Hilltown Families

Why do birds vocalize simple chirps sometimes while at other times they emit elaborate, melodious songs? “Bird language” is a term referring to the combined chirps, songs, and behaviors which allow...

Animals are a common interest among children. Whether they’re in love with cats of all shapes and sizes or fascinated by the destructive power of a shark’s jaws, children can learn...

Though the relationships between the two are generally predator-prey, studying the ways in which birds and insects depend on each other can offer insight into the inner workings of the...

Affectionately dubbed man's best friend, dogs have a special place in human society. Through museum exhibits, opportunities for service-based learning, and psychology-centric citizen science, families can engage in meaningful studies of...

Helping to provide much needed support for humans, service dogs are truly some of man's best friends. Local families can engage in service-based learning by fostering future service dogs, giving them...

According to Puritan superstition, black cats carry with them demons and sorcery. The notoriety black cats have gained through this superstition has landed their silhouette on many a Halloween decoration, but...

Fascinating creatures that they are, turtles have been given their very own holiday! Families can celebrate World Turtle Day with a visit to Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary to learn about...

Hilltown Families' Founder & Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal host, Ashley Kohl, to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of...

In the early spring, New England history and culture come alive with the arrival of newborn lambs and the shearing of sheep for the production of wool. The wool industry has...

Springtime brings many migratory bird species back to western Massachusetts and, as these feathered friends return, opportunities for citizen science centered around species preservation arise! Help Mass Audubon to monitor some...

Combining artistic expression and conservation, the annual Junior Duck Stamp Program gives children the opportunity to study local waterfowl and practice using their artistic skills to portray them in their native...

Engage in some furry family community service by becoming a foster family for a local animal shelter or humane society! Cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and even birds await foster...

A common theme throughout childhood, animals are part fascinating and part learning opportunity – and the best way to learn about them is by seeing them in real life. No need...

Springtime outdoor exploration with kids is sure to lead to discoveries of egg masses if you live near still or slow-moving water. There's a lot to be learned just from examining...

Hilltown Families Participates in Smithsonian’s Neighborhood Nestwatch Citizen Scientists Program Every Autumn since 2010, Hilltown Families has participated in a yearly Citizen Scientist project with Biocitizen where families come together to...

Peregrine Falcons Nesting Atop UMass Amherst Did you know that UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. Du Bois Library is home to a pair of Peregrine falcons? You might think that’s an odd place...

Supplement Habitat Studies with the Junior Duck Stamp Program Western Massachusetts is home to a wide variety of duck species.  These beautiful birds make their homes in wetland areas, a habitat...

Mo Willems’ The Red Elephant The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA welcomed The Red Elephant by Western MA author/illustrator Mo Willems this past Saturday on the...

Mass Audubon’s Annual Bird-a-thon Blends Birding Fun and Funds: May 14th-15th, 2010 On May 14th and 15th go where the wild things are with Mass Audubon’s Bird-a-thon. This fun annual event,...

Channel Island Allen Hummingbird Many families have expressed how much they enjoyed Jamie’s recommendation for Molly the Barn Owl live cam, we thought we’d share with our avid birders and budding...

3rd Annual Local Chicken Coop Tour Has your family ever thought of keeping chickens but you’re just not sure where to begin?  A great place to start is the Pioneer Valley...

Jamie Bishop of Plainfield, MA writes: My son and I are Hoffmann Bird Club members, but we have also joined Allen Bird Club and Hampshire Bird Club. Because we live in...

Pick Your Favorite Posies & Help Sangha Farm in Ashfield Name Their Baby Goats & Sheep Sangha Farm has nine pregnant goats and five pregnant sheep, which means at least 20...

100 Links (August/September 2009) Nearly every day I add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family,...

100 Links (June/July 2009) Nearly every day I add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family,...

Listen LIVE 9-10am on Saturday via streaming audio HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW Painted Turtle Episode WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA 07/11/09 PLAYLIST listen LIVE via...

Felice Wolfzahn of Shelburne Falls, MA writes: GUINEA PIG CO-OP!! We have two lovely female guinea pigs (mother and daughter): Peppermint and Sparkle. As with a lot of pets, the family...

Farmyard Tails: Feche la Vache! By Jennifer Bennett, HF Contributing Writer As I sit at my desk, I find myself looking outside at all of the beautiful flowers and buds. I...

Jennifer Bak of Chesterfield, MA writes: The 4H club, Hilltown Birdbrains is always looking for new members. This 4H club is less than 1 year old and includes all feathered friends,...

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE 2010 TOUR IN WESTERN MASS 2nd Annual Local Chicken Coop Tour On Sunday, April 19th, 2009, spend an afternoon in the hilltowns and Pioneer...