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.

Blog eNewsletter : A Message to Our Community: We want to share a big feeling we’re having right now.

As the anniversary of closing our doors due to the pandemic approaches, we want to share a big feeling we’re having right now: gratitude. For you, our community.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on March 10, 2021.

Earth Matters : The enduring bond of dogs and humans

By Michael Dover

The germ of this column came from reading Michael Pollan’s “The Botany of Desire,” which shows the reciprocal relationship between people and domesticated plants: The plants meet human desires and humans propagate the plants widely. My immediate reaction was, “Of course! Dogs and cats!” The idea was helped along when a wonderful dog joined our family.

Published in Earth Matters on February 22, 2021.

In the News : Outdoor lore

By Kevin Gutting

AMHERST – Participants in the “Jumping Mice” group, for kindergartners and first graders, hiked to what’s known as the “Squirrel Kitchen” to enjoy some nature play during the first day of the February vacation program at the Hitchcock Center on Monday.

Published in In the News on February 16, 2021.

In the News : Hitchcock Center Executive Director Julie Johnson stepping down after nearly 20 years

By Cori Urban

During Living Building tours at Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Executive Director Julie M. Johnson likes to hear young students exclaim, “That was so cool!”

Published in In the News on February 11, 2021.

Earth Matters : Stunning perspectives now democratized by drones

By Christine Hatch

When I fly, I get a window seat whenever I can. I press my face against the glass, camera ready, and spend the flight marveling at the shapes in the landscape, how the surfaces turn to art, how places I know from maps are transformed by the light and are so, so small.

Published in Earth Matters on February 8, 2021.

In the News : Departing Hitchcock Center chief Julie Johnson helped build environmental leader

By Scott Merzback Staff Writer

Already well known for its environmental education when Julie Johnson arrived as executive director, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment has attained national prominence in confronting climate change and promoting environmental knowledge — and its influence continues to grow.

Published in In the News on February 7, 2021.

Earth Matters : Guides aside, birds are where you find them

By David Spector

As birdwatchers travel we keep track of birds we encounter, especially those new to us. And when we travel, we want information about finding such birds.

The Massachusetts birdwatcher visiting California wants to know when and where to experience snowy plovers, tufted puffins, western screech-owls, western bluebirds, western tanagers and other western birds; the California birdwatcher on an exchange visit to Massachusetts would want information about piping plovers, Atlantic puffins, eastern screech-owls, eastern bluebirds, scarlet tanagers and other northeastern species.

Published in Earth Matters on January 25, 2021.
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