The Hitchcock Center, founded in 1962, connects people with nature and encourages a deeper emotional bond with the natural world that sustains us all. The Center helps develop a community that understands connections among human health, ecosystems and economies through educational programs that offer a particular focus on children, who live in a world of environmental challenges.
Our mission is to educate and to inspire action for a healthy planet.
We envision a world where people, communities and ecosystems thrive.
Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
The Hitchcock Center aspires to create and sustain an organization-wide culture that understands that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to the organization’s mission and continued excellence. Through strategic initiatives and partnerships, program design and delivery, volunteer recruitment and staff hires, stewardship and development, and continual education, the Board and staff are working to build a more representative, equitable, and inclusive Center.
Our educational framework
The framework centers on five fundamentals:
- Understanding principles of ecology
- Valuing place
- Promoting resilience
- Demonstrating sustainability in the built environment
- Educating for active citizenship
- 2019 Living Certified Award | International Living Future Institute, Seattle, WA
- 2019 Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award | Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Boston, MA
- 2018 Honor Award for Sustainable Design | Boston Society of Architects, Boston, MA
- 2018 Paul Winske Access Award | Stavros, Amherst, MA
- 2017 Green Giants Award | American Institute of Architects, Western MA Chapter
- 2017 Champions of Toxic Use Reduction Award | UMass Lowell Toxic Use Reduction Institute, Lowell, MA
- 2015 Commonwealth Award for Arts, Humanities, and Sciences | Massachusetts Cultural Council, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- 2015 Stormy Award for Integrating Art and Science to Build Community Support for Stormwater Management | New England Stormwater Collaborative
These videos illustrate the impact of our work:
From WGBY (October, 2019): In 2016, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment moved into its new Living Building on West Street in Amherst. Staying true to its mission, this new building was constructed to achieve the most rigorous green building certification in the world. The sustainable building allowed the Center to expand its programs and to use the building itself as a teaching tool to support sustainable engineering and greater awareness of our environment. Producer Dave Fraser visited the Center recently and shares this story.
Resilience: A Chance to Build (March, 2015) defines what resiliency is (in the context of human qualities); uncovers what the characteristics of a resilient person are; explores why having a resilient citizenry is important; and highlights the Hitchcock Center for the Environment as an example for the type of education that helps nurture resilient people.
Roots: 50 Years of Growth engages our community to talk around the importance of the Center’s work.
Connecting to Place: Educating for Healthy Planet examines our work with schools, in classrooms, and with teachers.
A Natural Bond: Education for a Healthy Planet focuses on our work with children, youth, and families.