Berkshire Chapter's Annual Meeting was held Saturday, November 3rd at the Summit View Restaurant in Holyoke MA.
The Annual Meeting portion was short – we voted on officers and gave a few awards to deserving individuals. Jim Pelletier was presented with a certificate designating him as 'Appie of the Year' by outgoing Chair Dave Sauriol.
Shortly afterwards Dave presented Congressman Olver with the first ever 'Friend of the AMC' award for all he has done for the outdoors in Western Massachusetts.
After dinner, there was a presentation of the Wildlife Encounters environmental education show by The W.I.L.D. Center and Zoological Park of New Hampshire.
They offered an hour-long live animal, interactive and "hands-on" program, presenting animals most of us might only see briefly in the wild, if at all. Most of the animals presented have been rehabilitated after injuries and cannot be released back into the wild. This evening we were introduced to a Fennec Fox as well as a Striped Skunk, a Prehensile Tailed Porcupine, a Virginia Opossum, an Eastern Indigo Snake, an American Alligator and a massive Common Snapping Turtle. We were able to see them close up as Nicole Monkiewicz, their handler, walked around the room during her presentation. Nicole explained where the animals typically live, what they eat, etc. – and answered many questions during the presentation. At the end of show there was an opportunity to touch the snake!