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Central Connecticut River Valley Institute, Inc. - Home

Creating a Resilient Culture Rooted in Deep Connection to Our Place

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6 Warren Court
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

Phone: 413-625-2525
Fax: 413-625-8485

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What We Are About

The Central Connecticut River Valley Institute (CCRVI) exists to create educational programs and innovative social, cultural, and economic institutions which encourage people to experience the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual benefits of living intimately, and in deep connection with the natural world where they live, with themselves, and with each other.

CCRVI has a "bioregional" orientation.  We work primarily in the Central Connecticut River Valley, that is, that portion of the Valley which contains the “transitional forest” located between the northern boreal forest and the mid-Atlantic forest. Our Bioregion is very roughly comprised of the following six counties: Cheshire and Sullivan in New Hampshire, Franklin and Hampshire in Massachusetts, and Windham and Windsor in Vermont.  

CCRVI may also engage in charitable activities in the Bioregion as well as promote its core ideas and programs in other bioregions.

Two of CCRVI's current areas of focus are:

* creating bioregionally-based, sustainable, and affordable sources for basic human needs such as food, water, energy, housing, sanitation, clothing, transportation, education, etc.; and

* promoting sustainable forestry; the conservation of natural resources; the use of earth-friendly building construction materials and methods; the recycling and reuse of everything; the conservation and preservation of land; and high quality relationships between humans and between humans and animals, both wild and domestic.

What We're Working On These days


In conjunction with the Shelburne Falls Area Business Association (SFABA), CCRVI has established the West County Relief Fund.  The Fund was established for those who wish to donate money to relief efforts in the Western part of Franklin County following Hurricane Irene. The funds collected will be distributed to individuals, families, and businesses affected by Hurricane Irene. 

Individuals, businesses, and organizations who wish to contribute to the Fund may send checks payable to "CCRVI" or the "West County Relief Fund" at the address given above or go to the SFABA website to donate via PayPal.

VALLEYLISTS.COM is the website you're on right now.  It is a free community bulletin board website serving the entire Connecticut River Valley.  Its purpose is to build connections between and among the people of the Valley, helping those in need find the non-profit organizations that can help them, connect people to the natural world and the arts and cultural events in the area, and facilitate economic development in our economically-depressed area by connecting businesses with potential customers.  More . . . .


CCRVI is supporting regular meetings, workshops, and activities to promote community resilience in the western part of Franklin County, MA.  We hope to be better prepared for an array of possible difficult community challenges including floods, pandemics, ice storms, peak oil, global climate change, and/or economic system collapse.


We engage in various programs intended and designed to help foster: 

* a deeper awareness of the inter-relationships between us and the natural world which surrounds and feeds us as well as

* a stronger experience of community (that is, a very real sense that “we are all in this together”) regarding our food supply.  More . . . .


The first program under our human-animal relations division, Better Than Dead Rescue is a domestic pet (primarily dogs) rescue program run by Linda Rollins in Shelburne Falls, MA. More . . . . 


We continue to sponsor the week-long Earth Story conferences of environmental activists held at Earthlands, in Petersham, MA, every summer.  We began sponsoring this program in 2005. More . . . .    


We are developing a lending library of books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs on topics related to our educational purposes.


We are interested in supporting other projects which further our purposes in our Bioregion. Contact us for more information.

What We've Done

Since becoming active in September 2004, CCRVI has undertaken the following projects:


We supported a volunteer community mapping project in the Montague Plains (a unique ecosystem in located in Montague, MA) which identified the environmentally - destructive human usage patterns in the Plains - including where people dumped trash, where they rode ATVs which caused erosion problems, etc..  The project resulted in a map of the Plains which allowed the citizens of Montague to address these problems more coherently and clean up the Plains. CCRVI, through a grant from Northeast Utilities, obtained and provided to the project, a set of PDAs with attached GPS units. The PDAs used mapping software developed by a CCRVI volunteer. The Montague volunteers used the PDA/GPS/mapping software units to identify sites on the ground which were then be located on the map.   Note:  The mapping gear we developed for this project is available for other community-based mapping projects in the Bioregion.


We provided grants to the Red Eagle Lodge, a Montague, MA, based group which brought Native American teachers/elders to the Bioregion and sponsored related activities.


We sponsored ReNew, located in Brattleboro, VT, during its start-up phase. ReNew is a non-profit, tax-exempt building materials recycling store, started in September 2005, which hand-deconstructs unwanted buildings for salvage materials, sells a variety of used, surplus, and green building materials, supports the development of affordable housing in a number of ways, and provides related educational programs.  More . . . .


We supported the development of an educational program, including lectures, DVDs, and slide presentations which describe (a) the current crisis state of the financial system in the US and the world, (b) the current global crises in food, water, energy availability and global warming, diminishing and/or deteriorating natural resources (including oil, forests, grasslands); (c) the benefits of shifting to a more locally-based and ecologically-wise culture, and (d) ways that local communities can begin to move toward a more locally-based and ecologically-wise culture.  More . . . .


We sponsored the start-up phase of the Apios Institute, located in Western MA, which promotes the development of permaculture as an innovative approach to growing local food as well as living more intimately with the Earth and each other.  More . . . .

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