Greylock Glen Outside Recreation and Nature Middle

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Construction of an outdoor recreation and nature center on the slopes of Mount Greylock is slated to begin this year after decades of delays in a big win for Berkshire tourism.

“The Greylock Glen Outdoor Recreation and Nature Center has tremendous potential to boost tourism, improve access to the area’s natural resources, and fuel regional economic growth so that this landscape is protected for future generations,” said Governor Charlie Baker in a statement.

Local officials have been pushing for funding for the 10,000-square-foot outdoor recreation and nature center since it was first postponed in the mid-1970s. Speaking at Adams on Wednesday, the Republican governor said the $ 6.5 million funding had finally run out.

The center will serve as a “hub” for outdoor activities and exploration in the Berkshires, with access to the Department of Conservation’s Mount Greylock State Reservation.

The project is designed by Maclay Architects. Construction work is expected to begin this year and be completed in 2022.

“COVID has been a terrible, really difficult, sometimes tragic time, but there are some silver linings from it and one of the silver linings was the rediscovery of nature,” Baker said.

Baker also on Wednesday put his plan to invest $ 100 million in state parks, trails, and outdoor recreation areas with part of the funds from the federal rescue plan law. Legislators have scheduled a hearing on Baker’s $ 2.9 billion investment plan next Tuesday.