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The Nature Conservancy and Intel Corporation Launch Berkshire Taconic Landscape Educational Web Site; New Educational Site for Parents, Students & Teachers Includes Educational Lesson Plans.

NEW YORK -- The Nature Conservancy and Intel Corporation have created a new educational Website, http://www.lastgreatplaces.org/, to help teachers, parents, children, residents, and everyone interested in nature, history and geography to learn more about the BerkshireTaconic Landscape, and the threats it now faces. Compiled by the Nature Conservancy and Intel, the website includes contributions by many regional experts, ecologists, historians, geologists, naturalists, planners and social scientists.

"Environmental responsibility is important to Intel, which is why we have supported the Explore the Last Great Places web site," said Terry McManus, Manager of Intel's Environmental Health and Safety Signature Projects. "The web site enables students, parents and teachers to take a virtual tour of the Berkshire Taconic region, and learn about its human history, geography, forests and wetlands, and diversity of life."

Commenting on the site's launch, Bill Weeks, executive vice president of the Nature Conservancy said 'The Berkshire Taconic Landscape, like other Last Great Places, is a unique area that harbors a concentration of rare species and offers excellent examples of endangered terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In selecting Last Great Places, we consider the vulnerability of the site, the threats to it, and the ability to lessen those threats and sustain the diversity of life." It joins the inaugural web-based tour of the San Pedro River of Mexico and southern Arizona.

Lesson Plans

The site contains nine lesson plans -- three plans each for elementary, middle, and high school students -- developed with support from Intel, the Nature Conservancy, an educational consultant, and teachers from the Berkshire Hills Regional School District, in Massachusetts. (All conform to national and state standards in English language arts, science, math and social studies.) In the "Diversity is the Spice of Life" lesson plan, students learn how to classify plants and animals according to their physical characteristics. In another, "Aargh!!! Invaders!!!," students learn about invasive species. In addition to focusing on conservation, the Berkshire Taconic Website also investigates the many cultural, commercial, historical and other dynamics that affect the natural environment.

Located in the three-state region of southwestern Massachusetts, eastern New York and northwestern Connecticut, the 120,000 acre Berkshire Taconic landscape contains one of the largest, healthiest, and most diverse forest blocks remaining in southern New England. The Nature Conservancy cites the region as one of the key ecological gems remaining in southern New England. The wetlands that surround the mountainous forest are some of the best global examples of calcareous, or "sweet" water wetlands, and the entire landscape area is home to more than 150 rare and endangered species. Today, this integrated landscape faces increasing development pressure impacting both its ecological and cultural heritage.

Learn more about the Nature Conservancy at http://www.nature.org/ , and the Conservancy's Berkshire Taconic Landscape Program at http://nature.org/berkshiretaconic . Additional information about Intel is available at http://www.intel.com/pressroom . Information on Intel's environmental programs is available at http://www.intel.com/go/ehs . Information on Intel and education is available at http://www.intel.com/education .

Online Release and Pictures:

http://nature.org/aboutus/projects/berkshire/press/press682.html

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Contact: Jane Bartnett for The Nature Conservancy, +1-516-897-9017, or janebartco@aol.com; or Patrick G. Ward of Intel Corporation, +1-978-553-6327, or patrick.g.ward@intel.com

Website: http://www.lastgreatplaces.org/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 21, 2002
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