Roll out the red carpet
Let’s jump on the opportunity to embrace new neighbors through and beyond the pandemic.
By Jonathan Butler
Posted to the Berkshire Edge on May 17, 2021
Editor’s Note: The author wrote this article in collaboration with 1Berkshire’s Economic Development and Marketing teams.
The Berkshires is no stranger to welcoming people to our region. For generations, we have been the year-round home for thousands of residents, the seasonal home to thousands more, and the weekend getaway for yet more visitors looking to experience all we have to offer. Even with our depth of regional assets, for decades we have faced the persistent challenge of a declining regional population. After the initial decline beginning in the 1980s, the region has continued to experience a trickle of out-migration over the years, resulting in challenges around workforce capacity, local tax bases, and more. Then, COVID-19 happened.
While the pandemic has presented immense challenges both locally and globally, an interesting thing has occurred here in the Berkshires. As more urbanites and suburbanites have realized the value of our quality of life, the cultural and natural resources at our fingertips, and the immense potential that the Berkshires has to offer, they have begun to move to the region. In many cases, the individuals are rediscovering the Berkshires, driven by past interactions and experiences. Perhaps they attended summer camp here, had local family they would visit, attended music events at Tanglewood or performances at any of our fantastic theaters, or maybe they grew up here and migrated away. Whatever their past as a friend and/or neighbor, this moment in time has inspired a return to the Berkshires.
Read the rest of the story.
Photo: A group of walkers pause for a picture while on a guided tour with Berkshire Camino LLC Founder and CEO, Mindy Miraglia. Berkshire Camino specializes in helping newcomers get oriented to the Berkshires. Photo by Mindy Miraglia.