Hilltown Families

There are many festivals and wool celebrations that take place in New England throughout the year. Here are a few where you can learn more about raising sheep, fiber production,...

Each year, Earth Day takes place on April 22nd. Known as the birth of the modern environmental movement, Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and continues as a...

The reemergence of flora and fauna in the outdoor world gives cause for celebration as the months turn warmer and new life abounds. For many, it is a time of celebration...

Western Massachusetts has been home to many poets and writers who were inspired by this region’s remarkable landscape. April is National Poetry Month. As nature begins to come to life in...

In Barbara Cooney’s book Miss Rumphius, the woman lovingly know as the Lupine Lady spreads beauty throughout her community by keeping a pocketful of seeds to distribute – so...

Springtime is filled with sightings of all kinds of exciting natural wonders. The season’s outdoor appeal makes it a perfect time of year not only for enjoying our natural surroundings, but...

The bird populations in Western Massachusetts have inspired many poets and writers, including William Cullen Bryant and Emily Dickinson, to pick up their pens and compose verses dedicated to our feathered...

What better way to learn more about birds in early spring than in your own backyard! Like poets Bryant and Dickinson, you can observe the birds that frequent your backyard feeder...

March is Women’s History Month, a national observation that honors and pays tributes to those women who dedicated their lives to social justice, the environment, education, and positive change for...

Did you know that Western Massachusetts is home to the first women’s college in the United States? In 1837 a female seminary was founded by chemist and educator Mary Lyon....

Throughout history, women have been an integral part of the art world. As patrons, historians, innovators, critics, and creators, their contributions are widespread. Why is it that they are underrepresented in...

Farm life follows the path of the seasons. In March and April it’s a time of new life on the farm when animals are born. The most place-based of local baby...

Let sugar season be a time of year for reconnecting to community and strengthening your sense of place through value-based community engagement that supports learning. Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition...

Sugaring season has been a New England tradition since practically forever. It was written about by English settlers as early as the mid-1600’s, and was a Native American harvest long before...

Families can experience what maple sugaring was like in the days of old New England at living history events where museum interpreters dressed in period clothing demonstrate life and skills from...

A popular sugar season tradition for families in western Massachusetts is visiting a nearby sugar shack. There are sugar shacks to visit all over the region, and a great many of...

The maple tree and sugar season have been a source of inspiration for artists and poets in New England. Here we take a look at Western Massachusetts landscape painter, Robert Strong...

If sugaring is something that your family is particularly interested in trying and you’ve got a yard full of maples, try it out for yourself at home! With the right supplies,...

While in the summertime it seems easy to explore a multitude of activities, the wintertime provides the space for quieter activities, new hobbies, or creative outlets that encourage reflection. The intense...

Snow can make you feel as though the world has stopped around you. During snowstorms, travel is suspended, and, for a day or two, the quiet of the outdoors reminds...

Poet and Cummington native, William Cullen Bryant, was very much influenced by the landscape of the Western Massachusetts Hilltowns of his youth. In fact, Bryant’s “A Winter Piece” is a reflection...

How does winter stillness connect us to place? What activities and hobbies reoccur every year? What skills have been shared and passed down through the years because of New...

We’re spoiled in Western Massachusetts! Our summers are a bounty of local agriculture and food. We have the opportunity to eat seasonally most of the year and then winter arrives, the...

Presidents’ Day celebrates the life and work of George Washington. Although Washington’s birthday is on February 22nd, the holiday is celebrated on the third Monday to allow us to enjoy a...

Interestingly, the freedom to read has not always been seen as a freedom. Citing the freedom to read as a part of our Constitution’s First Amendment, the American Library Association hosts...

Did you know that Calvin Coolidge, the U.S.’s 30th President, attended Amherst College and was mayor of Northampton in the early 1900’s? We have our very own slice of U.S. Presidential...

Think about this: What books have you read that were once banned or on a challenged list? What does the freedom to read mean to...

Every year, Americans exchange an average of 142 million Valentine’s Day cards – making the holiday near the top of the list of card-exchanging holidays (second only to Christmas). Valentines come...

Think about this: