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Four Rivers Climate Club organizes litter cleanup, panel on environmental activism

By Chris Larabee

In an effort to raise further awareness of climate change and the power of collective action, the new Climate Club at Four Rivers Charter Public School held a day of action this week with a speaker panel and trash pickup around the city. The nascent club, which formed in March, brought together panelists to speak to students about their environmental work, climate activism and how students can use their voice to make change. Following the panel, students were split up into groups assigned to different areas around Greenfield to pick up trash on local lands and waterways, as well as on campus.

Published on May 13, 2024.

Hitchcock Center: What is it and why is it so cool?

By Charlotte Relyea-Strawn

The Hitchcock center located in Amherst, Massachusetts, is not just a regular building that offers activities to kids! It is unique because it is the 23rd Certified Living Building in the world and the 4th one in Massachusetts! It is a living building because it has net zero energy meaning it is completely sustainable. What is net zero? Net zero means that the greenhouse gasses being produced and taken out of the atmosphere are balanced so there isn’t an increase of carbon dioxide in the air. Specifically the Hitchcock center uses net zero energy for building its own harvests, recycling water, composting toilets, and eliminating toxic materials.

Published on April 3, 2024.

Giving Tuesday Message from Koby

My name is Koby Gardner-Levine, and I’m a member of the Board of Directors for the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Being on the board has given me the opportunity to see firsthand the impact this organization has on our community, country, and, really, our world. The work of the Hitchcock Center is of the utmost importance, especially since climate change has become a primary concern for all of us! In 2023, our farmers across Western Mass lost entire fields to flooding in the summer and entire orchards to extreme freezes in the early spring. We’ve also seen damage to town infrastructure across our region. The impact of climate change is here and now!

Published on November 28, 2023.

EPA grants to enhance air pollution monitoring in region

By Julian Mendoza

Stephanie Apanell’s fourth grade class at Whately Elementary School joined forces with Amherst’s Hitchcock Center for the Environment this October for a series of climate-related explorations. Students engaged in hands-on activities over the course of three sessions at Whately Elementary, as well as during one visit to the Hitchcock Center. Monya Relles, the Hitchcock Center’s environmental educator who headed the program, said they primed their lessons to make climate-related education about more than “just being hopeless.”

Published on November 13, 2023.

Press Release: The Hitchcock Center Receives Funding from the EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement Program Funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act

Amherst, MA, November 7, 2023 — The Hitchcock Center for the Environment has been selected to receive $500,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for expanding and deepening community-based air pollution monitoring, training and education in the Connecticut River Valley region by adding rural communities to the urban partners already engaged in the Healthy Air Network, incorporating extreme heat as a related climate risk, and supporting youth engagement and action.

Published on November 9, 2023.

Hitchcock promotes increased outdoor learning at Northampton Public Schools

By Katie Koerten

In 2021, the Hitchcock Center received an endowment grant from the Northampton Education Foundation to conduct the Take It Outside program. Between September 2021 and May 2022, Hitchcock educator Katie Koerten visited Northampton students in grades K-3 at their schoolyards, teaching STEM lessons through the lens of a grade-specific animal. Through curriculum-aligned lessons, games, and activities, the Take It Outside program aims to provide direct instruction to students while mentoring teachers in outdoor teaching skills.

Published on January 10, 2023.

Where is the water in Holyoke?

By Monya Relles

This was the question I found myself asked when pitching the theme of our Holyoke Summer programs to other educators in my community. The theme was water in Holyoke, but where was the water? What did we do with it? Where did it come from? These were questions Holyoke YMCA summer campers helped me answer in June, July, and August. Over the past year, the Hitchcock Center has had the pleasure of developing a partnership with the Youth Program of the Holyoke YMCA…

Published on January 9, 2023.

Nature, Magic, and the Hitchcock Center

By Natalia Jacobs

Growing up, my favorite book was My Side Of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George. I had convinced myself that one day I, too, would run away to a tree trunk home, survive a blizzard eating acorn pancakes, and befriend falcons and weasels alike. The only problem was that my family had already moved from the city to the forest, and finding me would take a matter of minutes.

Published on January 9, 2023.

Developing Hopeful, Creative Problem-Solvers

By Billy Spitzer

I have been at the Hitchcock Center for over year now, and continue to be impressed by the commitment of the staff, board, volunteers, and community to our mission, “to educate and inspire action for a healthy planet.” This work places us at the intersection of climate change, sustainability, and environmental justice. As the Center is now celebrating its 60th year, our impact continues to radiate from our sustainable Living Building into the communities around us.

Published on January 9, 2023.

2021 Nature Summer Camp Session 4

Our fourth session of camp, Biologists in Training, was wonderful! It was so great to see the different outdoor play spaces and trails full of children learning and playing.

Published on August 12, 2021.
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