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.

National Park Service profiles Laurel Hill Park

The U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service has featured Laurel Hill Park, the signature property of Laurel Hill Association, in a thoughtful piece entitled, "Laurel Hill Park in the Main Street Historic District of Stockbridge". It is filed under "Massachusetts Conservation" and details the history of the property, LHA and how its founders inspired the national civic preservation movement in 19th Century America.

For historical accuracy, we'd like to point out that in fact the Sedgwicks did not sell the property to LHA in 1853, nor did LHA give it to the town in 1878. The Sedgwicks transferred the title to LHA in 1878, and to this day LHA retains title, with the directive that the land be dedicated to the use and enjoyment of the public forever. 

We think it's a great read, but you can decide for yourself by finding it here:



2nd Annual Chestnut Preserve Harvest: Columbus Day, October 9 at 9am - 12 noon

Please join volunteers from The Laurel Hill Association and the American Chestnut Foundation on Columbus Day, Monday, October 9, from 9 a.m. to noon, to harvest seeds at The Laurel Hill Association's Stockbridge Chestnut Preserve. This will be the 2nd harvest from our orchard. Seeds from our trees will be stored over winter and planted in the American Chestnut Foundation's Springside Park Seed Orchard in Pittsfield, and in other seed production orchards.

Meet at the Chestnut Preserve on South Street (Rt. 7), about 1/2 mile south of the Red Lion Inn. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and sturdy boots or footwear, and bring thick gloves. Bring water. We'll provide snacks for the group.

Now that this orchard is online and producing, harvesting seeds from here will become a much-anticipated annual event in early October each year!

Later that same day, at 2 p.m. members of the American Chestnut Foundation will plant potentially blight-resistant American chestnut trees at Gould Meadow. Please join them for this event.

Heritage Walk: October 1 at 1:00 pm

Join Laurel Hill Association for a Stockbridge Heritage Walk on two of LHA's most popular trails. The walk will take place at 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 1, starting at the Town Offices parking lot. The Laurel Hill Association's Recording Secretary, Pat Flinn, will lead you on an interpretive tour of both Laurel Hill Park and the Mary Flynn Trail. It should take about an hour and a half. Wear suitable walking shoes. The Mary Flynn Trail is fully accessible and the Laurel Hill Park trail involves some up-hill.

Laurel Hill Day 2017: Saturday, August 26

The Laurel Hill Association will hold its 164th annual Laurel Hill Day on Saturday, August 26, at 2:00pm at the Rostrum on Laurel Hill Park, behind the Stockbridge Town Offices.

The guest speaker will be Tom Ricardi, acclaimed birds of prey rehabilitator. Mr. Ricardi, of Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehab in Conway, MA, has been presenting his engaging program to adults and children of all ages for many years. Come to the event and interact with rescue birds, such as hawks, eagles, and owls!

Music will be provided by The Berkshire Hillsmen, led by Dan Burkhard. Minister Brent Damrow of the First Congregational Church will give the Invocation and Benediction.

Laurel Hill Day will also feature the presentation of Laurel Hill Association's 41st annual College Scholarship.

Refreshments will be served. Rain location is the Stockbridge Library.

LHA Honors Rick Wilcox with 2017 Community Service Award

At the Board of Trustees meeting on April 19th, LHA President Shelby Marshal presented Richard B. Wilcox with the Association's Community Service Award for 2017. This award "gratefully acknowledges the generous contribution" of Rick "to the Quality of Life in Stockbridge," part of the mission of the LHA. Recording Secretary Pat Flinn read a Proclamation listing Rick's contributions.

LHA and Stockbridge Land Trust Select 2017 Photo Contest Winners

The Laurel Hill Association and Stockbridge Land Trust have selected 10 winning photos and several honorable mentions in our second annual photo contest. Sets of notecards, featuring the winning photos, will be available for sale in several local shops. All proceeds will benefit the two organizations.

Fifty-four photographers submitted a total of 270 submissions, almost twice as many as last year.

The winning photos were taken by Emilija Baksys of Quincy, MA; Glenna Blackwell of Great Barrington, MA; Shirley Blanchard of Stockbridge, MA; Candy Childrey of Coral Springs, FL; Olivia Kinne of Pittsfield, MA; William Mulvihill of Stockbridge, MA; Gabrielle Murphy of West Stockbridge, MA; Richard Lasner of Washington, DC and Stockbridge, MA; Jay Rhind of Stockbridge, MA; and James Selva of Housatonic, MA.

Three volunteer judges, Michael Flower, Doug Munson, and Lionel Delevingne, selected the winning photos and the honorable mention photos. All the winning and honorable mention photos will be displayed on our website. An exhibition featuring the photos will be mounted at the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives in September.


View the 2017 Winning Submissions