Hitchcock Center for the Environment | Education for a Healthy Planet

In the photo group of major project contributors and the front with scissor Stanley Rosenberg senator from the state of Massachusetts with his wife cutting the opening ribbon of the new educational center Hitchcock Center in Amherst. (Photo by Damaris Pérez-Pizarro | The Latino People)

By Damaris Perez-Pizarro | The great opening of the new Hitchcock Center Education for Healthy Planet education center gave rise to new location 845 West Street, Amherst, on Saturday, October 1, where countless families, community leaders and political leaders gathered to witness such an important building for the Western Massachusetts community, children and the planet in general.

During the ceremony, several political leaders took part, among them the Speaker of the Massachusetts Senate and State Senator Stanley Rosenberg D-Hampshire said, "This building for me represents a lot of things and one is the faith we have in each other, in our community and our future since the purpose of this center is for all of us to educate about the importance of the natural environment in which we live and the decision that we would like do in our lives and businesses and our government and wherever they affect the natural environment and our future together on this planet, so I think this is a really amazing project and I am proud together with Zack and Ellen in designing this vision. Rosenberg continued to quote from a Langston Hughes poem from "The Collected Works: The Poems, 1941-1950," and said, "I want to contribute a few final words and I think they are appropriate for this project and this celebration. "

David Ziomek, who is Assistant Town Manager for Amherst was there and then gave a few words of how the center had guided him in learning about nature and how the center was very polite to him, he said, I think this building is magnificent on two levels, one is that the center of Hitchcock has a newly built building which will last for years and years to come, it is sustainable, it is a living building, it will also help the organization to keep itself same as a non-profit organization under 501C3 and therefore brings all these resources together under one roof on the beautiful campus of the University of Hampshire and association with New Hampshire with the municipality of Amherst, that's really what it's about of sustainability and that is what we are focusing on right now, sustainability in the world, in our community, in our life and in our families. "He also said that he thought that the you may have an idea and an emotion as to the building and all its components and said, "with the butterfly gardens and the different trails and I think this really is as far as teaching in learning the landscape which the whole building teaches "Julie Johnson, who is the Executive Director of the Hitchcock Center, said they had started raising funds for more than four years but two years before they had already was launching a capital campaign for this magnificent project.

Johnson said, "After all these years of planning, design and fundraising, we have a project completed in 16 months." >She also said that all materials are of local origin, not more than 300 miles away from non-toxic materials, from screws, nails, wood, glue, in short everything has been meticulously chosen so that no affects health and is healthy for the environment and humans. She said, "This is a really healthy building."

More news: The Wild Window: The man who whispered to the bees

The building is also powered by solar panels on the roof making it a zero net energy building.

the Hitchcock Center was also celebrating 54 years of education as Johnson said.

Now the center has four educational halls, which in the previous place only had two making it a little less accessible to the different programs of the schools that wanted to participate. Johnson said, "This building allows us to keep pace with growth and also to go further and deepen our skills to educate by having a building that really demonstrates how nature works, it models and imitates nature using nature itself The building is a living sign of what renewable energy is, she said, "This building allows us to deepen our mission not only to expand and diversify our audience but to really demonstrate that we can make a change."

"Johnson said," I hope children can understand that there is something positive that can be done in building our buildings, that in every act we can protect the environment and live a balance with it.

According to her she said the program serves around 50 different schools, receive about 100 field trips, and about 5,000 children or more are expected to visit during this year.

For more program information, you can call (413) 256-6006 or visit www.hitchcockcenter.org.

  • Adam Floyd