TAKE THE HIGH ROAD at the Stockbridge Land Trust Annual Meeting

Learn about the work of the Stockbridge Land Trust at its annual meeting on Saturday, September 29th, at 10 a.m. The meeting will take place at the Chestnut Preserve on Route 7, south of the town center. There is ample parking at the site and there will be light refreshments. (Rain date: Sept. 30th, 10 a.m., Chestnut Preserve.)

TAKE THE HIGH ROAD is the meeting's main topic. Jenny Hansell, president of Berkshire Natural Resources Council, will speak about BNRC's ambitious program to create a "High Road" – a hiking path that will traverse Berkshire County. The mission of BNRC is the same as that of the Land Trust, but its geographic scope is broader: the whole of the Berkshires.

Since its founding in 1987, the Stockbridge Land Trust has worked to preserve Stockbridge's open spaces, forests, farmlands, wetlands, waterways, and other natural resources. Learn about the properties the Land Trust protects by visiting its website –

Laurel Hill Association Hosts “Hello, Again” Party at Taggart House

Over 100 guests attend celebration of Stockbridge

Laurel Hill Association had the pleasure of hosting “Hello, Again,” a festive event on September 15, 2018. The party provided a way for LHA to thank the community for its support of the organization and to share news of future initiatives. Over 100 attended the event, which was held at Taggart House on Main Street.

The co-chairs of the event were Phil Deely and Julie Edmonds, who joined George and Caitlin Manley and LHA President Shelby Marshall in hosting the event.

Laurel Hill Association would like to thank The Red Lion Inn, Nejaime's, Berkshire Distilleries, and especially Taggart House owners George and Caitlin Manley for their generous support of the event.

Help write captions! Fill in the blanks by emailing Patrick at treasurer [at] Please reference the number of the uncaptioned photo.

Taggart House 1Maria Carr greets guests Taggart House 2Marilou Hyson
Taggart House 33 Taggart House 55
Taggart House 6Ed Lane conversing with Caitlin Manley Taggart House 88
Taggart House 10Julie Edmonds Taggart House 13Maria Carr with Sue and Gary Gulbranson
Taggart House 1212 Taggart House 42Hilary Deely and Judy Wilkinson
Taggart House 19Caitlin Manley and Sarah Blexrud Taggart House 20Eugene Talbot (former LHA President) and Shirley Talbot with Shelby Marshall
Taggart House 2121 Taggart House 22George Manley looking dapper as always
Taggart House 23Phil Deely tells it like it is, flanked by Julie Edmonds and Shelby Marshall Taggart House 24Becky Cushing, Chuck Reich, Carol Hill Albert and Michael Wilcox
Taggart House 27Christine Rasmussen with Patrick White in background Taggart House 2828
Taggart House 26Christine (Pigott) Martin (l), Debbie Wiswesser and others Taggart House 3737
Taggart House 3838 Taggart House 41George Manley and Shelby Marshall sit in!
Taggart House 52Shelby Marshall and Chris Ferrero Taggart House 49Eugene Talbot and Shirley Talbot
Taggart House 4343 Taggart House 4444
Taggart House 45Laura Dubester between Jonathan and Ingrid Raab Taggart House 46Phil Deely
Taggart House 47Keith and Marie Raftery Taggart House 48George and Caitlin Manley
Taggart House 29Hilary Deely, Karen Marshall and others Taggart House 5353
Nancy Fitzpatrick entering Oregon.

Nancy Fitzpatrick to Speak at Laurel Hill Day August 4

"From Boston to Oregon, My Walk Across America." That's the theme of this year's Laurel Hill Day talk by featured speaker Nancy Fitzpatrick, to be held August 4 at 2:00 pm at the Rostrum in the center of Laurel Hill Park.

Fitzpatrick, a resident of Stockbridge for 60 years, walked from Boston, Massachusetts to Newport, Oregon over the course of several trips between February 2011 and October 2016. How many miles did she walk? How many pairs of shoes did she wear out? What logistics and tactics were required? What was it like walking through Gary, Indiana and the south side of Chicago? Any grizzly sightings in Yellowstone? Was it scary? Was it fun?

What is America like in the small towns between the coasts? How does our town fit into the whole scheme of things? Fitzpatrick will tell you all this in one short talk on August 4, 2018!

Fitzpatrick moved to Stockbridge with her family in 1957. She graduated from Smith College and served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela. She worked in her family's businesses, principally The Red Lion Inn, until retiring in June 2017. She has been involved with many Berkshire organizations, including Chesterwood, the Norman Rockwell Museum, IS183, Tanglewood, the Creative Economy Council, and MASS MoCA.

For over 160 years, Laurel Hill Day has been a highlight of late summer Stockbridge. We're so honored that Nancy will join us this year to continue this tradition. Please join us, too.

Stockbridge and Food Security

Let's face it, we're blessed to live and/or spend time in Stockbridge. It's truly a wonderful life. Yet right here, there may be pockets of food insecurity and hunger among those struggling to get by, on fixed incomes, etc. We'd like to take a moment to provide information to those in need.

The Western Mass Food Bank hosts a Brown Bag Stockbridge food distribution site for elders at Heaton Court, 5 Pine St. in Stockbridge from 11:00 am to noon on the second Wednesday of every month. You can get more information at (413) 298-4170 or by clicking the link above. Note there are restrictions based on income; visit the website or call for clarification.

Open to anyone is the Great Barrington Mobile Food Bank, located behind the CHP Health Center at 444 Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington on the first Tuesday of every month from noon to 1:00 pm. There are no eligibility requirements to receive food from the Mobile Food Bank. Anyone in need of assistance can attend. It's a good idea to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to distribution time or around 12:30 pm when the initial queue subsides, and to bring boxes or bags to carry your food.‌

Food security is a real issue for all too many Americans, including many right here in the Berkshires. Your support of this organization can make a difference in meeting the most basic of needs. Thanks!

Earth Day Clean-up a Resounding Success!

Here are the totals from Earth Day!

Approximately 60 Stockbridge neighbors walked the roads to pick up litter and celebrate caring for our Town and Mother Earth. Collectively, we walked more than 70 miles. Some said they picked up less trash and others found more than last year.
Individuals, families, Laurel Hill Board members, Norman Rockwell Museum staff, Berkshire-Waldorf School students, Red Lion Inn staff and the "Interlaken Gang and accompanying pets" were among the participants. Non-treasures collected included cans, beer and soda bottles, nips, kleenex, cigarette butts, coffee cups, broken plastic and glass, food wrappers, scratch tickets and plastic bags. Also, mylar balloons, a live snake and dead beaver, and a pregnancy test (couldn't read the results!).

Around 20 volunteers came together at Stockbridge Coffee and Tea on Saturday afternoon for a well-earned beverage and a wonderful time with friends.

Suggestions for the future — adding a fall collection; placing trash cans on roads where it would be easier for walkers to dispose of trash; guiding some walkers to places with more trash as needed; researching alternatives to plastic bags – something recyclable or compostable.

You can't say thank you often enough, so once again, THANK YOU!

On behalf of Laurel Hill Association
Laura and Marie

Earth Day Team
Keith and Marie Raftery
DeDe and Marc Rathbun
Rich Bradway
Gail Beaudain and Jed Baumwell
Mary Boyce
Nancy and Peter Socha
Mark and Nancy Mills
Catherine and Leah Chester
Shelby Marshall
Cheryl Hutto
Laura Dubester
Joyce Hovey
Jim and Liz Murray
Bob Bartle
Susie Kaufman
Anna Smith
Pat Flinn
Lenore and Paul Sundberg and TEAM
Leslie Shatz
Patrick White
Sarah Boyd
Terry Wise
Jane Goodrich
Gary Pitney
Tom LaBelle and spouse
Christine Rasmussen
Stewart and Lynn Edelstein
Lionel Delevingne
Julie and Barney Edmonds
Barbara and Ed Lane
Eva Sheridan
Vicky Cooper
GeGe Kingston
Debbie Wiswesser
Sarah Horne
Stephanie Bradford

Riverbrook Residents
Berkshire Waldorf School
Red Lion Inn
Norman Rockwell Museum

Laurel Hill Park

Laurel Hill Park Renovation

Laurel Hill Park behind the Town Offices on Main Street is the Association's signature property. It was the site of the first meeting in 1853. Twenty-five years later in 1878 it was gifted to the Association by the Sedgwick family—our first property. Every August, we celebrate Laurel Hill Day at the Park, the anniversary of that first meeting.

An early description of the Park states that it "...had splendid rocks soaring into the air, and a hillside pink with laurel in the spring." Sadly, the Laurel has almost disappeared, and the rocks have been obscured by overgrowth. This year we will undertake a major project to restore these natural features, add interpretive signs, and renovate two of the Park's man-made features—the Rostrum, and the Butler Seat at the summit.

We are excited about revitalizing the Park, and hope you will agree by approving the Community Preservation Commission funding recommendation at the Town Meeting in May.


Earth Day Stockbridge

Help us clean up Stockbridge: Earth Day 2018!

Earth Day Litter Pick-up in Stockbridge – Many Hands Make Light Work

Help make Stockbridge clean and beautiful by joining your neighbors in picking up the winter's accumulation of trash around your own neighborhood.

Earth Day Litter Pick-up will take place from Monday April 16 – Sunday April 22!

Garbage bags and gloves can be picked up at the Stockbridge Transfer Station anytime beginning on Tuesday April 17. You can bring what you collect to the transfer station.

To let us know that you are on board, please contact:
Marie Raftery/413-298-4910
kraftery [at]

Laura Dubester/413-298-5504
lauradubester [at]

Last year, more than 60 Stockbridge neighbors walked our roadsides to pick up litter to celebrate caring for our Town and Mother Earth. Collectively, we walked more than 70 miles.

Individuals, families, Waldorf School sophomore class, Laurel Hill Board members, Norman Rockwell Museum, Interlaken Gang, and accompanying pets were among the participants. Some joined for coffee/tea at Stockbridge Coffee and Tea shop in the afternoon. Non-treasures collected included cans, bottles, kleenex, cigarette butts, coffee cups, broken plastic and glass, food wrappers, scratch tickets and plastic bags.

Laurel Hill Associastion will host a reception for volunteers at Stockbridge Coffee and Tea at 3 pm on Saturday, April 21. Come and enjoy a coffee on us as our thank you for helping clean up Stockbridge!

Photo: Lionel Delevingne



view from Chesterwood Studio

2018 Photo Contest

The Laurel Hill Association and the Stockbridge Land Trust have launched our third annual photo contest. Photos may be submitted until April 30, 2018.

Some of the submitted photos will appear on the Laurel Hill Association website, and the winning photos will appear on cards and other items Laurel Hill Association and SLT will sell as a joint fundraiser. Such items will identify the photographers and where they took their photos.


Annual Meeting Will Update Efforts to Restore American Chestnut Trees

Lois and Denis Melican, of The American Chestnut Foundation for MA and RI, will be the guest speakers at the Laurel Hill Association's Annual Meeting, to be held on Wednesday, January 31, at 7:00 pm in the Stockbridge Library's Bement Room.
Lois and Denis will give an update on the American Chestnut Foundation's Chestnut Breeding Program, which is developing blight-resistant American chestnut trees with the goal of restoring the tree to its native forests along the eastern United States. The Laurel Hill Association's Chestnut Preserve, on Route 7, half mile south of the Red Lion Inn, is one of the program's breeding sites.

The American chestnut, nicknamed the Eastern Sequoia, was the major hardwood tree in the eastern U.S. It was among the largest, tallest, and fastest-growing trees in the forest. Its wood was rot-resistant, straight-grained, and suitable for furniture, fencing, and building. The nuts fed billions of birds and animals. It was almost a perfect tree—before a fungal blight killed 4 billion trees in the first half of the 20th Century.

The Laurel Hill Association has been involved in the American Chestnut Foundation's backcross breeding program for the last decade. The breeding program crosses Chinese chestnut trees, which are naturally resistant to the blight, with American chestnuts. Over the course of many generations, the program is producing blight-resistant American chestnut trees.

The meeting will open with the Association's Business Meeting. The guest presentation will begin at 7:30. The meeting is free, and all are welcome. Refreshments will be served.