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Our Opinion

Our Opinion: As Greylock Glen outdoor center starts to become real, this smart development is worth celebrating

On Tuesday, the governor and lieutenant governor visited Adams to see the progress on the construction of the Greylock Glen outdoor center. Now, perhaps, others can start to truly see the full potential in this lush landscape that a handful of hard-working and big-dreaming regional leaders have seen for a long time.

The $9 million project, funded by state and federal grants as well as $1 million worth of skin in the game from the town itself, will take more than a year to complete. This chapter will be a relatively short one, though, in the full history of efforts to develop the Glen, which includes a laundry list of past proposals that weren’t nearly as fitting as the one we’re finally seeing come to fruition now.

Going back more than a half-century, there were pitches for a scenic tramway, golf courses, condos and a casino. It’s safe to say that none of those ideas that fell by the wayside over the decades truly appreciated what this pristine parcel sitting in the shadow of Mount Greylock has to offer — namely its natural beauty the opportunity to bring more activity and attention to our region in a sustainable manner that highlights all that this emerald asset already has to offer.

After the town of Adams took over the land in 2004, it aimed for a simpler development plan that recognized the glen’s potential as an already existing centerpiece to attract visitors and rev up the regional economy. Thus, the plan for the outdoor center was born, balancing community development with conservation, and revitalization with highlighting what already makes our Berkshire backyard so very vital.

It’s great to see the literal foundation of this project come to life as the outdoor center begins to take shape. It’s also fitting that the governor was joined Tuesday by local and regional leaders who have dedicated years of public service to laying the groundwork for that foundation — from Adams officials who steadily nurtured the plans to members of the Berkshire delegation who helped secure the necessary funding. The care and sweat equity invested by all those folks and other longtime project boosters stands to reap dividends beyond the outdoor center, which we hope to see develop into a green jewel in the crown of Berkshire tourism. It also demonstrates more broadly that communities hungry for growth and renewal can pursue it on their own terms in a way that values sustainability, garners investment and preserves our uniquely sublime share of the great outdoors for all to enjoy.

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