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Blog eNewsletter : Hitchcock Center Naturally Adaptable During COVID-19 Pandemic

Hitchcock Center’s outdoor, nature-based programming made us natural leaders as students need outdoor classes and many educators statewide take their first steps into outdoor instruction. Outdoor learning environments have been proven to support the health, curiosity and natural development of children, and we are committed to creating ever more programs that support children’s healthy development this way at a time when indoor instruction poses daunting risks. We’ve taught other teachers, accustomed to classrooms and labs, to make the same shift.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on November 27, 2020.

Blog eNewsletter : Fourth Annual Western Mass Youth Climate Summit Goes Virtual and Expands Youth Empowerment

This year’s Summit was the first to be fully youth designed and facilitated by a youth leadership team of five students: Victoria Fogg, Leo Franceschi, Tessa Kawall, Ollie Perault, and Sadie Ross. Four schools actively participated in the virtual event with 32 students, including WEB DuBois Middle School (Berkshire Regional), Suffield High School (CT), Frontier Regional High School, and homeschoolers. Another three schools participated via the recorded event, including The Bement School, Northampton High School, and Quabbin Regional High School.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on November 27, 2020.

Blog eNewsletter : Reflections on a Great Gardening Year at The Hitchcock Center

by Bridgit Litchfield, volunteer and master gardener

What a soul-satisfying pleasure it is to share gardening tasks with other volunteers and work-study students from the local colleges. We have fun, laugh and get much accomplished while everyone’s ideas are sought, discussed and respected. Each comes to help with the Hitchcock Center’s mission — to educate and motivate into action citizens of all ages and abilities to become environmentally sound stewards of nature.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on November 27, 2020.

Blog eNewsletter : The CARES Act and Charitable Giving in 2020

The CARES Act waives Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for 2020, but you can still choose to take a Qualified Charitable Distribution from a traditional IRA starting at age 70½ to support a qualifying charity and eliminate taxes on that distribution.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on November 27, 2020.

Blog eNewsletter : Grants Provide Important Water Educational Opportunities in Agawam and Chicopee Communities

In partnership with two municipalities and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, the Hitchcock Center will receive a total of $13K to implement a comprehensive stormwater education project for fifth graders in Chicopee and Agawam. Funding will support Hitchcock Center educator Helen Ann Sephton to lead a series of virtual educational programs for every fifth-grade classroom in both towns. The material is designed to deepen students’ awareness and understanding of major storm water and water quality issues in their community.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on November 25, 2020.

Blog eNewsletter : Bat Count StoryWalk® is Ready for Reading and Walking

The newest StoryWalk® has just been installed along the trail on the west side of the Center’s grounds. Families can now enjoying reading Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story by Anna Forrester.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on November 23, 2020.

Earth Matters : Keeping nature intact for all in the CT River Valley

By Laurie Sanders

If you’re interested in natural history, the Connecticut River Valley is a great place to live. The combination of geology, hydrology, human history and climate create a remarkable diversity of habitats. In Northampton, where most of my conservation work has focused, you can explore 40 different types of natural communities — from rocky summits and cliffs to open marshes, floodplain forests and rivers.

Published in Earth Matters on November 21, 2020.

Blog eNewsletter : A Special Hitchcock Center Announcement 

After nearly twenty years of service, our remarkable executive director, Julie Johnson, has announced that she will be departing her leadership role at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment on June 30, 2021.

As she embarks on her life-long goal of starting her own consulting business, Julie is committed to shepherding in the next chapter of the organization and she will remain connected to the Center as one of our strongest community partners. Julie is the longest running director in the organization’s fifty-eight-year history, and her visionary leadership and passion for environmental education and advocacy is woven into the physical, philosophical, and operational DNA of the center.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on November 13, 2020.

Earth Matters : An inside look at a loon

By Katie Koerten

During my stint as a bird rehabilitation intern in Vermont years ago, we had some memorable moments. Once, someone brought in a juvenile bald eagle that had been shot near the Canadian border. We were horrified at the crime of shooting such a bird, but excited to be in charge of its care. It made a full recovery and we released it at the Connecticut River, where it promptly flew across into New Hampshire. But the experience that made perhaps the biggest impression on me was the time we got a call about a common loon that had been found in a parking lot, listless and unable to fly.

Published in Earth Matters on October 30, 2020.

Earth Matters : Spiders right at home with you

By Joshua Rose

The back door is their favorite. Not that they avoid the front. I see a few there. The front is just too clean, bright and sunny. Not enough hiding places. Plus, we humans are always blundering through, destroying their webs.

Published in Earth Matters on October 17, 2020.
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