GBFG’s mission is to preserve and restore the environmental health of the Fairgrounds site, and to provide agriculturaleducationalrecreational, and other beneficial opportunities to the local community and visitors through the preservation and sustainable development of this historic site.

In December 2012, the 57-acre property was purchased by Bart & Janet Elsbach with the vision to develop it into a resource for the community and by the community.  With the support and interest of local individuals, organizations, and businesses, the Great Barrington Fair Ground Redevelopment Project [GBFG] was formed as a non-profit organization (Federal Tax ID: 61-1692162).

The primary goal is and has always been protecting the site from the environmental degradation it is subjected to. This includes cleaning up a constant stream of trash from surrounding roadways, properties and people illegally accessing the site, vigilant efforts to stem the invasion of damaging non-native species, protecting this environmentally-rich and sensitive site from aggressive commercial development and drainage pollution, limiting aggressive use and activities on site and minimizing the harmful impacts of the uses we permit through the maintenance of enhanced buffer zones near sensitive areas. We have removed actual tons of illegally-dumped trash and invasive species. The site has been significantly rehabilitated from its state of complete dereliction, and maintenance efforts are constant and ongoing.

Community Use

The community garden, established in 2016, remains vital and is a means to gather and provide nourishment and education to local families and individuals who wish to grow their own food.

Maintaining the site for use by organizations for events is a big job done entirely through volunteer labor. We partner with community groups and organizations we have partnered with by

  • providing recreational, educational and community service outings for their students or constituents
  • providing a venue for the growing of food
  • providing a venue for their own event hosting
  • providing fence space to promote their community events
  • collaborating to present events that benefit the community
  • hosting programs that benefit them financially (as via a percentage of ticket sales to events hosted on the site)


Alliance for a Viable Future

Berkshire Community College ESL program

Berkshire Community Diaper Project

Berkshire Court System

Berkshire Fermentation Festival

Berkshire Grown

Berkshire Historical Society

Berkshire Metal Detecting Society

Berkshire Pottery Tour

Berkshire PowWow

Berkshire School

Berkshire South Regional Community Center

Berkshire Woodworkers Guild

Blue Rider Stables


Charley’s Fund

Circus Smirkus

Community Access to the Arts

Construct, Inc.

Dewey Academy

Fairview Hospital

Festival Latino

Great Barrington Arts Market

Great Barrington Farmers’ Market

Great Barrington Land Conservancy

Great Barrington Rotary



Lenox Art Association

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Mount Everett School

St. James Place

The Trustees of Reservations


Waldorf school of the Berkshires

Westfield State College (free hosting of track meet with 5 other colleges)






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