Adult Community Programs
The Hitchcock Center offers a wide range of adult education programs 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.
Community programs are listed on this page by program category. Click the category to get there faster: environmental justice series, natural history, sustainability, volunteer days. To view programs chronologically, please visit our calendar.
Did you know that your EBT, WIC, or ConnectorCare card can be used to access membership and programs at the Hitchcock Center? Learn more about the EBT Card to Culture Program.
NATURAL HISTORY PROGRAMS
Nature All Season — Fall Session
Join us for an in-depth natural history course to develop your naturalists skills. Each month, in our series of nature explorations with different local naturalists, we explore a focused, seasonal, natural history topic. We’ll look at nature in new ways, from broad habitat perspectives to close details of individual species. Over the course of the year we’ll visit a variety of natural habitats in the greater Pioneer Valley area. Identification skills, ecological connections, adaptations, and life cycles of organisms will be the focus of our observations. Bring your curiosity and observation skills. Dress for the weather for 3 hours as we rarely cancel due to inclement weather. Bring binoculars and a hand lens, water and snacks if you would like. These will be outdoor only programs and please bring masks and plan to wear them when within 6 feet of others.
Tier A – $45 per class or $162 for fall season
Tier B – $36 per class or $130 for fall season
Tier C – $27 per class or $97 for fall season
Tier D – $18 per class or $65 for fall season
There is a 10% discount for signing up for the full fall series.
September 20 — Insect Tracks and Signs with Charley Eiseman
At Montague Plains
Join the author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates for an exploration in search of galls, leaf mines, egg cases, cocoons, webs, nests, burrows, and other traces of insects, spiders, slugs, and worms!
Biography: Charley Eiseman is a freelance naturalist based in western Massachusetts and working throughout New England. He is the lead author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates and has certified vernal pools for many local towns.
October 4 — Invasive Plant Ecology with Martha Hoopes
At Northampton Community Gardens
Focused on particular invasive species spotted along the trail, this walk will cover the the ways genetics, humans, environmental conditions and native diversity can all play a role in the spread and impacts of native species.
Biography: Ecologist Martha Hoopes is interested in how species coexist and even more in why they don’t. Her research focuses on conservation biology and the human interactions with the environment that lead to rarity, declining population sizes, and even to extinction. Martha is a co-author of the book Invasion Ecology.
November 29 — Geology of the Pioneer Valley with Steve Roof
At location TBD
Join us on a walk through time! Come and explore the earth-shaping history of the Pioneer Valley as Steve delves into geologic processes and the ways in which land and humans interact and affect one another.
Biography: Steve Roof, professor of earth and environmental science, focuses his research and teaching on environmental issues such as climate change, pollution, and land conservation.
December 13 — Winter Happenings with Brian Schultz
At Hitchcock Center
Join us on this winter walk as we look for overwintering species (insects and otherwise) and learn about the ways many organisms, including trees, survive throughout the harshest months of the New England year.
Biography: An agricultural ecologist and entomologist who does research at the Hampshire College Farm Center, Schultz has spent a number of years in Central America and the Caribbean studying methods of insect pest control.
Hitchcock Nature Trivia Night: A monthly virtual trivia contest fundraiser
Join us for a monthly online trivia contest fundraiser for environmental education. The quiz will test you on a wide breadth of science, nature and environmental knowledge. The winning team will split the award with the Hitchcock Center for the Environment Scholarship Fund.
- Sign up as teams of 1–4 people, with a flat fee of $50 per team per game. The more teams, the bigger the prize, so invite your friends!
- We will need a minimum of 6 teams to play each game. With 6 teams, the winning team’s prize is $100*, with an equal amount going to the Hitchcock Center Scholarship Fund. With a maximum of 22 teams playing, the winning team and the Scholarship Fund each receive $500*!
- Advanced registration required and available up until the evening before the contest. Upon registration the team will be provided a Zoom link to participate.
- Individuals will be able to play together as a team even if they are in different locations. Each team will be assigned a breakout room in advance so they can discuss answers as a team.
- The game will be played in 2 rounds of 15 questions with a break in the middle to score and learn where your team stands in the contest.
- We will ask that all players follow the honor system and not consult other sources for answers while playing.
- The contest and questions are geared towards adults. In the future we may offer Family Nature Trivia Nights as well, so stay tuned!
* After expenses to run each game.
Game Play Schedule:
7:00–7:10 Greetings and Directions, each team will need to assign a scribe who will have a private chat with the host to submit your teams answers.
7:10–7:30 Round One: 15 Questions. Play begins with 3 questions at a time and 2 minutes to answer. Questions will be read aloud and posted in the chat. Teams then goes into their team break-out room to discuss answers. At the end of the round teams have 2 minutes to look back over all 15 answers and submit.
7:30–7:40 Halftime Break. All players together to chat, use the bathroom, get a snack, etc.
7:40–7:50 Review answers from Round 1 as a large group and report top 3 teams at Halftime.
7:50–8:10 Round Two. 15 questions in same format as Round One.
8:10–8:15 Scoring break. All players together again so folks can chat.
8:15–8:25 Go over answers and announce the winners.
Fall Birding with Scott Surner
Saturdays, September 5, 12, 19, 26 and October 10, 17
7 – 11am at varying locations
Fee per person: Tier A – $360, Tier B – $288, Tier C – $216*
Registration will open on Monday, August 10 at 9am.
Join Scott Surner for outdoor birding this fall. Good news, in spite of all that isn’t safe right now watching birds outdoors is still to be enjoyed. Field trips will meet at the locations rather than at the Hitchcock Center and there will be no carpooling. Masks will need to be worn when 6ft distance from each other can not be maintained as well as any other COVID-19 health and safety requirements of our state and local health departments. Program enrollment is limited to 10 participants per program and will be held exclusively outdoors.
*Given this time of financial hardship for our community and our organization, we are offering a sliding scale fee structure aimed to provide greater flexibility in choosing a price that is right for you and your family.
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE SERIES
Please check back for environmental justice programs.
Please check back for volunteer days.
Our Living Building Tours – CANCELLED
with Jessica Schultz
Come meet our newest educator – our Certified Living Building! It is designed to model systems in nature, it is net zero energy, net zero water, has composting toilets, and has been made with responsibly sourced non-toxic materials, come check it out at one of our bi-monthly tours. Tours typically last from 1-1.5 hours. Note: We are pleased to be able to offer Spanish language translators for our building tours. If you or someone you know could benefit from translation, please let us know in advance, so that we may schedule a translator for your tour date.