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Friends of Reusable Bags workshop back!

On Saturday, February 17, 2024, after what feels like a VERY long hiatus, the Friends of Reusable Bags of Greening Greenfield held a Bag-making workshop in the Markers’ Space in the new Greenfield Public Library.  It drew from a lively crowd of shoppers who were enjoying the monthly winter Farmer’s Market held on the first floor of the library.  Over 40 people attended, many families with kids, both hesitant and eager, to try their hands as making their own bags.  Everyone left with at least one bag and a smile on their faces.  A total of fifty bags were made and many of these were left as donations to be distributed at a variety of markets around town.

Trees and their Roles in the Lives of Native Bees

Joan Milam, a research scientist and UMass Amherst faculty member, will talk about her research on native bees and trees. After introducing us to the diversity of bees in our area, she will talk about what she has learned about the importance of trees and forest habitat to bees. She will also share her thoughts about how planting specific trees along our streets, and in our parks and yards, can make a difference to the lives of bees.

“The health of honey bees, which were brought here from Europe to support our food crops, has been much in the news over the past few years,” says Nancy Hazard, Greenfield Tree Committee, and Greening Greenfield member. “But we also have over 350 native bee species, according to the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, in our area that are equally important to maintaining our world as we know it. Many of these native bees are experiencing various environmental stressors but fortunately, there is much we can do to support them!”

Joan Milam has researched the conservation of native bees, biodiversity, and taxonomy for many years. She has conducted baseline inventories of native bees in Massachusetts and elsewhere, and explored the effects of managed habitats and habitat restoration on native bee populations. With a particular interest in trees and forests, she has explored how we could manage forested areas in our communities, including our street trees and yards, so that they support and enhance bee populations.

The Greenfield Tree Committee and Greening Greenfield are collaborating to bring Joan Milam to Greenfield. The all-volunteer Greenfield Tree Committee aims to engage the public and to work with the DPW in planting and maintaining a strong and resilient urban forest in Greenfield. The group raises funds and seeks grants for tree plantings through its fiscal agent, the Connecticut River Conservancy. Learn more at