Hitchcock Center to celebrate departing director, capital campaign on Saturday

  • Julie Johnson, outgoing executive director of the Hitchcock Center For The Environment in Amherst, is retiring after 20 years at the center. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/7/2021 4:11:33 PM

AMHERST — Julie Johnson’s 20-year run as executive director of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, and the successful conclusion of a capital campaign for construction of the center’s living building, will be celebrated Saturday.

From 1 to 4 p.m. at the 845 West St. site, the Hitchock Center will have Monarch butterfly tagging, a caterpillar lab, scavenger hunts, buildings tours and guided short hikes.

Johnson announced earlier in the year that she would step down. Her successor is William “Billy” Spitzer.

Johnson’s tenure included the opening of the living building in 2017 that has furthered the center’s mission to educate and inspire action for a healthy planet.

A garden to honor Johnson will be dedicated at around 3 p.m., and will include short speeches by state Sen. Jo Comerford, former state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, Hampshire College President Ed Wingenbach and other notables.

A jazz trio from Amherst Regional High School will also perform.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.
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