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Public Review of the Draft Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership Recreation Map and Inventory

Through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation for the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership area, the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) and the Franklin Region Council of Governments (FRCOG) are developing an inventory and online map of the recreational assets in the 21-town partnership area. At this time, BRPC and FRCOG are looking for feedback on the draft inventory and map, which are available in the following links.

Map of MTWP Recreation Inventory: https://berkshire.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=44be5855f1614d3ea3d076fbbd4caf9d

Berkshire County Recreation Inventory (northern portion of county): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aAeRJZbz9K7UYP9rIe2gV5667DlIAXNx/view?usp=sharing

Franklin County Recreation Inventory (western portion of county): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lGpcbxD9gBzIQPBQaUM3CbtWE-dULlqI/view?usp=sharing

Please give us your comments and corrections by May 31st to:

Franklin County:
Beth Giannini, Franklin Region Council of Governments
giannini@frcog.org
413-774-3167×125

 

MA Drought Alert

Please be aware that Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides declared a Level 1-Mild Drought in all seven regions of the Commonwealth. Please see  MA Drought Alert – December 2020 for information on the current drought conditions and how communities can mitigate and prepare for long-term drought impacts.

For more information on the current drought conditions, and technical guidance regarding drought management actions, please visit www.mass.gov/ma-drought-management.

 

 

COVID-19 Data and Updates

For an archive of all the emails sent by the state on re-opening, click here
For a Franklin County data dashboard from the Public Health Institute of Western MA, click here.
For the state’s COVID data page, click here.
For the latest situation reports from the MA COVID Command Center, click here.
For the COG’s COVID Municipal Resources Page click here.
For the COG’s Board of Health COVID Resources Page click here.
For local public health COVID case management contacts (public health nurses), click here. 
For the Region 1 Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition, click here.
For resources and guidance for businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, and job seekers, click here.

Click here for testing resources

 

 

To read the FRCOG’s Municipal Leader COVID-19 updates:

Northfield Awarded Complete Street Funding

Congratulations to the Town of Northfield for receiving a MassDOT Complete Streets Construction Funding award. The $372,620 grant will be used to construct nine mobility and safety improvement projects in Northfield. The FRCOG Transportation Planning staff worked closely with the Town on their Complete Streets applications and we are happy to announce this award for improvements on Moody Street, Highland Avenue, Winchester Road, Gulf Road, and Mt. Hermon Station Road, along with crosswalk upgrades on side streets in the town center and installation of Franklin County Bikeway signs.

The Moody Street and Highland Avenue intersection will be reconfigured to improve safety and pedestrian mobility as part of the Complete Street Program funding award.

 

Draft East-West Passenger Rail Study Released in advance of Final Online Public Meeting on October 22, 2020, from 6-7:30 p.m.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has released the Draft Report for the East-West Passenger Rail Study and is hosting the final public meeting online on Thursday, October 22, 2020, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be hosted online on zoom and the link to the meeting can be found on the MassDOT’s website.  The meeting agenda includes a presentation of the analysis of the final three alternatives, draft recommendations, next steps, and feedback on the Draft Final Report.

The Draft Report is available online through this link East-West Passenger Rail Study Report.  Comments on the Final Report will be accepted at the public meeting on October 22nd, and also may be submitted online through the East-West Study comment form by Thursday, November 19th, 2020.

The meeting will be recorded and posted online for those who cannot attend.  For more information, please visit the study website:

MassDOT East-West Rail Meeting Flyer 10-22-20

For accommodation or language assistance, please contact MassDOT’s Office of Diversity and Civil Rights by phone (857-368-8580), fax (857-368-0602), TTD/TTY (857-368-0603), or by email MASSDOT.CivilRights@dot.state.ma.us.

2020 Census Events

Everyone in Franklin County needs to be counted in the 2020 Census by the end of September 2020!

To help complete the 2020 Census, check out one of these upcoming Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) Center events in Franklin County see the list below by date or by town. For more information about these MQA events, contact US Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Elaine Arsenault at elaine.m.arsenault@2020census.gov.

BY DATE:

Tue, September 1, 2020, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm at The Recover Project, 68 Federal St, Greenfield

Wed. September 2, 2020, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Rowe Town Hall, 321 Zoar Rd, Rowe

Thur. September 3, 2020, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Just Roots, 107 Main Street, Greenfield

Wed. September 9, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Center for Self-Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Thur. September 10, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Fri. September 11, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Sat. September 12, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Wed. September 16, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at Gill/Montague Senior Center, 62 5th St, Turners Falls

Fri. September 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Sat. September 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sun. September 20, 2020, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Good Neighbors Program, 9 Morse Village Rd, Wendell

Wed. September 23, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at Center for Self Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Wed. September 23, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Thur. September 24, 2020, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Fri. September 25, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Fri. September 25, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Sat. September 26, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

 

BY TOWN:

ASHFIELD

Fri. September 11, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Fri. September 25, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

CHARLEMONT

Fri. September 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Fri. September 25, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

GREENFIELD

Tue, September 1, 2020, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm at The Recover Project, 68 Federal St, Greenfield

Thur. September 3, 2020, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Just Roots, 107 Main Street, Greenfield

Sat. September 12, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sat. September 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Wed. September 23, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sat. September 26, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

ORANGE

Thur. September 10, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Thur. September 24, 2020, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

ROWE

Wed. September 2, 2020, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Rowe Town Hall, 321 Zoar Rd, Rowe

SHELBURNE FALLS

Wed. September 9, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Center for Self-Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Wed. September 23, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at Center for Self Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

TURNERS FALLS

Wed. September 16, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at Gill/Montague Senior Center, 62 5th St, Turners Falls

WENDELL

Sun. September 20, 2020, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Good Neighbors Program, 9 Morse Village Rd, Wendell

 

Help spread this message in your community that the US Census is safe, easy and important. Click here for information about the 2020 Census and graphics and materials that can be shared.

West Nile Virus and EEE are back! Prevent Mosquito Bites!

Mosquitoes can spread diseases that make you sick. In Massachusetts, mosquitoes can give you eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus or West Nile virus (WNV). EEE can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death in any age group. EEE does not occur every year, but based on mosquito sampling, a high risk of occurrence of human cases currently exists.

Outbreaks of EEE usually occur in Massachusetts every 10-20 years. These outbreaks will typically last two to three years. The most recent outbreak of EEE in Massachusetts began in 2019 and included twelve cases with six fatalities. The first EEE positive mosquito sample within the State this season was detected in Orange on 7/2/20 and Wendell 7/6/20. Risk levels remain elevated through to frost.

The best way to avoid both of these illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites.

You can be bitten at any time. Most mosquitoes are active from just before dusk, through the night until dawn.

There are steps that you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, and the illnesses they can cause.

Protect yourself from illness by doing simple things:

  • Use insect repellents any time you are outdoors
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing
  • Schedule outdoor activities to avoid the hours from dusk to dawn during peak mosquito season
  • Repair damaged window and door screens
  • Remove standing water from the areas around your home

See a video from DPH on EEE here: https://youtu.be/VekccoVW6aQ

For more information, including current maps of risk levels and findings of EEE and WNV in Massachusetts see https://www.mass.gov/mosquitoes-and-ticks or contact Regional Public Health Nurse Lisa White for more information at 413-665-1400 x 114.

 

FRCOG Racial Justice Work

The murder of George Floyd and resulting international protests highlight again the dire consequences of systemic racism and inequity in our society. We all must proactively work to right centuries of wrong.

At the FRCOG, we are already involved in projects to improve racial equity. The Communities that Care Coalition, staffed by our Partnership for Youth, has a 5-year grant to address racial justice in our county’s school districts. Welcoming and Belonging Franklin County, in which we participate with the Franklin County Community Development Corporation and Greenfield Community College, among others, has received a grant to address racial equity and inclusion in our workplaces and community. The FRCOG’s research conducted to produce last year’s Community Health Needs Assessment identified troubling health disparities for people of color in our county. These inequities must be considered in all local and regional planning efforts moving forward. The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Pan Flu Planning Subcommittee has acknowledged systemic racism as a public health issue, and has recognized that domestic terrorism inflicted upon black and brown people is a Homeland Security issue. The FRCOG also works closely with our county’s first responders, and we will collaborate with them to ensure greater racial equity in our region.

Public Comment Period for Draft Amendment to the 2020 TIP Highway Project List

The Franklin County Transportation Planning Organization will open a 21-day public review and comment period on Draft Amendment #1 to the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program. Comments on the Draft will be accepted from Monday, March 30, until Monday, April 20, 2020. The Draft document is available for review at the links below or by calling (413) 774-3167 x 139 to request copies.  Comments should be submitted in writing to lscarbrough@frcog.org or to Franklin regional Council of Governments, 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield MA 01301.

The Draft Amendment and a summary are available for review at the following links:

2020 Franklin TIP Highway Project List Amendment 1 DRAFT
2020 Franklin TIP Amendment 1 Summary