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Pleasant Valley Celebrates

When the Roadside Committee of the Lenox Garden Club decided in 1929 to create a 300-acre Pleasant Valley Bird and Wild Flower Sanctuary, it was an immediate hit. The club purchased the Powers and Crockett farms and Maurice Broun, a young man from Boston, worked tirelessly to create the sanctuary, laying out trails and erecting hundreds of bird nest boxes.

Some 4,000 people visited the sanctuary just in 1930.

In 1932, the sanctuary took yet another step toward restoring natural balance when Warden Morris Pell reintroduced beavers to the valley. Today, the sanctuary's beaver colony is among its most accessible wildlife. Subsequent sanctuary directors and staff members implemented further research projects and a nature education beginning in the early 1940s.

Ownership of the sanctuary passed to Mass Audubon in 1950. During the next three decades, the sanctuary’s education program attained new heights as a succession of teacher naturalists took the helm. The 1980s and ’90s saw the addition of 600 acres, bringing Pleasant Valley’s total land base to 1,300 acres.

This summer, the sanctuary will celebrate its first 90 years with a series of events, beginning Saturday, from 10AM to 4PM, with its annual Family Fun Day. The day features nature exploration activities, live-animal presentations, music, and nature arts and crafts. It is free and open to everyone.

The fun day will be followed on June 23rd, 9AM-noon, by the Wild Thing 5K/10K Trail Race, an important fundraiser for Mass Audubon’s conservation and education programs in the Berkshires. The race starts and ends at Pleasant Valley and follows the trails through Kennedy Park. This year a Walk on the Wild Side allows supporters of all ages and abilities to participate by enjoying a guided walk.

On July 12th, 31st and August 10th, the Sanctuary will provide a Trailside Music Series. Performers will be The Picky B’s; The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, and the Amy Ryan Band.

The bands will play from 6 to 8PM, but the lawn opens at 5:30 PM. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic and some blankets and chairs to relax on the lawn on a warm summer evening. The Lenoxdale Fire Department will sell food and concert-goers ages 21 and older can purchase beer from Big Elm Brewing. No outside alcohol will be permitted.

August 3rd brings the 90th birthday party. The celebration will include some Pleasant Valley traditions (bird walk, campfire or pond exploration) as well as some new surprises.

The sanctuary is located at 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, Mass; 413-637-0320. It is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10AM–4PM; closed Mondays (except holidays). For further information please click on the link below.