Berkshire Woods and Waters: Pittsfield teenager will compete in National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships
They will take place at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. from April 20-24. Lena is 14 years old and is an 8th grade High Honors student at TEC Connections Academy.
To compete is quite an honor, as only the finest junior athletes in the nation are invited. The event provides an opportunity for obtaining possible future shooting scholarships and a National Junior Team appointment, which allows them to compete internationally. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the best shooters in the country makes this match one of the most competitive events in which Lena will participate.
She is a member of LSA's Air2Spare youth air pistol team, and earned a silver medal with two teammates (Riley Laurent and Cooper Maloney) at the 2016 Baystate Games. They were taught by Air2Spare founders and coaches Cliff and Vicki White.
The Berkshire Eagle reporter Jacob Mendel covered these winners in his Aug. 1, 2016 article entitled, "Air2Spare air pistol shooting club continuing growth after Baystate Games showing." Lena was also featured last summer on WNYT (Albany TV) during the Olympic games.
Lena then went on and won a silver medal at the 2016 Progressive Position Pistol (PPP) Nationals in Ft. Benning, Ga. in her category for the Eastern Region, and placed 7th overall in the nation.
She is excited for this opportunity and says, "I was really surprised and happy to get this invitation. It's the equivalent of a shooting Christmas for me and the other junior shooters who were invited!"
Incidentally, Lena is fundraising to help offset the travel costs associated with attending the championships in Colorado. Her GoFundMe link is: https://www.gofundme.com/lenadupont2017. For offline donations, contact her mom Stephanie DuPont at (215) 668-7808 or email email@example.com.
Good luck, Lena!
International Defensive Pistol Association
The outdoor matches of the IDPA and Sheet Matches seasons at Lee Sportsmen Club are starting soon. Refer to the LSA website calendar for a list of all match dates. You do not have to be a member of the Lee club to participate and new shooters are always welcome.
The IDPA is a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. Each stage is purposely different to force you to practice different skills. You will need a 9mm or larger and 3 mags minimum. The rules of IDPA are followed for safety and scoring. The matches are typically $15 to participate. There are many IDPA videos on You Tube and they recommend this starter one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke-20oCBTOM.
Steel matches are typically strings of five targets repeated five times/strings. It's best if you have five magazines. These matches are rim and center fire pistol and 22 rifle friendly.
Shawn Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the best point of contact for IDPA and steel. New shooters must attend a safety orientation prior to their first shoot. Each match begins with a safety briefing. Sign in time is 12:15 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. for afternoon matches.
The following local Western District waters were scheduled to be stocked last week: Deerfield River (Buckland, Charlemont, Florida), East Branch Westfield River (Chesterfield, Cummington, Windsor), Housatonic River C&R (Lee), Farmington River (Otis, Sandisfield), Pontoosuc Lake, Laurel Lake, Richmond Pond and Stockbridge Bowl. The schedules were subject to change.
Monitoring our water quality
While the Clean Water Act of 1972 was established to help make our rivers swimmable and fishable, most of our rivers still don't meet that goal, especially after a rainstorm, due to the pollutants carried down the storm drains to the river. That's according to the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA), who informs us that each of us has the opportunity to make choices that improve the water quality of our rivers and lakes.
Yesterday, the HVA conducted a Water Quality Monitoring Training at the Bill Laston Memorial Park in Lanesborough. Once a month, the trained volunteers will collect water samples at designated locations on Wahconah Falls Brook in Dalton and the Southwest Branch of the Housatonic River in Pittsfield.
They volunteered for one morning, once a month, from April through October. The goal of this sampling is to determine current bacteria levels in the above mentioned waters. Segments of these tributaries are currently listed as impaired due to high bacteria levels. If the sampling shows that bacteria levels have dropped, these tributaries may be taken off the state's impaired waters list. If you missed yesterday's meeting, check with Alison Dixon, HVA Berkshire Outreach Manager at (413) 298-7024 to see if you can still get involved. The time commitment is 30-40 minutes per month.
Also, the HVA will be conducting Stream Team training on Tuesday, April 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mason Library, in Great Barrington, and Saturday, April 8 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield.
This spring, volunteers will help complete river assessments on the Southwest Branch of the Housatonic River (Pittsfield) and the Green River (Austerlitz, N.Y. to Great Barrington). Volunteers will walk or paddle a 1-2 mile segment of the river and record observations.
Our streams and rivers are also affected by acid rain. Today, volunteers are gathering water samples from hundreds of streams and rivers across the state and delivering them to designated laboratories for analysis. This acid rain monitoring program has been ongoing for more than 30 years and good baseline data has been accumulated. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, President Trump's new executive order addressing coal production will have.
Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone: (413) 637-1818.
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