|Popular Pittsfield Park Concert Series to Expand|
|By Joe Durwin, Pittsfield Correspondent|
02:40PM / Thursday, June 21, 2012
|The Parks Commission met on Tuesday.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The annual series of free concerts held each summer at Springside Park will be expanded from six to eight this year, thanks to support from Berkshire Bank and Greylock Credit Union.
Concerts will be held throughout the summer on the lawn at Springside House.
Elizabeth Kulas, on behalf of the Vincent Hebert Arboretum, told the Parks Commission on Tuesday that thanks to additional funds from these two local financial institutions, the yearly season of public concerts by the Eagles Band and other music ensembles held at the park will expand by two dates.
"Last year, people were clamoring for more concerts," said Kulas, "So this year we're offering eight instead of six."
The musical series at Springside Park is the oldest continuing concert series in Pittsfield and has become a popular staple of summer for many residents. The location has been utilized as a venue for musical performances for much of the last century, hosting crowds of up to 3,000 people in the past. The Eagles Band, which plays several concerts there each summer, is the oldest continuously running performance ensemble in the Berkshires.
The first concert, featuring the Eagles Band, was held June 19. The rest of the concert series is as follows: The Housatonic Philharmonic on July 10; the Eagles Band, July 17; The Dixie Cats, July 24; Wintergreen on July 31; and the Eagles Band, Aug. 7; Phil Grovers Rock & Roll Review, Aug. 14, and Rumours on Aug. 21. All concerts are free to the public and begin at 7 p.m., on the lawn of the Springside House at 874 North St. in the northwest corner of the park.
Kulas also reported noteworthy success in this year's annual Friends of Springside Park cleanup held April 21, showing glossy photos of the litter collected. Kulas expressed gratitude toward the city's Parks and Recreation Department for making great strides in removing several tons of maintenance refuse that had accumulated over the last few years around the sheds it maintains there. A rapid removal effort ensued in late April following concerns expressed by residents who came out for the volunteer cleanup.
| Upcoming Park Events
|Relay for Life
The annual Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society at Burbank Park: Friday, June 22, at 4 p.m. to Saturday, June 23, at 4 p.m.
Springside Park Nature Hike
Join Victor Capelli, the Hebert Arboretum naturalist, for a nature hike on Saturday, June 23, 9:30 a.m. at Springside Park. Information: 413-443-5348.
Skate Park Opening Contest
The Garden Skate Shop will be hosting a "jam" style contest for skateboarder and BMX bikers on Saturday, June 23, from 1 to 6 at the Pittsfield Skate Plaza at the corner of East Street and Appleton Avenue. Information: 413-442-9088.
St. John's Summer Sports Program
The free sports program for Pittsfield children ages 6-14 years old takes place at Pitt Park starting June 25. The program will run Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays 10 to 2 through Aug. 16.
Garden Skate Camp
The Garden Skate Shop is offering a skate/BMX camp June 25 through 28 from 10 to 1 p.m. at the Pittsfield Skate Plaza. It is open for ages 8-18, and will cost $149 per camper for the week. Information: 413-442-9088.
Garden Work Party & Tree Planting
Join members from the Hebert Arboretum at Springside Park for a Garden Work Party & Tree Planting on June 30. Information: 413-443-5348.
Additionally, the arboretum applied for permissions to hold several educational work parties over the coming months, where volunteers will be able to learn how to plant trees and other related informational experiences. The Parks Commission granted requests for the concerts and the other activities, thanking the arboretum and Friends of Springside for their ongoing efforts.
In other news:
• The five-member body voted unanimously to temporarily continue a trespass order prohibiting a local teen from the newly constructed Pittsfield Skate Park, despite impassioned pleading from the youth's mother to allow him to participate in an upcoming skate camp to be held there next week. The mother of the 17-year-old said her son, who was banned indefinitely following an altercation with another boy there, had learned his lesson, and urged the Parks Commission to recind the punishment. By city code, this body is charged with making determinations in the case of trespass orders in city parks.
Chairman Dr. Howard Herman noted that even after the boy had been banned from the park, he had been spotted performing bike tricks in a photograph that appeared in The Berkshire Eagle. Simon Muil said that to lift the restriction so soon would undermine the seriousness of the park's no-fighting policy, and stressed the importance of avoiding the unsavory reputation that the city's previous skate park on First Street came to accumulate.
• The commission granted approval for a new sign at Pontoosuc Lake denoting its place in the historic "Melville Trail," a Berkshire Historical Society project recently resurrected by new grant funding. Other new signs are also being installed at other sites significant to Herman Melville and his writings, including Arrowhead, the Berkshire Athenaeum, Mount Greylock and Monument Mountain. The sign at Pontoosuc will be fixed to a tree near the upper parking area.
"It's something to highlight to residents and visitors alike the importance of Melville to the Berkshires," Will Garrison of the Berkshire Historical Society, "and even more the importance of the Berkshires to Melville."