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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.

Young Energy for an Older City

Students and faculty from UMass Amherst have become welcome partners in the work of effective planning for Massachusetts’ third largest city. Through collaboration between the UMass Amherst Design Center in Springfield, Massachusetts and that city’s Planning Department, students from the University twenty miles to the north have been actively creating opportunities for citizen engagement and innovation. 

Joseph Troll Turf Research Facility, South Deerfield, Massachusetts

If you stand atop Mount Sugarloaf in South Deerfield, Massachusetts and turn your eyes to the base of the mountain to the south, you could well imagine you are gazing upon a lush patchwork quilt in shades of green.  In fact, you would be observing the well-defined square plots that form research fields along the Connecticut River. Thanks to the ground-breaking turfgrass research conducted by University of Massachusetts professor Joseph Troll forty years ago, the facility on River Road in South Deerfield has evolved into one of the premier turf research centers in the Northeast.

UMass Amherst study shows ‘hydropeaking’ can reduce downstream river flows

Mar 31, 2015

AMHERST, Mass. – In the first-of-its-kind study of the environmental effects of hydropeaking, that is releasing water at hydropower dams to meet peak daily electricity demand, two University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers say their unexpected findings suggest that about 10 percent of released water may be permanently lost, making that water unavailable to downstream users and wildlife. Hydrogeologist Brian Yellen says, “The most interesting thing we found is something we weren’t looking for.

Expanding New England Winter Farmers’ Markets

It’s official: eating local vegetables all winter has become popular—and easy.

A four-year UMass Extension project has just wrapped up that aimed to support New England farmers as they expanded their vegetable production and sales into the winter months in response to the increasing public desire for year-round access to local food.  The project was supported by a grant from USDA’s Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education program (SARE).

‘No smoking gun’: Pipeline environmental impact report cite positives, negatives of route

Apr 22, 2015

A new, detailed report on the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline route through western Massachusetts points to its impact on protected open space dedicated to agriculture and conservation, and especially on Franklin County’s primary habitat for rare species habitat, wetlands wildlife habitat and communities of biodiversity. (4/22/15 The Recorder; 5/13/15 Hampshire Gazette)

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