Adult Community Programs
The Hitchcock Center is offering limited adult education programs at this time. Please see our seasonal offerings below, aimed at fostering greater environmental awareness, literacy and action. These programs are offered through our highly skilled education staff as well as through a strong network of scientists, naturalists, environmentalists, educators, advocates and organizations who partner with the Hitchcock Center.
Fall Birding with Scott Surner
Registration will open at Friday, September 17 at 9am.
Join expert birder Scott Surner for 7 Saturday field classes. Scott will take you to all the best spots for fall migration and waterfowl throughout the season.
In order to sign up for fall birding you must be vaccinated for COVID-19, complete a health screening before each class and be willing to carpool (many field trip sites have limited parking).
Sept: 25th- (7AM-12) Hadley/Northampton area – Fall Warblers/Sparrows
Oct: 2nd- (7AM-12) Quabbin Reservoir- Early Waterfowl – Late Warblers & Vireos
Oct: 16th (7AM-12) Hadley/Northampton Area- Sparrows and late Warblers
Oct: 23rd (7AM-12) Franklin County-Deerfield, Turners Falls – Sparrows & Waterfowl
Oct 30th (7AM-12) Local- Hampshire/Franklin County – Waterfowl
Nov: 6th (6AM-3PM) Moran Refuge (Windsor) & Berkshire Lakes (Chershire, Pittsfield, Richmond) – Waterfowl Trip
Nov: 13th- (5AM-late Afternoon) Plum Island/Cape Ann. All Day – We’ll visit either Plum Island or Cape Ann this day. As the date gets closer, I’ll make a decision as to which area we’ll bird that day. Looking for more waterfowl, early winter migrants like Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike and Snowy Owl
All trips will leave from the Hitchcock Center Parking Lot at the designated times. Class cost $350
Forest Bathing at the Hitchcock Center
Come experience a guided Forest therapy walk with Todd Lynch, certified ANFT guide. Forest and Nature Therapy offers us the opportunity to slow down. It re-aligns our rhythms with the landscape, allowing our senses a respite from everyday demands and uncertainties. It’s a chance to remember our connections to nature and the joyful relationships that await us outside. This guided experience is not a hike or naturalist adventure, but an opportunity to slow down and allow our bodies to engage all of our senses. Please note that this is not “therapy” as commonly denoted in our culture, but an offering of a therapeutic way to be in nature. Guides are not trained clinicians; they hold the space to let the forest be the “therapist”.
What to Expect:
A leisurely walk of about a mile with stops along the way where we will gather and sit. We’ll all wear our masks when we gather together and the walk will be planned in a way to promote safe physical distancing of 6 feet or more between participants.
We will focus on our senses to develop an immediate connection with the forest. This is a very relaxed, slow, and mindful way of walking. The walk should last about 2-2.5 hours and we will finish with a gathering circle where we can share about our experiences..
To view programs chronologically, please visit our calendar.
Building Tours for Classes or Groups – SUSPENDED AT THIS TIME
The Hitchcock Center is the 23rd building in the world and the 4th in Massachusetts to achieve the Certified Living Building designation! It is designed to model systems in nature, it is net zero energy and water, has composting toilets, and has been made with responsibly sourced non-toxic materials. Find out what makes our building a special teaching tool empowering visitors to ask, “what does sustainability look like in the built environment and in my community?” Using Zoom, we’ll explore the systems and features of the building. Bring your questions so we can learn together. Tours typically last from 1-1.5 hours.
Guidelines and FeesFees click here to read more
Given this time of financial hardship for our community and our organization, we are offering a new sliding scale fee structure aimed to provide greater flexibility in choosing a price that is right for you and your family.
- Tier A: The fee is set 25% higher than what it costs to run the program and helps to support those who cannot afford the full cost of the program.
- Tier B: The fee is set to cover 100% of the program costs.
- Tier C: The fee is set at 25% less than what it costs to run the program.
- Tier D: This fee is set at 50% less than what it costs to run the program. This option is available for EBT, WIC, and Connector Care Card to Culture participants, that is, households receiving benefits through the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance and the Massachusetts Health Connector
Read our complete COVID-19 Program Participant Guidelines.
Our in-person programs will be held outdoors, even in the cold weather months. Outdoor learning environments have been shown to be one of the safest ways to teach while preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Masks will be required at all times when social distancing (six feet apart) is not able to be maintained. This will continue until our local and state health officials say otherwise.
As much as our teaching approach is “hands-on,” we will be limiting touching and sharing. If any equipment or materials are needed as part of the program, we will provide participants with their own. All equipment and materials will be returned and individually disinfected at the end of the program.
Participants need to come prepared for all outdoor weather conditions. We suggest bringing a backpack with extra layers, including socks and hats, bottled water, and snacks, as well as insect repellent and sunscreen as-needed.