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Registration is open for agricultural business training courses

 

This winter, the MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources will offer two courses:

“Exploring the Small Farm Dream ”

Green field with cows

5-session course using curriculum and workbook developed by the New England Small Farm Institute.  For those who are thinking about or in the planning stages of a starting their own farm, including those who are expanding a hobby to an income-generating scale.  This course offers guidance and resources to help make informed decisions about what’s involved with owning your own farm so you can decide whether to take the plunge – and how to proceed in the first stages.

“Growing Your Farm Business Planning Course”

A course to help established farmers develop a business plan and financial projections for their farm business. This course covers topics including resource assessment, marketing strategy, financial management, risk management, quality of life, and goal setting. The course is taught by professional business planners with years of experience working with Massachusetts farms and guest speakers on current topics such as succession planning and online marketing. Enrollment is open to farmers who have been operating a farm business in Massachusetts for at least the two prior years.

Full course descriptions, course schedules, and applications are available online at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/agricultural-business-training-program-abtp

 

Drought Conditions Worsen in CT River Valley

On Tuesday, August 9th, MA Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card escalated the Connecticut River Valley to a Level 3-Critical Drought.

View water conservation tips, continue to follow any local city or town conservation restrictions, and monitor the drought status at: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/drought-status.

Massachusetts Climate Change Assessment: Project introduction and statewide climate impacts

Register for one of four climate conversations to join a statewide conversation on climate change impacts – such as extreme heat and flooding – affecting you, your families, and your community. The MA Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs is hosting these conversations to inform the 2022 Massachusetts Climate Change Assessment. Your feedback will be used to inform how the state prioritizes actions to address these challenges as part of the upcoming 2022 State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan (for more information and to view the 2018 Plan, visit: https://resilientma.org/home.html)

The 4 upcoming conversation sessions are scheduled for

  • 3/1/22 – 11:30 a.m.
  • 3/3/22 – 1:00 p.m.
  • 3/8/22 – 11:30 a.m.
  • 3/9/22 – 6:00  p.m.

Register for any of the four choices at: https://bit.ly/3JmIu2S

View the flyer: English
View the flyer: Spanish

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:

Fluvial Geomorphology in Action! Connecting Point episode highlights the habitat restoration and flood resiliency project on the North River in Colrain.

The FRCOG’s 2014 Fluvial Geomorphic and Habitat Assessment of the North River in Colrain, funded by a grant from the MassDEP’s 604b Program, has led to the construction of a river restoration and flood resiliency project that is highlighted in this September 10, 2020, episode of Connecting Point.  The video is a great chance to see fluvial geomorphology in action.  We are happy to see the preliminary design funded through the MassDEP grant being implemented.
For further information please contact Kimberly Noake MacPhee at KMacPhee@frcog.org.

Millers River Watershed in Critical Drought Condition

Due to five months of below-normal rainfall, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides declared a Level 3 – Critical Drought in the Southeast Region of the Commonwealth and in the Millers and Charles River watersheds. The other six regions across the state — the Western, Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast, Cape Cod, and Islands regions— remain at a Level 2 – Significant Drought.

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

FRCOG’s Regional Pollinator Habitat Corridor Project Begins & National Pollinator Week is June 22-28!

The FRCOG will officially begin work on a Regional Pollinator Habitat Corridor Project during National Pollinator Week which is June 22-28, 2020.
Eight Franklin County Towns will participate in the Regional Pollinator Habitat Corridor Action Plan. Bernardston, Conway, Greenfield, Heath, Montague, Orange, Shelburne, and Wendell will work with the FRCOG to develop the plan.

Please see the flyer below for more information
Regional Pollinator Habitat Corridor Project and National Pollinator Week Flyer

For further information please contact Land Use and Natural Resources Planning Program Manager, Kimberly MacPhee at KMacPhee@frcog.org.

Buckland Green Streets Project Information

Buckland Green Streets is a project initiated by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) with funding from a MassDEP 604b grant to assess the potential for Green Infrastructure (GI) stormwater management in Shelburne Falls on the Buckland side.  The goals of the project are to improve water quality in the Deerfield River, to help the village and surrounding watershed become more resilient to increasingly frequent and intense precipitation, and to mitigate the flood hazards resulting from heavy rain events. FRCOG staff worked with the Town Highway and Wastewater Superintendents to develop a stormwater management concept for Crittenden Hill Road where GI can be implemented in conjunction with planned municipal road work currently needed to repair the road and address erosion hazards that threaten residential properties and steep slopes flanking the road.  The concept proposes to retrofit and utilize an abandoned water tank and implement a new bioretention basin to capture and clean large volumes of stormwater before it enters the storm sewer and outlets to the Deerfield River. This concept design will be developed to 25% with cost estimates by a Professional Engineer.  FRCOG will also develop a guide for the Town to continue to integrate GI in its future transportation projects, including an assessment method and links to design and funding sources that will serve as a resource for other towns.

For more information please check out the presentation below, or contact Helena Farrell, Land Use and Natural Resources Planner, at HFarrell@frcog.org or 413-774-3167 ext. 134.

Buckland Green Streets Presentation

Funding Municipal Culvert Replacements – FREE Forum

Many culverts and bridges are aging, undersized and in need of repair or replacement. Replacing them with structures that meet the current design standards can lead to safer, lower maintenance and more storm resilient roadways. However, securing funds to pay the upfront costs for these upgrades is a challenge for many municipalities. This forum will discuss some of the funding programs that can be used to help implement replacements and upgrades of culverts and small bridges.

When: Wednesday, October 30, 2019 (2:00 – 4:00 PM)

Where: Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG)

1st Floor Meeting Room

Olver Transit Center, 12 Olive Street

Greenfield, MA 01301

Please contact Brian at (617) 626‑1541 or brian.kelder@mass.gov to RSVP

Select the link below for more information.

Culvert Funding Flyer