Our Living Building Project

Special “Building for the Future” challenge

Double the impact of your gift today, and help us to secure a federal matching grant for our interactive living building exhibits.

We have received a federal challenge grant award of $148,586 from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This grant allows us to design innovative “Learning From Nature” exhibits: interactive educational features on decomposition, energy, our local watershed and the larger water cycle. We will also create a living laboratory through a digital dashboard that shows real-time displays and historical metrics of our water and energy production and usage.

We need your help to fully secure this grant award; please consider a gift today to double your impact and help bring these unique exhibits to life.

Living Building Project Overview

The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is constructing a new 9,000 square foot environmental education center on Hampshire College land that it has secured through a 95-year ground lease. By taking the Living Building Challenge™, the most rigorous standard for green building in the world, the Center aims to be the first “living” environmental education center in New England.

Currently serving over 8,000 children, youth and adults each year, 30% of whom are from low-income households, the Hitchcock Center will open its doors to this revolutionary new building this fall 2016. Our program plans call for 40% more program participants, 45% of whom will be low-income, 250% more visitors, and a 50% increase in public hours.

On May 31, 2016, the Hitchcock Center enhanced its Building for the Future campaign goal by $900,000, from $5.8M to $6.7M. This enhanced goal will support the development of outdoor teaching spaces, accessible trails, and exhibits critical to promoting imagination, observation and creative learning opportunities for people thirsting for more knowledge, greater connection to nature, and pathways to a more restorative relationship with nature.

We call on the continued generosity of our community now in raising the last hard dollars needed to successfully complete this new world-class environmental learning center!

To learn more, click on the links below.

Our Living Building Tour Program

Fall Tour Dates
Wednesdays at 12pm – September 14, 28, October 19, November 16
Fridays at 4pm – September 23, October 7, November 4, December 2
Come meet our newest educator – our building! It is designed to model systems in nature, it is net zero energy, net zero water, has composting toilets, and has been made with responsibly sourced non-toxic materials, come check it out at one of our bi-monthly tours. FREE but please register online (registration opens August 30th).

Learn more about our project:

Our invitation to you:

Your support will help us to welcome our community to the new “living” Hitchcock Center in 2016.

A special business challenge: The Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc. will match all business gifts of any amount, up to $40,000. Help us leverage these important community challenges.


Living Building Challenge™ and related logo is a trademark owned by the International Living Future Institute™ and is used with permission.
Hitchcock Center for the Environment