Extension in Western Massachusetts
About Western Massachusetts
The western region of Massachusetts is composed of Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The largest city in the region is Springfield, located in Hampden County, along the Interstate 91 corridor on the Connecticut River.
On August 2, members of the state’s Food Policy Council visited the UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield following a regular meeting of the Council held on the UMass Amherst campus. Agriculture Commissioner John Lebeaux, chair of the Council, Representative Daniel Donahue, 16th Worcester, and other state officials toured five project sites at the farm and heard from faculty, extension staff and graduate students on their work.
UMass Clean Energy Corps, a group of students working with Benjamin S. Weil, environmental conservation, produced a series of recommendations for energy savings at the Whately Elementary School, the largest user of energy in the town. (Recorder, 7/22/19)
A garden columnist says she consulted with Susan Scheufele, UMass Extension, about how to identify and deal with cross-striped cabbage worms and related pests that eat vegetable crops in local gardens. (The Berkshire Edge, 7/15/19)
Newspaper article discusses state of prominent historic sycamore tree on Route 7 in Great Barrington, Mass. Article quotes CAFE website on sycamore anthracnose and how it affects the tree. Article quotes Great Barrington's tree warden, Michael Peretti, an arboriculture graduate of UMass Amherst. (Berkshire Eagle, 6/29/19)
This June, nine new brightly-painted murals have begun creating a dynamic outdoor art gallery in downtown Springfield. One of the murals “Victory” was organized by UMass Extension Assistant professor Michael DiPasquale as a way to activate vacant and “leftover” spaces in the city. Professor DiPasquale has been working on similar initiatives in Springfield for almost 10 years as part of his research related to the revitalization of America’s “Legacy Cities”, the country’s once thriving manufacturing centers.
Students, staff, and faculty welcomed a new resident early on the morning of Tuesday, June 11. The newest addition at the 131-acre UMass Equine and Livestock Research and Education Farm in Hadley is a Hanoverian foal named "Stockbridge Sonnet UM" (lovingly nicknamed "Levi" as the barn name).
ReGreen President David V. Bloniarz, who is also project director for the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said the Forest Park Arboretum project in Springfield is well under way. “By October 2019, we will have labeled the first 300 trees,” Bloniarz said, adding that the project’s goal is to have 500 trees labeled by August 2020. (Republican, 5/28/19)
Six teams of UMass Amherst food science students, most of them seniors and food science majors, had their newly developed ice cream flavors tasted and judged by Maple Valley Creamery representatives and a panel of culinary professionals on May 1 at the Integrated Learning Center. The winning flavor, Vanilla Chai, will be produced by Maple Valley Creamery in Hadley and sold in local markets, branded with a UMass Amherst logo. The product development course is taught this year by Matthew Steffens, a UMass Amherst food science alumnus.