Living in the Berkshires has its amenities. From its rural communities to its small city life, we have the best of both worlds. Berkshire County is located in the western portion of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Berkshire panorama offers an abundance of beauty and splendor, and sparks a mind full of thought and inspiration. Taking a journey through these hills of wonder affirms the interconnectedness between culture and nature.
However, these roads aren’t always filled with heavenly delight. Besides the occasional fender-benders, the traffic etiquette, at times, leaves much to be desired. I have seen a lot of "road kill" over the years too. It distresses me to find such carnage resulting from a monstrosity traveling at an unnatural speed. There is little chance of survival for any life form in it’s path, whether it be the unsuspecting frog, the risk-taking cat, the indecisive squirrel, or the headlight-stunned deer, just to mention a few. Pointedly, some of these incidents could have been avoided. Folks tend to get distracted with their cell phones, iPods and the like.
After seeing two sizable turtles flattened along East Street in Pittsfield in June of 2006, I got to thinking...would they have had a better chance of survival if there were turtle crossing signs? Would they have had a better chance of seeing the next dawn if the motorist had been informed about the dire predicament these turtles are in? A creature on the brink of extinction and people just don't seem to care. It comes down to ignorance. So, part of the solution to this problem is to educate the public of this.
TurtleZone is a website designed to help raise awareness of the diversity of turtle species we have in Massachusetts, raise awareness about the plight of endangered turtles, and educate it's visitors specifically about the turtles in Berkshire County.
We are dedicated to the protection of turtles and their habitats through monitoring, public education and advocacy.
This is done by identifying and reporting turtle sightings to the Turtle Atlas Project of Massachusetts, which in turn reports the occurrences of state-listed species to the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program; advocating temporary Turtle Crossing signage during the months of May, June, July, and October in high risk areas to be identified on this website; and educate others about the conservation needs of turtles via the internet and the local media.