Earth Matters : An Earth Day roadside walk reveals our trashy side

By Michael Dover

I’ve been living in Leverett for nine years. There’s lots to like here: a beautiful pond, an excellent elementary school, a fine old Town Hall, and miles of country road with light traffic — great for biking. I love to tell people about the T-shirt that the Friends of Leverett Library used to sell with all the road names of Leverett beautifully written on the front. That’s how small Leverett is.

Published in Earth Matters on May 3, 2021.

Blog eNewsletter : Naturalist and Educator Ted Watt Retires After 35 Years at the Hitchcock Center

Introduction Ted Watt, one of the Hitchcock Center’s much-loved naturalists and educators, has retired after 35 years of education work, leaving a legacy spanning generations of school children, countless teachers, and a community with an increased knowledge of our natural world. His talents and knowledge shaped many programs and partnerships that continue on today. Patti […]

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on April 22, 2021.

Blog eNewsletter : STARS School Residencies Support 99 Virtual STEM Sessions for Grades K-6 Despite COVID-19

The Hitchcock Center is bringing enhanced natural science instruction to thirty-three school classrooms in grades K-6 at five elementary schools this spring. The project is supported by $21,400 in combined funding from each school secured through the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s (MCC) Students and Teachers working with Artists, Scientists, and Scholars (STARS) Residency program. The STARS […]

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on April 21, 2021.

Blog eNewsletter : Hitchcock Student Photography Published in Ranger Rick

Asher Garretson, now 14, a Hitchcock Center (HCE) camper, had a photo published in the January, 2021 issue of Ranger Rick. We sent him some questions to get a little background because this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Asher’s photography so prominently displayed. Asher says, “I use a Nikon Coolpix B600 for most of my photos; […]

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on April 21, 2021.

Blog eNewsletter : Western Mass Youth Climate Summit “Office Hours” Helps Develop Climate Leaders

The Western Mass Youth Climate Summit, held annually each fall for 8-12th graders in the region, has continued to organize monthly meetings through the school year with “Climate Office Hours” designed and facilitated by a youth leadership team of five high school students: Victoria Fogg, Leo Franceschi, Tessa Kawall, Ollie Perault, and Sadie Ross. These […]

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on April 21, 2021.

Blog eNewsletter : Hitchcock Center Participated in Professional Exchange with Morocco

In February, the Hitchcock Center hosted an international professional fellows exchange funded through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, facilitated by U.S. partner Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst. Focused on Civic Engagement, this Professional Fellows Program (PFP) seeks to enhance leadership and professional skills; build lasting partnerships; […]

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on April 21, 2021.

Earth Matters : Tree’s death a part of life

By Tom Litwin

It sits on the edge of the woods in what was once a hedgerow along the road. The woods have taken back the once-adjacent field, joining it with the hedgerow. Succession and time have run their course — pioneering poplar, birch and cherry giving way to the maples, oaks and beech of a mature forest. It’s not much to look at, this big, old dead maple. As unflattering as the technical term for dead trees is — snag — they play a central role in the nutrient cycling of a forest ecosystem.

Published in Earth Matters on April 16, 2021.

Earth Matters : Green burial in a conservation cemetery

By Judith Lorei and Kari Blood

Imagine your favorite walking path through a quiet forest or a scenic meadow, the songbirds flitting among tall grasses, at rest in the morning dew. Your natural pathway winds past native wildflowers buzzing with pollinators, and rocky ridges reminding you of the passage of geologic time. This landscape is familiar to you because you visit this site to honor someone who has died and is buried on this land.

Published in Earth Matters on April 2, 2021.

Earth Matters : Are spicebush swallowtails the cutest caterpillar?

By Katie Koerten

Even if you love winter like me, you’re probably also heartened by the signs of spring that will be popping up soon. Skunk cabbage flowers are already poking up through the mud; red maples are swelling and will bloom soon. Red-winged blackbirds can be heard and turkey vultures are once again soaring through our skies. One early bloom I’ll be looking for in the next few weeks is one I overlooked for many years: northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin). Recently it’s become a friend I eagerly look for in mid-April.

Published in Earth Matters on March 21, 2021.

Earth Matters : Birdhouses definitely not one size fits all

By Joshua Rose

Birdhouses seem simple. Because people cut down dead and dying trees, cavity-dwelling birds can’t find enough nest sites. If we put up birdhouses, those birds can nest there instead, and we all live happily ever after. Right?

Published in Earth Matters on March 12, 2021.
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