IN THE NEWS

May 1, 2020

TerraCorps (AmeriCorps) Position Available with Eagle Eye Institute

TerraCorps, an AmeriCorps affiliated environmental nonprofit, has selected Eagle Eye Institute to be a Service Site for the 2020-21 TerraCorps program year. This partnership will allow Eagle Eye to host one Community Engagement/Youth Education Coordinator in a shared position with Amherst-based conservation organization Kestrel Land Trust. This is a full-time 11-month service position from August 2020 to July 2021.

As part of TerraCorps, Members will spend their service term supporting the local community by developing partnerships, leading programming, and engaging volunteers. Eagle Eye and Kestrel’s Member will focus on leading hands-on outdoor learning programs with urban youth, assisting Kestrel staff with coordinating land-related events and programs for the general public, and engaging program volunteers.

Members will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience serving with local nonprofits and receive professional development training and mentorship. As part of TerraCorps, Members will also receive a living allowance, and will be eligible for healthcare coverage, childcare coverage, loan forbearance, and an education award.

TerraCorps is currently accepting applications. If you are interested in serving with TerraCorps at Eagle Eye, please visit: https://terracorps.org/.

For questions about serving with TerraCorps, please contact Hanna Mogensen at hmogensen@terracorps.org. For additional information about the opportunity to serve with Eagle Eye, please contact Cass Pastorelle at cpastorelle@eagleeyei.org.

March 14, 2020

Eagle Eye's partnership with Kestrel Land Trust featured in the Hampshire Gazette

Holyoke High students participate in an overnight Learn More About Forests program at Eagle Eye's forest site

Eagle Eye's partnership with Kestrel Land Trust to engage Holyoke youth in hands-on outdoor learning and stewardship programs was featured in the Hampshire Gazette.

"What’s needed is an authentic effort to learn about the range of perspectives that people from diverse communities have about nature, and create space for their voices and knowledge to be included in the collective effort to protect our environment. The future of the land in the Pioneer Valley and the well-being of our planet depends on it."

Read Kestrel's piece on diversity in conservation here: Outside opportunity: Reconnecting people of color to nature

November 21, 2019

Farm-to-table dinner fundraiser raises $9,000 for EAGLE Club at Dean Campus

EAGLE Club participants share the impact of the program. Photo by Robert Jonas

Eagle Eye Institute, Kestrel Land Trust, and the Culinary Arts program at Holyoke High School Dean Campus co-hosted a farm-to-table dinner fundraiser on November 21st. The purpose of the event was to increase visibility of the EAGLE Club program and partnership (Earth Advocates Green Leaders for the Environment) and raise funds to help make the program sustainable in the long term.

Local farms, including Barstow's Dairy, Book & Plow Farm, Red Fire Farm, Brookfield Farm, Winter Moon Roots, and Quonquont Farm supported the event by donating seasonal produce. Led by Culinary Teacher Steve Kantrowitz, Culinary students prepared a plant-based meal, including charred beet salsa and crispy baked corn tortillas, butternut squash and poblano empanadas, and delicata squash tacos. Steve was inspired by his personal interest in plant-based and sustainable eating, the flavors of the season, and the Latinx heritage of the Holyoke community.

The event was also supported by local sponsors, including PeoplesBank, Conklin Office Furniture, Westside Finishing Company, City Joinery, and Big Y.

You can read more in Kestrel's May 1st, 2020 piece about the event, check out the video made by Holyoke Public Schools, and listen to students speak about the impact of the program.

July 7, 2019

Eagle Eye partners with Holyoke Boys & Girls Club on summer enrichment program

STEP joins Eagle Eye for a Learn About Forests program in the Berkshires

With partners Kestrel Land Trust and the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club, Eagle Eye offered a series of Learn About Forests programs as part of the Summer Transitions and Education Program (STEP) for youth ages 11-14.

The program series offered youth opportunities to learn about the environment, build skills, develop positive relationships, and explore career opportunities. Program activities included plant and tree identification, map-reading, Leave No Trace, fire-building, shelter-building, mindfulness and meditation practices, forest health, and stonework. Natural resource professionals joined to share their expertise and careers, including Lena Fletcher, professor at UMass Amherst, Ken Gooch, formerly of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Marc Fortin, Zen Landscaping of San Francisco, and Anderson de Aza of the Hispanic Access Foundation.

The collaboration was supported by a $28,000 grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education awarded to the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club.

Read the MassLive article about the STEP program and check out Eagle Eye's summer 2019 newsletter to learn more about the collaboration!

September 2018

Eagle Eye receives $4,000 unrestricted operating support grant from the Mass Cultural Council

Eagle Eye Institute was approved for a Cultural Investment Portfolio, unrestricted operating support grant, in the amount of $4,000. The Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP) comprises more than 320 nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations across Massachusetts. These organizations connect children and adults to theatre, music, visual art, & film; teach them about history, literature, and the environment; and introduce them to new ideas and cultural traditions. Learn more about the Mass Cultural Council here: https://massculturalcouncil.org/.

May 22, 2018

Regional partnership empowers Holyoke youth through nature

Dean Tech carpentry students install benches they built at Kestrel's Greenberg Family Conservation Area in Westhampton, MA.

For Immediate Release: May 22, 2018

Three regional organizations are partnering to give urban youth in Holyoke positive experiences with nature and civic engagement. Students at Dean Technical High School in Holyoke have been learning about the environment as well as building leadership skills with Eagle Eye Institute, a nonprofit based in Peru, MA. Kestrel Land Trust, based in Amherst, is funding the Eagle Eye Youth Education Coordinator who is working with the Dean Tech students. This partnership builds on a relationship Kestrel first established in 2016 with Dean Tech through its AmeriCorps Youth Education Coordinator position. This partnership offers the students opportunities to get outdoors in their home community at sites like Mount Tom and to learn about environmental opportunities by making connections to local environmental organizations and natural resource professionals. On May 17, Dean Tech students in the carpentry program visited Kestrel Land Trust’s new Greenberg Family Conservation Area in Westhampton to deliver and install wooden benches they built specifically for this site.

The bench project was started by Eagle Eye staff and Youth Education Coordinator, Joe Jewett, in the fall of 2017. Eagle Eye was brainstorming ways to engage a variety of students in outdoor learning and leadership programs, including students in Dean Tech's nine shops. Having spoken with Carpentry shop teacher David Brueshaber, Jewett believed Eagle Eye could be a catalyst for connecting the carpentry students at Dean Tech to real-world opportunities, like fabricating trail signs or benches. Jewett connected Brueshaber with Kestrel Land Trust Stewardship Manager Chris Volonte, who provided a concept for the bench design, and Brueshaber and his students developed the final design.

Five students, juniors and seniors, traveled from Holyoke to Kestrel Land Trust’s newest conservation area in Westhampton, a 65-acre forest donated by the Greenberg family. The students hiked into the woods carrying the heavy, well-constructed benches they had built specifically for a forest clearing Kestrel refers to as “the gathering circle.” Kestrel is currently working on improvements to the trail system and developing plans for public parking for this new conservation area.

Learn more about Eagle Eye's partnership with Kestrel Land Trust on Kestrel's website.

July 16, 2015

It's a Fellsabration!

Students explore trails and learn outdoors as part of the first Fells Day

Eagle Eye Institute is proud to have helped plan the first Fells Day for Medford High School students! Students were able to explore the Mustang Trail (named in honor of their mascot), while stopping along stations at which a volunteer educator would teach them about a specific topic regarding the surrounding nature. Students also participated in their own stewardship projects, some of which included clearing or blocking off trails, collecting litter, and planting native trees. Both the volunteers and students benefited from and enjoyed this day, as one high school junior stated, "It never crossed my mind that during a school day I would be going out into my community and not only learning about my surroundings on a different level, but embracing it as well. The pride and excitement you feel when you do something positively influential in your community, something that can make a change, is overpowering. Many people believe that if you want to see a change, you have to be the change, and I believe that on this Fells Day, all of Medford High was that change!"

For more information on our first Fells Day, check out this article by the Medford Transcript!

March 14, 2014

Eagle Eye partners with Medford High School

Eagle Eye intern Jose Sanchez and two Medford High School students work on a bog bridge program in the Fells

Eagle Eye Institute is excited to announce the formation of an EAGLE Club at Medford High School this spring. The Lawrence woods section of the Middlesex Fells Reservation is next to the school, yet is underutilized by students. Eagle Eye and partner organizations, including Friends of the Middlesex Fells, MA Department of Conservation & Recreation, Environmental Protection Agency, and USDA Forest Service are meeting regularly to assist Medford High School in engaging its diverse student body and faculty in outdoor learning and exploration. This spring, EAGLE Club will teach students about the ecology and threats to the Fells, while developing trail maintenance, outdoor leadership, and teamwork skills during weekly gym classes.

Find more information about the Eagle Eye program at Medford High School in this June 26th article in the Medford Transcript and the Friends of the Fells spring newsletter.

July 3, 2013

Eagle Eye wins $2,000 from Clif Bars

Eagle Eye Institute was a runner-up in the Clif Kid’s Backyard Game of the Year contest! Eagle Eye youth from Mystic Learning Center created a a game, “Deer, Deer Enter the Forest” and were selected as one of three finalists in the contest. After a close Facebook voting race, Eagle Eye Institute will receive a $2,000 donation from Clif Bars for coming in 2nd place. During the voting competition, Eagle Eye's efforts were recognized in the Somerville Journal. Thank you to all those who supported us and voted for our game!

April 26, 2013

Eagle Eye receives grant from Katie's Krops

Sabiha and Darien work on their application to Katie's Krops

Eagle Eye assisted two youth in writing a proposal for a grant through Katie's Krops this spring. They won a $400 gift card to Home Depot for start-up supplies for their garden, which they named Rainbow Growers. Partnering with Shape Up Somerville and the Mystic Learn Center, the garden is tended by the youth at the Mystic Learning Center through their weekly Garden Club. The two youth, Sabiha and Darien, are able to take on a leadership role by teaching the younger youth about gardening. Sabiha and Darien have made a blog, with help from Eagle Eye, for updates on their gardening. All the food grown will be donated to people in need.

Click here to read the Rainbow Growers blog!

March 7, 2013

EAGLE Club recognized in the Somerville Journal

EAGLE Club meets at the Mystic Learning Center

Eagle Eye’s EAGLE Club was acknowledged for its active leadership role in the community. Once a week throughout the year, youth from the Mystic Learning Center participate in EAGLE Club (Earth Advocates Green Leaders for the Environment). Youth learn about environmental issues and participate in local stewardship and advocacy projects. Members of EAGLE Club were recognized for writing letters to the Somerville Housing Authority advocating for recycling services for their families and neighbors in the Mystic Housing Project – a service offered to the rest of the Somerville community.

Click here for the full article!