Welcome to November's Pioneer Valley Progress Report! It's been another busy month here at the planning commission, where we've been advocating for, and helping local communities implement programs and policies that make our quality of life better.
This month we were happy to learn that our own Executive Director Tim Brennan will join a capable group of Western Mass advocates charged with representing the region's interests in the newly formed East-West Rail study group. This comes as we continue to seek input for our regularly scheduled regional transportation plan update. 

Additionally, you'll find updates on efforts to make the Valley more age friendly, bring Agawam's historic inventory into the 21st century, expand the outdoor recreational opportunities of hilltown residents and visitors, and continue to be a leader on climate change. 
We are so excited to present some of our best accomplishments over the last month on behalf of the 43 cities and towns of Hampden and Hampshire counties.
-Team Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
Getting to Work on East-West Rail

PVPC Executive Director Tim Brennan will join his counterpart from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, Congressman Neal, Mayors Tyer of Pittsfield and Sarno of Springfield, as well as state Senators Lesser and Hinds as part of a 30 person East-West Rail study group, named this week. 

The first meeting will be held on December 18th from 1 to 3PM here at our 60 Congress St., Springfield office and we strongly encourage the public to attend.
An Age Friendly Valley

PVPC is thrilled to announce that we will be partnering with Chicopee, Holyoke and South Hadley, as well as several respected local service providers, to assess the resources and services provided and desired to make those three communities friendly for residents of all ages. 

This work will be made possible with a recent $10,000 grant announcement from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation Momentum Fund announced this month. Stay tuned for more to come. 

Regional Transportation Plan Update Underway 

The Pioneer Valley Regional Transportation Plan is a living, breathing document, which gets periodically updated to ensure our investments are meeting the ever changing needs of our communities. 

Transportation staff have begun to conduct focus groups and will continue to seek the public's input along the way. To learn more about our RTP update efforts visit our project page here
Inventorying Agawam's History

PVPC Historic Preservation Planner Shannon Walsh is teaming up with Agawam officials to update the Town's Historic Inventory, including such local gems as 18th century Mad Bull Tavern located in Feeding Hills. 
Sustainability Summit comes to Springfield

Co-op Power along with a number of local organizations have organized a Sustainability Summit in Springfield on Saturday, December 8, 2018

Co-op Power's Annual Sustainability Summit is a great opportunity to share ideas with like-minded people on topics from green business development and community finance to grassroots activism and social justice.
Helping Hilltown Hikers

Lastly, we had a great visit with MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy this week in Chester where we discussed, among many other topics, how to connect the various village centers of Valley and Berkshire hilltowns via the Highlands Footpath.
See what's happening on our social sites