In the News

Amherst’s underground tunnels allow locals to watch salamanders migrate

By Amalia Wompa

Every year, Amherst citizens and college students witness the salamander crossings through cold, pouring rain with little to no light, except for red fluorescent head lamps…Before these tunnels were constructed, it was common for passing traffic to accidentally run over these small creatures, hindering their new population in the coming spring.

Published in In the News on April 27, 2023.

With climate education, Hitchcock Center looks to help children envision ideal world

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 in In the News on January 2, 2023.

Young Easthampton climate activist scores royal audience at Celtics game

By Emily Thurlow

When 15-year-old Ollie Perrault found herself on the basketball court at the TD Garden, she seized an opportunity she’d never thought she’d have, and she took her shot. And though the Easthampton climate activist wasn’t trying to score any actual baskets, she was able to get some airtime for her cause when she met Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Prince William and Princess Kate of Wales.

Published in In the News on December 5, 2022.

NEF delivers $86K in grants

By Rebeca Pereira

Eight Northampton Public Schools programs have received a total $86,411 in grant funding from the Northampton Education Foundation’s 16th annual Endowment Awards, the largest disbursal awarded to the district’s schools in a single cycle. Recipient programs range from learning initiatives such as the Hitchcock Center’s Take it Outside! curriculum, which was piloted at Northampton schools last year, to nascent blueprints for experiential learning and novelty course offerings at the high school.

Published in In the News on July 8, 2022.

Grants to bring nature programs to 10 area schools

By Scott Merzback

AMHERST — Behaviors of squirrels and foxes, such as how the animals gather food and their methods of survival, are being featured in Crocker Farm School lessons for kindergartners and third graders. “Systems and Cycles: The Ecology of Our Own Place” is the residency program, led by an instructor from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, that is giving about 140 children, including sixth graders, outdoor, nature-based and hands-on learning opportunities in science, engineering and sustainability. Funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Students And Teachers working with Artists, Scientists and Scholars, or STARS Program, Crocker Farm is one of 10 area schools participating.

Published in In the News on January 16, 2022.

Executive Director Billy Spitzer Interviewed on Valley Free Radio

Hitchcock Center’s Executive Director Billy Spitzer is featured on Unscripted with Chris Forneay on Valley Free Radio.

Published in In the News on September 13, 2021.

Hitchcock Center for the Environment names new director

By Scott Merzbach

AMHERST — Hitchcock Center for the Environment’s new executive director, William “Billy” Spitzer, who begins his tenure later in July, brings experience in science education, climate communication, and network building from his work for more than 20 years at the New England Aquarium.

Published in In the News on July 16, 2021.

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.

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.

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.
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