Habitat Intergenerational Program (HIP)
The Habitat Intergenerational Program (HIP) is a volunteer community service and learning program that started in 1997 at Habitat Education Center in Belmont.
HIP connects people of all ages, dispels myths about how the young and old should act, and promotes the joy of learning together. It enables persons of many generations to participate in environmental service projects and become stewards of their environment.
In 2003, HIP was awarded the Fran Pratt Award, given to honor an intergenerational program that best exemplifies vision, leadership, and service to the intergenerational movement.
Each season brings new volunteer opportunities and free events for nature lovers of all ages. Join us!
If you would like to join a program and/or be added to the HIP mailing list, please contact the HIP Coordinators at [email protected].
HIP Activities & Projects
Those involved in HIP come to know and believe that all ages working together can make a difference in helping our Earth to be a better place for future generations.
→ To join us for an activity and/or be added to the HIP mailing list, simply contact the HIP Coordinators at [email protected].
A weekly afterschool program (Wednesdays from 3:00-4:30 pm) that brings together students of varied ages and older adults to work outside helping to control the spread of invasive plants, maintain trails, and look after the sanctuary grounds.
Monthly Bird Walks
Held on weekend mornings once a month, these walks encourage birders of all ages and skill levels to enjoy casual bird walks around the sanctuary. Each walk is led by an experienced birder.
Fall Trails Day
Bringing together volunteers of all ages to help with fall projects at Habitat, planting native wildflowers, wood chipping trails, cleaning up the Children's Garden, Herb Gardens, and more.
Camp Prep & Senior Center Projects
Bringing together senior citizens and middle school students to create educational materials to be used by the teachers at Habitat.
A multigenerational women's group formed in 2001 designed and planted the Sun & Moon Herb Gardens at Habitat. These gardens are meant to be "a space that moves one from motion to stillness." The Herb Study Group also held seminars and created an herbs section to the Habitat Library. HIP welcomes volunteers to help maintain the sensory beauty of the Sun & Moon Herb Gardens.
HIP's annual Herb Sale is held in early May and features a carefully selected variety of plants including culinary herbs, vegetable seedlings, and pollinator-friendly annuals and perennials. Proceeds from the sale support HIP's activities and projects.
Chenery Middle School Courtyard Garden
This project, begun in 2002, transformed a barren 3-story courtyard into a native garden complete with a pond and waterfall. The Courtyard garden enriches the academic experiences of the students, fosters positive intergenerational learning, and promotes environmental stewardship. It has been awarded a National Wildlife Federation Certificate of Achievement.
In addition to the activities listed above, HIP has also led free nature story hours for very young children and adults at the Fresh Pond Apartments in Cambridge; built bluebird boxes; presented talks to middle school children and the community; hosted nature walks for seniors at Habitat; and offered nature-based programs to persons in homeless shelters.