Frequently Asked Questions


The Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network is a formalization of many informal networks of  sustainability experts in the area which acts as a vehicle to bridge the gap between practitioners and researchers in the area of sustainable development, with an initial emphasis on sustainable land use and energy use.  

Current active participants include representatives from:
        Professor John Gerber – Plant Science and Sustainability Studies         
Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative
Westfield State College–Sustainability program
Partnership for a Healthier Springfield
Pioneer Valley Sustainable Investing Summit
Who is a part of the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network?
A group of leaders in the network, from the organizations listed above, are meeting quarterly staffed by representatives from UMass and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC). Early work includes creating a regional list of value-based sustainability metrics, developing decision-support tools, and educating the public about what sustainability means in the Pioneer Valley.  
How can I be a part of the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network?
The Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network is accessible online. If you would like to be a part of
the network you can:

  • Get Involved! Contact PVPC to learn about the Network
  • Define sustainability! 
    • Engage in an online wiki (editable forum) at which will provide opportunities to define what sustainable values are shared in the valley, what’s happening and what sustainability means to us (coming soon)
  • Be a leader! Contact PVPC to be a regular representative at quarterly Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network meetings 

What is a Sustainability Metric?
A sustainability metric is a set of quantifiable outcomes to a particular action that can be measured and compared between different projects.  The amount of air pollution created by an action may be an indicator of the sustainability of a particular project and thus be valuable in a set of metrics that seeks to quantify sustainable outcomes.
Who do I contact to get involved or find out more?
Contact Catherine Miller at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

Phone: 413/781-6045