Habitat Intergenerational Program (HIP)
Habitat Intergenerational Program (HIP) is a volunteer community service and learning program that started in 1997 at Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont. It enables persons of many generations to participate in environmental service projects and become stewards of their environment.
HIP links people of all ages, dispels myths about how the young and old should act, and promotes the joy of learning together.
In 2003, HIP was awarded the Fran Pratt Award, given to honor an intergenerational program that best exemplifies vision, leadership & service to the intergenerational movement.
A weekly afterschool program that brings together students of varied ages and older adults to work outside helping to control the spread of invasive plants, providing trail work and being part of the Weeks Pond rejuvenation project.
Fall Trails Days
Bringing together 40-60 people of all ages to work at Habitat, planting native wildflowers, chipping trails, cleaning up the Childrens Garden, the herb garden and more.
Senior Center Project
Bringing together seniors and middle school students to create educational materials to be used by the teachers at Habitat.
Herb Study Group
A multigenerational womens group formed in 2001 to plan and plant an herb garden, now called the Moon/Sun Herb garden… "A space that moves one from motion to stillness…" In addition this group holds seminars, an annual herb sale and has created an herb section to the Habitat Library.
Chenery Middle School Courtyard Garden Project
This project, begun in 2002 has transformed a barren 3 story courtyard into a native garden complete with a pond and waterfall. The goals of this project include enriching the academic experiences of the students, fostering positive intergenerational learning, and promoting environmental stewardship. It has been awarded the National Wildlife Federation Certificate of Achievement.
Monthly Bird Walks
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. Binoculars available.
HIP has also led free nature story hours to 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 currently offers nature based programs to persons in homeless shelters.
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.