those protecting her. Other students demonstrated hands-on activities that reduce waste and plastic use – great things to do while at home due to COVID.

For this virtual and regional event, we awarded small grants to the individual projects, rather than one large grant to a specific district. Some of the students were homeschooled, some came from private and others from public schools.

Over 600 people visited the pages related to the event, many of these going to the art show.

And as far as the actions related to students’ work is concerned – we worked with MassEnergize on this platform to which we invited visitors to the Expo to take or pledge action. This aspect of our program still needs improvement, and you can help by visiting the page and adding your own actions. Start here!

Earth Day Ecochallenge

We hope that you are healthy and able to navigate these very trying times surrounded by care and support.

Five towns had scheduled Cooler Communities events or projects for this spring: Springfield, Hadley, Northampton, West-Springfield and Pittsfield in the Berkshires. A lot of wonderful work went into these projects already, and much of it done by student leaders. All events will be re-scheduled for the fall or next spring.

While we are staying safe and at a physical distance from others, we also want to honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this April. Our team has joined the Ecochallenge. We are pledging and taking action, along with thousands of people across the country, to help and heal the earth. From saving water to advocating for climate legislation, from planting healthy gardens to installing energy-saving appliances, you can choose from existing actions or create your own. You can join us here and invite your friends and family as well.