Adult Community Programs

We have unique opportunities for adults and families this fall! Stay tuned for even more to come!

Fall Birding Course with Scott Surner

Our Fall Birding Course with Scott Surner is open to 15 observers. The course will consist of ten field trips to various locations in the Connecticut River Valley, plus three coastal areas. Scott will help you work through the confusing plumages of fall warblers, and the streak and unstreaked plumages of fall sparrows. Our trips to the coast should provide us with an opportunity to study the different plumages of adult and juvenile southbound Shorebirds, Herons, Gulls, Terns, and with a little luck, some pelagic birds (Shearwaters, Storm-Petrels, and Jaegers) off the beaches of Cape cod. All trips depart from the Hitchcock Center and car-pooling will be encouraged. The class will be limited to fifteen observers and outdoor only for COVID Safety. Participants must be vaccinated and willing to carpool. Registration is OPEN.


Aug 20th- Plum Island or another coastal location within a two-hour drive. This trip’s primary focus will be migrating Shorebirds from their breeding grounds in the Arctic. Depart 5 AM- All Day.

Sept 3rd – Local. 7 AM-12:00. Fall Warblers/Shorebirds. Hampshire/Franklin County.

Sept 10th – Local 7 AM-12:00. Warblers- with a special focus on locating the elusive Connecticut Warbler.

Sept 17th- Local 7 AM-12:00.- Warblers, Vireos, Flycatchers etc.

Oct 1st – Local 7AM-12:00 Sparrows/Late Warblers.

Oct 15th- Local- 7 AM- 12:00. Prime time for migrating Sparrows!

Oct 21-23rd. Cape Cod Weekend. We’ll explore areas from Chatham down to Provincetown. More info after signing up. If accommodations are hard to come by, we may do a one-day trip to the Connecticut shore.

Oct 29th- Local- 7:00 AM- 12:00. Waterfowl/Sparrows

Nov 5th – Local. 7 AM-12:00.

Dec 3rd – Last class- back to Coast. Probably Cape Ann (Gloucester/Rockport area) 5:00 AM-all day. Sea ducks, Grebes, and more.

The class will be limited to fifteen observers and outdoor only for COVID Safety. Participants must be vaccinated and willing to carpool. Registration is OPEN.

First Thursday Gentle Nature Walks 

Join naturalist and birder John Green for leisurely nature walks on some of our more accessible trails in the valley and see what you find.   Space is limited and registration is required. Sliding scale fee $14, $24, $34 per class. 

September 1st –  8am -10am – Silvio Conte Fort River Trail in Hadley 

October 6th – 8am -10am  –  Quabbin Visitor Center 

November 3rd – 8am -10am – The Notch Visitor’s Center

Birding with John Green 

John Green has been birding for 40 some years, has an excellent ear and is always out and about seeking what around.  Join him in two of his favorite spots for fall bird migration.  You gotta get out early to see and hear the most birds!  Join him for one or both of these birding outings.  All levels welcome, terrain will be easy to moderate. Space is limited and registration is required. Sliding scale $20, $30, $40 per class. 

Sunday, September 18, 7:30am – 10:00am – Silvio Conte Refuge Fort River Trail 

Sunday, October 2, 7:30am – 10:00am – Quabbin Visitor Center 

Forest Bathing 

Forest and Nature Therapy Walks 

Our time together on a guided Forest and Nature Therapy walk is not a hike or naturalist adventure,but an opportunity to slow down and allow our bodies to engage all of our senses. This is not “therapy”as commonly denoted in our culture, but an offering of a therapeutic way to be in nature. Forest and Nature Therapy offers us the opportunity to slow down. It re-aligns our rhythms with the land-scape, allowing our senses a respite from everyday demands and uncertainties. It’s a chance to remember ourselves and the joyful relationships that await us outside. You can expect a leisurely walk of about a mile with stops along the way where we will gather and sit. This is a very relaxed, slow,and mindful way of walking. The walk should last about 1.5 hours and we will finish with a Shinrin Yoku tea. Space is limited and registration is required, Sliding scale $25, $30, $35 per class. 

Saturday, October 30, 2:00-4:00pm

November 13, 2:00-4:00pm 

Building Tours for Classes or Groups 

The Hitchcock Center is the 23rd building in the world and the 4th in Massachusetts to achieve the Certified Living Building designation! It is designed to model systems in nature, it is net zero energy and water, has composting toilets, and has been made with responsibly sourced non-toxic materials. Find out what makes our building a special teaching tool empowering visitors to ask, “what does sustainability look like in the built environment and in my community?” Using Zoom, we’ll explore the systems and features of the building. Bring your questions so we can learn together. Tours typically last from 1-1.5 hours and have a sliding scale fee of $50-$100.  Please email to schedule a tour.


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Hitchcock Center for the Environment