Hilltown Families


18 Story Books on Weather for Kids There’s a riotous energy this time of year: the mad leafing out of plants and trees, crazy bird song at dawn, unruly swarms of biting insects, the palpable freedom of school letting out for summer, and wild weather that can change from snow squalls to thunderstorms within hours. Those first spring storms are greeted with a mixture of excitement and nervousness in our home. Thunder… Read More

What does an eagle feed its young? How do mother bats find their babies in a cave? Using imaginative role-play and hands-on activities, families and children ages 3 through 8 will answer these questions while exploring the hidden habitats and secret lives of forest animals at the Springfield Science Museum’s newest exhibit, “Animal Secrets.” See the world from an eagle’s point-of-view and gather food for the winter with a chipmunk family, all while discovering Animal Secrets!

Do you about phenology? It’s the study of cyclic and/or seasonal phenomena in plants and animals. Citizen scientist opportunities and phenology-based community celebrations can offer a lens into nature science and local culture. Learn more…

Volunteers Wanted to Help Stock Connecticut River Watershed Every year, the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife releases millions of fish fry into the Connecticut River watershed.  These tiny fish will live within the watershed for two years, growing and preparing for their journey to the Atlantic.  Eventually, they will make their way back to their river home, attempting to make the difficult journey upstream from the salty ocean waters to the… Read More

Project BudBurst Citizen Scientist Opportunity for Families & Students Students can learn so much by following the seasonal patterns of plants found here in New England. Each plant’s cycle is different, and varies depending on factors like location and weather patterns.  Tracking a plant through its seasonal changes can help us to better understand the subtle changes that take place in our environment, and says a lot about where we live. This… Read More

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 in need of conservation.  Students can learn about duck species and help to promote wetland conservation by participating in the Federal Fish and Wildlife Services’ Junior Duck Stamp Program!  This contest calls for students to create their own stamps, featuring a… Read More

Berkshire Museum presents Bats: Creatures of the Night Learn the true story of the only flying mammal from January 19 to May 12, 2013 Forget the myths and learn the truth about bats: they are gentle, beneficial animals that play an important role in our planet’s ecology. With larger-than-life models and interactive stations, visitors to Bats: Creatures of the Night at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield can experience the sensitivity of bat… Read More

Berkshire Bioblitz Burbank Park in Pittsfield Sept 22-23, 2012 When learning about biodiversity, students are often shown far away landscapes – such as jungles and deserts – as examples of places with unique sets of plants, animals, and interesting terrain.  The fields, forests, lakes, and streams of Western Massachusetts, however, are bursting with a wide variety of trees, grasses, flowers, insects, birds, fish, and mammals of all sizes! The annual Berkshire Bioblitz,… Read More

Explore the hills of Western Massachusetts – spend an afternoon hiking at one of the many local state forests and parks! The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) offers families an outline of hikes at numerous locations all over the Hilltowns and Berkshires. Hikes make a great summer adventure for families. These outdoor explorations can also supplement students’ studies of local ecology – bring a field guide and learn to identify the many different trees, flowers, etc. that you discover. Check out our post and discover hikes for families in Western MA.

SciSpy How many different types of creatures has your family seen crawling, flying, and climbing around a local park, the beach, or your own back yard lately?  Identifying critters is a fun way for kids to learn about their environment, and beginning to document them can help scientists with wildlife research initiatives! Using SciSpy, families can capture photos of all of the birds, insects, and four-legged fuzzies found in their neighborhood and… Read More

Frogs: A Chorus of Colors Springfield Museums January 21st – May 13th, 2012 The Springfield Museums will be hosting the exhibit, “Frogs: A Chorus of Colors,” January 21st through May 13th, 2012.  This is a new exhibit of live frogs that teaches visitors about the many different types of frogs found around the world and the habitats in which they can be found.  The exhibit holds fifteen different habitats filled with plants, waterfalls,… Read More

The Allen Bird Club of Springfield – 100 Years Young By Hilltown Families Guest Writer, George C. Kingston On the afternoon of Monday, January 8, 1912, Mrs. Grace Johnson, the director of the Springfield Museum of Natural History and Miss Fannie Stebbins, the supervisor of natural science for the Springfield School Department, assembled a group of amateur bird watchers and organized the Springfield Bird Club. The purpose of the club was “to… Read More

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