Through our lens: Providing structure in a strange time

  • Trevor Chalmers, who is the property manager at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton, works on a new timber-frame teaching pavilion, last Thursday at the sanctuary. The 30-by-50 foot pavilion will be used primarily for teaching Forest Preschool students but also will be available for functions, including the annual Festival of Birds. It is expected to be completed by mid-September. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Trevor Chalmers, who is the property manager at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton, works on a new timber-frame teaching pavilion, last Thursday at the sanctuary. The 30-by-50 foot pavilion will be used primarily for teaching Forest Preschool students but also will be available for functions, including the annual Festival of Birds. It is expected to be completed by mid-September. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Trevor Chalmers, left, who is the property manager of Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton, and Sean Jeffords, the owner of Beyond Green Construction in Easthampton, install roof decking on a new 30-by-50 foot pavilion at the sanctuary on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Trevor Chalmers, left, who is the property manager of Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton, and Sean Jeffords, the owner of Beyond Green Construction in Easthampton, install roof decking on a new 30-by-50 foot pavilion at the sanctuary on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Patrick Beaudry, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, talks with Maureen Lubold while canvassing on Hillside Avenue in Holyoke last Thursday. Her dog, Jameson, takes a sniff. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • An unidentified worker welds during the ongoing construction of the Maple Street School project in Easthampton on Monday. The project consolidates the three elementary schools — Pepin, Center and Maple — with White Brook Middle School into one building on the existing middle school site. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Holly Kenny and student Chloe Melchiskey make a glass bead during a workshop on flame-working at Snow Farm in Williamsburg last Thursday. It was the first day the school was open and offering workshops.   STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Holly Kenny, right, watches as students in a flame-working class at Snow Farm in Williamsburg make beads last Thursday. It was the first day the school was open and offering workshops.   STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Holly Kenny walks by students Chloe Melchiskey and Jessie Scott while they make glass beads during a class on flame-working at Snow Farm in Williamsburg last Thursday. It was the first day the school was open and offering workshops.   STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Strength-training area, set in the shade of the west bleachers at Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium. On Tuesday, the University of Massachusetts announced the cancellation of the 2020 football season. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Photographer
Published: 8/13/2020 11:18:14 AM
Modified: 8/13/2020 11:18:04 AM

In a week that logged the cancellation of the University of Massachusetts football season and the announcement that Northampton schools will go remote through Nov. 4, other ways of life in the Valley continued as if the pandemic didn’t exist.

I stopped by Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton a few times this past week to view the construction of a new 30-by-50-foot, timber-frame teaching pavilion at the site, orchestrated by Trevor Chalmers, the sanctuary’s property manager.

“Seeing the giant timbers come together, it just puts a smile on your face,” he said. “I was excited before, but now I’m really excited.”

The project is the result of about two years of planning and fundraising to create a space where the sanctuary’s Forest Preschool students can learn outdoors.

“It’s invaluable,” he said. “With COVID, it’s even more invaluable.”

The design was a collaboration between Chalmers and Stephen Kemmett, the owner of New World Timberworks in Hanson, who is also a Mass Audubon property manager. In addition to the preschool, the $150,000 structure will be used for special events, including the annual Festival of Birds. It could also be rented when it isn’t in use for the sanctuary’s programs. Chalmers hopes it will be completed in a month or so.

Throughout the pandemic, I’ve found it continually compelling to see how people go on with their work, despite how odd everything is.

For example, last Thursday I accompanied Patrick Beaudry, a candidate for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, as he canvassed a neighborhood in Holyoke. Imagine knocking on doors and asking strangers for their vote with only your eyes visible above your face covering. During our walk, he visited someone he knew, but she didn’t recognize him until he unveiled the remainder of his face. At a safe distance, of course.




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