A Note from Patrick White/July 7, 2023
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Making Waves

This past Monday, the world experienced the hottest day in at least 125,000 years. The record only lasted a day, and then was surpassed on Tuesday.

Extreme weather is now part of the Berkshire experience, including our large outdoor spaces. Thunder and lightening are going to occur with increasing frequency. I encourage you, and all of our partners who provide programming, to be mindful of the risks that severe weather poses and to err on the side of caution when events coincide with severe weather. Finally, don't take any chances. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of heatstroke listed below, please call 911 immediately.

Patrick White


Two years ago, the town joined Pittsfield, New Marlborough, and Lenox and successfully applied for a regional grant from the Commonwealth's Municipal Vulnerabilities Preparedness program to assess all of the Town's culverts. In case you don't know, a culvert is the infrastructure that allows streams to cross under roads.

We have completed the assessment of all public and many private stream crossings in Town, and prioritized the ones that need to be improved. Culverts need attention when they are undersized (with anticipation for heavier water flow due to more severe storms) or when they were originally designed in a way that impedes access to the stream by wildlife. That's why a partner in this effort was Trout Unlimited: trout need to be able to swim upstream to lay their eggs, as just one example.

You can access the entire report on Stockbridge culverts here. It details the status of every culvert. Check out the culverts in your neighborhood! Fun, fun, fun!

I had a chance to spend a day in the field and periodically attend some of the meetings for the duration of this project. I want to thank the amazing efforts of those who lead this effort: Courteny Morehouse of Berkshire Regional Planning, Alison Dixon of Stockbridge's Housatonic Valley Association, Will Conklin, Elia DelMolino and the entire team at Greenagers who provided the teams that did most of the on-site culvert evaluations, Gwen Miller, the Lenox Planner who was one of the leads in applying for the grant, and of course Michael Canales and Hugh Page, who found the time to answer every question and provided much needed insight into local conditions.

Efforts like these provided the critical information a town needs to adequately and accurately plan for its long-term infrastructure requirements and prioritize our investments. A huge thank you to all who made this happen.

Alison Dixon and the good folks from Greenagers out in the field assessing a Stockbridge culvert.

School Enrollment Expected to Decline Once Again

Please Attend Our Housing Community Convening at 6pm on July 17

According to Peter Dillon, our school superintendent, the number of Stockbridge students will drop from 114 this past school year to 106-108 in the coming year. The numbers are certified on October 1, so this is just an estimate. We will be discussing declining enrollment and many other issues at our upcoming Community Convening on July 17 at 6pm at Town Offices. Please, attend if you can. We need as many voices as possible as we conduct these planning exercises.

Speaking of Schools...

Upcoming Town Meeting on Districts Merger

This fall, the eight towns of Berkshire Hills and South Berkshire Regional School Districts will vote on a proposed merger of the districts. The rationale for this merger is declining enrollment, controlling costs, and ensuring the best outcome as we together have fewer students in our schools. Once the date is announced, I will let you know!

Of Interest... Perhaps!

Celebrate the Milkweed!

Milkweed is the only food for Monarch butterflies. You can find it in bloom at Gould Meadows and really all over town, including my back yard. It's easy to plant: just take the mature seed pods this fall and disburse the individual seeds contained in the pods. Nature takes care of the rest!

Stockbridge Library Used Book Sale: Today-Sunday, July 7-9.

Stop by, say hi to friends, and get a great deal on a book to round out your library!

Know Someone Who Might Host an International Student?

The Berkshire Waldorf High School, currently on Pine Street and planning to move into the Stockbridge Old Town Hall once renovations are complete, seeks a family to provide housing for a female international student for next year, September 1, 2023 - June 15, 2024. She is entering her senior year, comes from India, and has received a full scholarship from the High School. The family can afford $200 per month to help support room and board. If you are interested, or if you know a local family that may be able to help, please give me a call at 413-441-5231 or email business@berkshirewaldorf.com.

Camp Mah-Kee-Nac in Season

For nearly a hundred years, Camp Mah-Kee-Nac has been providing the quintessential summer experience to campers visiting the Berkshires. A good friend who is well into his 90s first visited the Berkshires as a pre-war (World War II) camper. It's one of the many ways folks come to — and end up staying in — our little town!

Bowl Sunset

I never tire of taking this photograph of the sun setting in the west beyond the Bowl and Yokun Ridge.

Last Thoughts: White Pines Community Meeting

It was fun and an honor to be invited to participate in the White Pines community meeting on July 2. It was great to see what a vibrant neighborhood this is, and to have a chance to hear of the needs and concerns of neighbors. Thanks to Toby, Tony, Fred and the entire board for the invitation.

One of the many ways we build community is just to talk to each other. A good lesson to remember as we figure out how to build consensus for a wide range of issues going forward.

Patrick White

Just so it's said...

This email represents my personal thoughts. It's not from the Town of Stockbridge, it's from Patrick White. It isn't an "official" communication!

Feel free to forward this email and let me know if you like it, or not. You can also sign up to receive it at: www.patrickwhitestockbridge.com

Patrick White
81 Hawthorne Street
Stockbridge, MA

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