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.
Entomologists at UMass Amherst report that some of this season’s first gypsy moth egg masses have begun to hatch, as observed on April 26 in Belchertown at a location off Route 202. Extension entomologist Tawny Simisky reports that a single egg mass can hold as many as 1,000 eggs. Gypsy moth is a non-native invasive insect in North America.
Entomologists at UMass Amherst report that some of the first gypsy moth egg masses to hatch in the state in 2017 have been observed on Wednesday, April 26 in Belchertown, Mass. at a single location off US-202. On April 27, egg hatch was also reported in Hingham, Mass.
Dorset sheep, the type that roam around the UMass Hadley Farm, are known to give birth to one, two or maybe three lambs at once. However, on April 7, one of the farm’s ewes delivered not three or four, but five healthy lambs!
An editorial supports land preservation in Pelham. Town and state officials comment as well as Paul Catanzaro, an assistant professor at UMass whose forest measurements students helped catalog trees, other plants and wildlife. (Gazette 2/27/17)
Some 20 people tried their hands at pruning grapes at a workshop at the University of Massachusetts Cold Spring Orchard Research & Education Center on Saturday morning. Participants carefully snipped and shaped vines that will produce the orchard’s wine grapes, led by Sonia Schloemann, fruit specialist at UMass Extension. (Gazette 2/25/17)
GREENFIELD — It’s taken a bit longer than originally projected, but the town has succeeded in its goal of reducing energy use by 20 percent. In fact, according to preliminary estimates, it has cut municipal energy consumption by 22 percent. Ben Weil, assistant professor of environmental conservation at UMass Amherst, worked with town officials to assess how buildings performed and made recommendations. (1/3/17 Recorder)
Although the emerald ash borer is killing ash trees around the state, it has done the most damage so far in Berkshire County, according to Tawny Simisky, entomology specialist with the UMass Extension program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (12/19/16 Berkshire Eagle )
On a quiet Friday afternoon in early December, two UMass Amherst professors, authors of the just-released booklet Supporting Communities to Become River-Smart, discussed their policy recommendations with a gathering of planners, state officials from Massachusetts and Vermont, community members and others. Celebrating the new publication at a location alongside the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls, site of significant flood damage during Hurricane Irene in 2011, seemed particularly appropriate.
Rivers and streams in New England will inevitably flood, and there are some low-cost steps that federal and state governments can take to help communities be better prepared. That’s the message from a recent UMass Amherst report.