Balanced and Barefoot Lectures

Learn how outdoor play can benefit the sensory and motor development of children with pediatric occupational therapist, author and TimberNook Founder, Angela Hanscom. Learn more...

Children & Family Programs

Registration is now open for all winter and many spring Children and Family Programs. Find the program that's right for your family and register today. Learn more...



  1. Living Building Tour

    December 19—12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  2. Nature Play Afterschool

    December 19—3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
  3. Girls into the Wild

    December 20—3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
  4. Hitchcock Center Closed

    December 22
  5. Hitchcock Center Closed

    December 23
  6. Hitchcock Center Closed

    December 24
  7. Hitchcock Center Closed

    December 25

Earth matters

"Earth Matters" is in the Daily Hampshire Gazette every two weeks.

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment
Hitchcock Center for the Environment
Here is the December 14 Earth Matters, part 2 of Tom Litwin’s essay on his visit to the Bering Sea 10 years ago. He was part of a team of scientist studying the sea ice and its diverse life that underpins the food chains of both wildlife and human communities. This is what is at stake as sea ice declines due to global warming.

P.S. If you’re unable to access the Gazette page, wait until Monday or Tuesday and go to the Hitchcock Center website,, where you’ll find the article on the home page.
Hitchcock Center for the Environment
Hitchcock Center for the Environment
Hitchcock Center educators introduce engineering design curricula to children as young as 2nd grade through hands-on activities and experiences in our living building. The skills and thought processes they learn have life-long benefits, in addition to building curiosity about sustainabile building and biomimicry.

"What does urban planning have to do with education? Whether you’re a kid or an adult, I think the biggest challenge is often figuring out how to sift through information, deciding what information to use, and learning to make compromises. You have to understand that the best argument isn’t the loudest one. It has to be rational.

For example, we had a group of students decide to build a hotel at the top of the hill near the school, connected by a tram, because the location afforded excellent views. That’s good reasoning. But the next week, they realized that construction would be difficult, and decided to raze the hill! And I told them: “Wait, you had agreed last week that the hill was good for the hotel.” So it’s about teaching the students how to rationalize the process and to keep progressing from your original thinking to taking the next step.

On the sustainability front, we also have to start teaching this from a young age. A lot of students think putting their plastic bottles in the recycling bin is what sustainability means. But there’s a broader way to think about it, [such as], how do you think about transportation to reduce car use? These are very broad and complex topics, and we have to simplify them for the students to get across the message that to make the future of cities more sustainable, you really have to think about a lot of different factors."

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There's still time to help us meet our #ValleyGivingTuesday goal to raise $10,000 for our Scholarship Fund! Your donation helps meet a matching challenge & will ensure we can fill our Nature Summer Camp with more children. HitchcockCenter photo

Help send 24 children to Nature Summer Camp! Your contribution on Giving Tuesday will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000. #ValleyGivingTuesday HitchcockCenter photo

November 27th is Giving Tuesday, a global day of online giving. Support education for a healthy planet by making a donation to @HitchcockCenter! This year, instead of holding a separate Valley Gives Day, the Valley Gives on #ValleyGivingTuesday HitchcockCenter photo

Acting Together in the Face of the Climate Crisis, a panel conversation with Jacqueline Velez, Susan Theberge, and Marty Nathan tonight at 7pm @HitchcockCenter on local issues. #AmherstMA #WesternMA #environmentaljustice HitchcockCenter photo

Pollination Celebration Day is September 23, 11-3! Activities for the family: building bee hotels, tagging monarchs, gardening workshops, face painting, the Caterpillar Lab from Keene, NH, pollinator parade and more! Schedule at #AmherstMA #WesternMA HitchcockCenter photo

Our latest Earth Matters column by staff member Patrick O'Roark: What color is your praying mantis? #AmherstMA #WesternMA #Insects HitchcockCenter photo

Our article in Science&Children from @NSTA! "How Can We Store Water During a Drought? A #sustainability #engineering #design #challenge for 4th graders" is #curriculum developed from our @livingbuilding as educator. #elementaryeducation #buildthechange HitchcockCenter photo

" Massachusetts the number of days with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit is expected to increase from the five to 20 that we experience today, to 30 to 60 annually by the end of the century." @EnvironmentMA #RenewableAgenda

Do you have a passion for science and the natural world? Are you skilled in working with children? The Hitchcock Center has an opening for a part-time environmental educator. Learn more: https://bit.l/2lJh4LU #AmherstMA #WesternMA HitchcockCenter photo

Join us today from 5-8pm @rivervalleycoop. Proceeds will benefit the Hitchcock Center which is recipient of the Austin Miller Co-Op Hero Award. AND, June’s Green Stamp recipient is the Hitchcock Center! #AmherstMA #NorthamptonMA #OthersideMA #WesternMA
HitchcockCenter photo
River Valley Co-op @rivervalleycoop
Our annual summer kickoff event is this Thursday, with all proceeds to benefit our friends at the @HitchcockCenter! Delicious food, face painting, live music, and so much more!

Hitchcock Center's design team in NYC today sharing the process of designing a building as an educational and advocacy tool! #AmherstMA #WesternMA #OthersideMA #LivingBuildingChallenge #LBC #buildingaseducator #ecotourism #AIACON18
HitchcockCenter photo
designLAB architects @designLABBERS
This morning @spbatchelor and @kellyardhaigh are at #AIACON18 speaking about their process designing the @HitchcockCenter building as an educational tool

See you in Northampton on Wednesday to discuss climate and energy issues for MA Senate.
#AmherstMA #westernMA #othersidema
HitchcockCenter photo
Climate Action Now MA @CAN_mass
Forum focused on climate and energy issues for MA Senate (Hampshire-Worcester-Franklin) Candidates June 20 in Northampton #mapoli #climateEmergency @MOFpv @MassSierraClub @350Mass @greeninggreenfi @HitchcockCenter @MothersOutFront @northamptontv

Join us at @rivervalleycoop's Strawberry Ice Cream Social is this Thursday, June 21 from 5-8pm! As the nonprofit recipient of the Austin Miller Co-op Hero Award, Strawberry Ice Cream Social food sale proceeds benefit @HitchcockCenter. #westernma #othersidema #amherstma HitchcockCenter photo

Thank you to everyone who joined the fun at Battle of the Botanicals. With your help we raised over $33,000 for @hitchcockcenter's environmental education programs! And a BIG thank you to all the participating restaurants, sponsors, MC & judges! #battleofthebotanicals #amherstma HitchcockCenter photo

Your favorite local restaurants are competing in a benefit for the Hitchcock Center’s education for a healthy planet on June 7th! Join us for amazing appetizers and craft cocktails and vote for your favorite! #battleofthebotanicals #amherstma HitchcockCenter photo

Top local restaurants are going head to head on June 7th! Join us for botanically inspired food and drinks, vote for your favorites, and help support education for a healthy planet at the Hitchcock Center! Get your tickets today! #amherstma #westernma HitchcockCenter photo

A thank you shout out to all our donors on #ValleyGives today! These kind words came in from donor David Moon with his gift, "The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is beautiful, and its staff and members are too!" Thank you David! HitchcockCenter photo

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment