Pioneer Valley
Planning Commission

Eric Carle Museum, Amherst, MA
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Profile of the Region - The Pioneer Valley

The Pioneer Valley region encompasses 43 cities and towns in the Connecticut River Valley in western Massachusetts, an area framed on the west by the Berkshires and on the east by the central uplands. An estimated 608,000 people live in the nearly 1,200-square-mile region, which includes the fourth largest metropolitan area in New England. The Pioneer Valley's diverse economic base, its renowned academic institutions, and its wealth of natural resources make it a unique and special place to live and work. The Connecticut River, its fertile agricultural valley, and the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains wrap the region in scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Residents live in downtown areas, suburban neighborhoods, quiet villages, historic areas, and rural homesteads. People work in downtown offices in Springfield, the region's cultural and economic center; in plants and factories in Holyoke and Chicopee, the first planned industrial communities in the nation; in academic halls in Amherst, Northampton, and South Hadley, home to venerable colleges and a flagship university; in tobacco fields in Hadley, where families have worked the land for generations; in distribution centers in Westfield, near the crossroads of two interstate highways; and in offices of Internet service providers scattered throughout the region.

The Pioneer Valley is a region of contrasts, a meeting ground for many cultures, and, above all, the place we call home.

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