By Daniel Hermanski, MassDOT District One, Adopt A Highway Coordinator
On Route 7 in the Town Of Sheffield sits a large, shaded rest area right next to the Housatonic River. For the past several years, this rest area has been adopted by a group from Berkshire Meadows of Housatonic, a special education residential school that helps children and young adults with severe developmental disabilities increase their independence and enhance the quality of their lives.
When MassDOT District One was looking for a rest area to place two handicapped accessible picnic tables, it was decided that Berkshire Meadows and their Sheffield rest area would be the best location for the tables.
Facilities Engineer Dave Sherman saw to it that the tables were anchored on concrete pads with wheelchair ramps leading to the tables.
On August 26, eighteen people descended upon the Sheffield rest area to check out the new tables and pickup litter. Snacks and juice were served at the tables. Donna Platt, Program Manager at Berkshire Meadows was impressed by the new tables and was already planning a pizza party for their next outing at the same location. In speaking with a staff member, Chelsea, from Berkshire Meadows, she mentioned "how just being outside picking up litter helps relieve the stress of her client."
Berkshire Meadows staff members included Donna Platt, Emily Chasse, Joe Joe Andenmatten, Amanda Tayer, Julio Munoz, Chelsea Palmer, Jorge Pineda, Sandra Cornejo and Claudiane Silva.