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Our hills are gemmed with gifts—receive them by being present! This month in “The Ripple,” Kurt poetically inspires us to get out along side our rivers that run through snow-laden hemlock forests to connect with our surroundings and to discover our animal neighbors…

The leaves are down, so now is the time to discover the geomorphic character of your brook: how its pools, rapids and boggy spots sit in the land. Soon enough, it will freeze and its character will change. And before we know it, the leaves will return and the quiet and empty places will be buzzing and brimming with life… Make the world of rivers bigger than the world of pavement inside of you!

Take thee to the river! This month in “The Ripple: Stories About Western MA Rivers,” Kurt challenges you to stop and look for the rivers and brooks nearest you, and to take a moment to experience the aromatherapy they possess during this time of transition from green to brown… you’ll be doing yourself (and your family) a favor! Oh, and be sure to bring your camera!

Our list of weekly Suggested Events for Columbus Day weekend is up! Pumpkin Festival, Discover Holyoke Day, Ashfield Fall Festival, RambleFest, Riverside Blues & BBQ, and Granville Harvest Fair are just a small sample of all the community buidling celebrations happening this weekend and next week, nestled amongst fun & educational ways to engage in your community too! Peruse our list and make plans to engage in you community in smart & fun ways!

It’s the first weekend in October and the fall festivals are in full force! Peruse our comprehensive list of weekly Suggested Events for great ideas on ways your family can join in on community celebrations and learning opportunities happening all over Western MA… you’ll also find service-learning opportunities, parenting workshops and ideas for a parents’ night out!

It’s the first fall weekend! Community dinners and fall festivals are happening and the community-based learning continues as October steps out from around the corner early next week! Autumn is a delicious time of year here in Western MA… so get out with your family and engage in your community while the air is crisp and the leaves start to turn!

Last week an energetic group of Hilltown Families citizen scientists and Kurt Heidinger, Executive Director of Biocitizen, conducted our fourth annual rapid biotic assessment of the Westfield River in West Chesterfield. This month in Kurt’s post, “The Ripple,” hear all about it, what we found and images from the afternoon…

Looking for that bite sized piece of community engagement & education that will frame your children’s learning with their local landscape? Take your pick! We’ve curated another great list of suggested events for this weekend and next week that highlights both community engagement & community based education here in Western MA! There’s a little something for everyone, from tots to teens to parents…

Featured community building events this weekend in Western MA include Hilltown Hoot, Art Walks in Shelburne Falls & Easthampton, and Berkshire Food Festival! Find our about these events and over 100 other events & activities happening this weekend and all next week in our list of Weekly Suggested Events for Sept 14-20…

School’s back in session for most, and the harvest community celebrations are starting up! Find opportunities to engage and learn in your community with our list of Weekly Suggested Events, packed with community based educational opportunities, service learning experiences and community building events! And PLAYGROUPS!

It’s Labor Day Weekend… the last weekend of summer, for some. Find friends and neighbors laughing, singing and eating together all weekend long with our list of Weekly Suggested Events! Make plans to get out into your community and enjoy these final days of summer… rain or shine!

Kurt’s call to action this month in “The Ripple”… be stewards of the rivers! Take action in September as citizen scientists by joining Hilltown Families and Biocitizen for our 4th annual rivers health check-ups, through the EPA approved method called Rapid Biotic Assessment or “RBA” of the Westfield River upstream from the Chesterfield Gorge.

This is the last (or 2nd to last) weekend of summer freedom, for some… make the most of it either way with our list of Weekly Suggested Events! Agricultural fairs are highlighted, along with the usual awesome community building and educational events & opportunities we feature each week here on Hilltown Families! Peruse our list, make your plans, and be sure to tell your friends about Hilltown Families too… they’ll love you for it (plus, you’ll bump into more folks you know when you’re out exploring Western MA with your family)!

Our list of weekly Suggested Events is up! See which agricultural fairs are this week, museum and outdoor adventures, community service opportunities, an idea or two for a parents’ night out, and loads of learning opportunities happening all across the region!

August is in full swing and our list of weekly Suggested Events is your guide to community, family and educational events & opportunities throughout Western MA! Make your staycation this summer memorable, show out of town guests the very best the region has to offer, or just get out of your house and out into your community, learning while you play!

August is here and our list of Weekly Suggested Events captures the best community and educational opportunities our region has to offer this summer! Get out your calendars and peruse our list. Make your summer plans and enjoy time well spent in Western MA…

Our list of Weekly Suggested Events is packed with family fun and educational events happening all over the region! Peruse our list, make your plans, and enjoy your summer staycation here in Western MA!

This month in “The Ripple: Stories About Western MA Rivers,” Hilltown Families Contributing Writer, Kurt Heidinger, writes about river access .Check out his 5 pointers on how to river walk, preventing a wipe out due to slippery rocks and strong currents…

Enjoying a staycation or have family visiting? Kids not in camp? Wondering what to do in Western MA this weekend and next week? Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events is your one-stop guide to all things family friendly happening throughout the four counties of Western MA. Take a day trip in the region or just enjoy programming happening at your local library… get out your calendars, peruse our list, and have fun this weekend and next week!

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time… Read More

An Invitation to Think Outside about Floods Floods, like weeds, are problems. Occupying places we don’t want them to, they ruin things we are growing. Weeds are plants in the wrong place. And what’s a wrong place, we decide. Floods are the return of ocean to mountain. They decide with the objectivity we (would) laud in our courts of justice. They’re not elitist; they are levelers. Floods would not be a problem… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these… Read More

Before May Flies, Meet the Mayfly Imagine never getting swarmed and bit by mayflies as you revel in the vivacities unleashed by the ubiquitous green fountain of spring. Imagine gardening, or hiking, or simply sitting on a park bench without having to constantly swat and flinch and keep from going mad as the mayflies crawl on your neck and arms and ears, looking for a sweetspot to slice skin and lap blood…. Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these… Read More

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