PITTSFIELD >> Community volunteers and Miss Hall's School students have been working with the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) to perform fall maintenance on the environmental rain gardens along North Street and to prepare the gardens for the winter.
Twenty-one Miss Hall's School students — sophomores in the school's Horizons experiential and service-learning program Horizons — volunteered this past Thursday with the HVA and other community members from Pittsfield Beautiful to learn about the gardens' form and function, install new plantings, and winterize the garden beds.
Bagel's Too, Marketplace Cafe and the City of Pittsfield provided water support and Maynard Landscaping and Miss Hall's donated plants to the effort, according to the HVA Facebook page, on which the group posted "This was a true community effort!"
Nine rain gardens were installed in 2012 as part of a reconstruction of North Street, and they are maintained by the HVA. The sunken gardens are designed to collect surface storm water — as well as road salt, sand, trash, and other contaminants carried in the storm water — and filter pollutants from reaching the Housatonic River Watershed.
Contaminated storm water is considered a top pollutant for rivers and clean water sources.
Founded in 1941, the Housatonic Valley Association works to protect and restore the lands and waters of the Housatonic River Watershed, which spans parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.
Since 2012, the nonprofit has hosted a student intern from the Miss Hall's School Horizons program.
Horizons provides students with opportunities to volunteer and intern each week at local social service and cultural organizations, businesses, and professional offices. These young women volunteer more than 12,000 hours annually at more than 75 sites throughout Berkshire County.
To volunteer with Housatonic Valley Association: hvatoday.org or 413-394-9796