Hilltown Families

Imagine the world without roads. No highways, interstates, traffic lights, or roundabouts. For most of us, the only way of life we’ve ever known is shaped by our roads and the...

Rivers, as flowing water, can be soothing to the ear, or overpowering with noise, depending on the river's bed or soundscape. Protruding rocks may be the only visible evidence of what...

Rivers flow through our lives both metaphorically and realistically – sources of drinking water, energy and transportation, but also as symbols of life “flowing like a river.” Rivers have been dammed,...

Our river ecosystems are about more than just water - they about thousands of species of plants and animals, fascinating natural history, and the connections between humans and their surroundings. By...

Phoebe Gelbard debuts as Hilltown Families newest Contributing Writer, taking over "The Ripple: Stories About Western MA Rivers," a monthly column previous written by Kurt Heidinger. For her debut post, Phoebe...

"Follow the water and you'll never be lost. That maxim has a zen-ish, new-agey ring to it, even a poetry. But it is based on the hard physical fact that all...

The Importance of Ice Every time there’s a big storm in Miami, the ocean fountains up through the storm-drains and swamps the streets. This happens regularly now, not just in Florida...

This month the Ripple takes us to the riverside, to witness a life larger than we imagine, older and stronger than the mountains and the sky, and as immediate as we...

Imagine the long course of evolution that took our species out of the trees of Northeastern Africa, led us on the great tribal migrations that dispersed us across the globe, and...

The Lessons of Drought In the one hundred and twenty years that flow records have been kept for the Westfield River, never has it been as low as it is today....

When I started writing this column in 2011, I did so hoping to inspire readers to “make the world of rivers bigger than the world of pavement inside of you!” Rivers...

Sustainability: the River Knows the Way Biology tells us that water is life. Religion tells us that life is sacred. Biology does not want to admit that life is sacred (because...

A River Is Always In Synch Like tiny submariners bursting up and out of the bottom of the brook, breaking into wings and soaring for a short time above the world...

Living the life riparian—what does it mean? What could it mean? How can we live it? The best place to consider these questions is by the river side. Every river drains...

In Chile Rivers are everywhere, and one of the joys of paying attention to them is—if you let them, they bring you places far from what you have left behind. Sometimes...

We carry the ocean inside of ourselves. This is a fact; but, due to our cultural make-up, it is a fact that is not connected presently to a larger intelligence. What...

A Great River Teacher: Greenfield’s Karl Meyer

Kurt takes us on an adventure to Rock Dam in Turners Falls, connecting us to our landscape and broadening our awareness of place... this month in "The Ripple: Stories About Western...

Connect to where you live by learning about invasive species and how they impact biodiversity. Then take action to eradicate! -- Japanese knotweed is one such species. This month in "The...

Explore Night Time Nature During National Moth Week July 18-26, 2015 Did you know that there are over 11,000 moth species in the United States alone?  More than just an evening...

All summer long and through the fall, find out about nature-based learning opportunities happening around western Massachusetts here on Hilltown Families. These are terrific ways to let your kids (and yourselves!)...

Our watersheds are fractal and living patterns. In "The Ripple: Stories About Western MA Rivers" this month, Kurt encourages families to discover how nested we are in our watersheds this summer...

No Substitute for Health, Our Own and Our Rivers’ Last month, I wrote about how our native trout survive, miniaturized, in the plunge pools of our chilly mountain brooks, while in...

Stocking a river with fish life sounds like a good thing, right? While it can be an excellent learning opportunity when working as a volunteer to stock rivers, in "The Ripple"...

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: March Segment Vernal Pools: Natural Habitats & Local Species as Community Resources Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed...

This month's Ripple focuses on the ecological fact that land is a living organism that we are part of—explaining how it is, and offering some imaginative riverside play to shake up...

The great thaw is coming! With the thaw means migrating fish will start to return to our rivers too. "The Ripple" is always an enthralling read with a new installment...