First Annual Rock the Community: A Day of Service in Honor of Emily Fisher

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On Saturday, September 29, Bard College at Simon’s Rock kicked off Rock the Community: A Day of Service in Honor of Emily Fisher. The first annual event was established to celebrate the leadership of Emily Fisher, Chair of the Board of Overseers, for her commitment to both the College and the greater community.

Fisher, who steps down as chair at the end of the academic year, will continue to serve on the board.

Volunteers Give Back

A designated day of service each September is a way for the Simon's Rock community to "give back" in the spirit of the long standing chair. "Emily's generosity and devotion over the past 20 years has been instrumental to both our growth and our leadership in the early college movement," explained Provost Peter Laipson.

Over 200 students, faculty, and staff volunteered approximately 530 hours of service to 17 different community projects. Volunteers spanned out to sites from Sheffield to Lenox.  “This is just the beginning," said event organizer Karen Advokaat. "Our goal is to grow the program and add many more host organizations over the years.”

Teams headed off to project sites throughout the day to remove invasive species from meadows, trails, and woodlands; mulch and put the gardens to bed for the winter; build bridges on the Appalachian Trail; write dozens of letters to troops; and clean and organize buildings.

Volunteers Gather Friday to Honor Emily Fisher and Return Saturday to Work!


Rock the Community volunteers help off campus and on, including:

Berkshire Botanical Garden
Berkshire South Regional Community Center
Community Garden
Fairview Commons
Greenagers: Housatonic River Walk
Greenagers: Lake Mansfield
Greenagers: Appalachian Trail
Greenagers: Sheffield Land Trust-Cosgriff Property
Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School
Interpretive Trail and Simon’s Rock
IS 183 Art School of the Berkshires
Letter writing to service men and women
The Nature Conservancy
Project Native
Railroad Street Youth Project

Simon’s Rock students have a long history of volunteering at a variety of sites in the Berkshires. Organizing all of the programs under a single umbrella will reinforce the importance of community service. Rock the Community will also help introduce new students to the area they will be calling home for the next few years. The program brings greater exposure to the breadth and depth of service initiatives the College supports.