Building Bridges at the Great Falls

At A Glance


Elyssa Serrilli


Turners Falls, Massachusetts

Primary Issue Area:

  • Living Economies
  • Climate Change & Energy
  • Food
  • Environmental Health

Active since:


Tax Status:


Core volunteers:


Community Size:


Our Purpose

Building Bridges at the Great Falls brings together cultural groups in our community through service projects in art and care for the earth, educational and celebratory events, and a social media stream.  Our goals are to increase peace and local resiliency through friendship, understanding and community service. Our group primarily serves the four towns surrounding the Great Falls: Montague, Greenfield, Gill and Erving. The majority of residents in the 4 towns that comprise our community identify as being progressive and environmentally savvy.  While we have made progress in Earth stewardship and cross-cultural acceptance, there is still a long way to go to reach deep acceptance and understanding of immigrants, Native Americans, LGBTQ folks, and people of color and the kind of deep collaboration is takes to make largest systemic change.  One core point of unity here is pride in our natural areas, so our projects focus on nature connection and take place in the outdoors. Our biggest project to date was “Building Bridges Community Mural,” painted at Unity Park adjacent to the Great Falls.  This mural brought together regional indigenous artists, local indigenous and settler colonial youth, and other local artists.  The mural's success expanded into a film screening and decolonization discussions. We are now focusing on environmental stewardship and the development of biogas.