The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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    Seth Jenkins: Nurturing Sustainable Communities at MCLA

    Meet Seth Jenkins, a Senior Community Planner with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC), who is spearheading local and regional sustainability initiatives at MCLA. With a passion for community development and environmental stewardship, Jenkins plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of Berkshire County and beyond.

    Jenkins’s dedication to sustainability is evident in his multifaceted approach to community planning and development. From crafting master plans to managing recreation initiatives, his work focuses on fostering resilient communities while preserving natural resources.

    One of Jenkins’s notable contributions is his involvement in the MCLA Farmer’s Market Mobile Truck initiative, which brings fresh, locally sourced produce directly to the campus community. Through partnerships with local farms and the Berkshire Mobile Farmer’s Market, Jenkins ensures that students, regardless of transportation limitations, have access to healthy food options while fostering community development and supporting local agriculture.

    In addition to his work with the farmers’ market, Jenkins is instrumental in managing the Berkshire outside website, which serves as a hub for outdoor recreation activities in the community. From hiking and winter sports to nature-related events and safety tips, the website provides valuable resources for residents and visitors alike, promoting active lifestyles and environmental awareness.

    Jenkins’s impact extends beyond recreational activities into economic development and environmental planning. He plays a key role in initiatives such as Berkshire Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies, Digital Equity Planning, and Cultural District Creation, driving sustainable growth and fostering inclusive communities.

    “Typically, community planning initiatives would be a master plan or recreation plan. Right now, we’re working with the town of North Adams on their space and recreation plan,” Jenkins explains. “These plans are really related to sustainability because we’re trying to plan for future growth without overtaxing the resources, such as groundwater resources, wastewater infrastructure, or transportation structures.”

    Environmental sustainability is another area where Jenkins excels, leading projects focused on hazard mitigation, clean energy programs, and stormwater management planning. Through his work on land use decisions, water quality management, and energy planning, Jenkins is actively involved in preserving the region’s natural resources and promoting wildlife restoration efforts.

    One of Jenkins’s notable projects is his role as an Energy Advocate, where he champions energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other measures to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. His efforts in this area contribute to building more resilient communities and reducing the environmental impact of energy consumption.

    In the realm of public health planning, Jenkins is involved in initiatives such as the Berkshire Overdose Addiction Prevention Collaborative and the Berkshire Public Health Alliance, addressing critical health issues and promoting wellness within the community. His work on food safety and public health emergency preparedness planning underscores his commitment to ensuring the well-being of residents in Berkshire County.

    Overall, Seth Jenkins’s dedication to sustainability and community development exemplifies the values of MCLA and the Berkshire region. Through his multifaceted initiatives and collaborative approach, Jenkins is paving the way for a more resilient, healthy, and vibrant future for all.

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    Karen Yamada, Staff Writer

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