Published on August 17, 2021

Storm Damages Trails & Destroys Pike's Pond Boardwalk

Boardwalk damaged at Pleasant Valley

On July 27, Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox was hit by a devastating storm. The microburst it produced uprooted or snapped hundreds of mature trees in a swath across the entrance and trail-laden section of the sanctuary.

Sadly, the beloved Pikes Pond boardwalk—part of our universally accessible trail and an essential stop for many of our education programs—was destroyed. We are grateful that no one was injured and that none of the sanctuary’s buildings, including the new accessible addition to the historic barn, were severely damaged.

Though this storm was the most extreme and damage-causing one we experienced this summer, it was one of many intense rain events that has impacted Pleasant Valley. These frequent and significant storms have forced us to close trails or build emergency stop-gap measures to traverse flooded sections throughout the sanctuary.

As we assess the most recent damage and begin to chart a path forward, we recognize that there is bigger story here than acute storm recovery. We are witnessing first-hand the impact of climate change and the immediate, unprecedented threat it poses. We must address Pleasant Valley’s vulnerability in order to improve the resilience of our landscape, for the benefit of people who enjoy the sanctuary, the wildlife who rely on it, and for the many essential services nature provides.

As soon as we have more information, along with ways to help, we will provide an update.