photo credit: Kristin DeBoer

Outings and Events

Kestrel holds monthly outings to help you explore the Valley. These are open to the public: Just sign up so we know you’re coming! (Free or pay what you wish to help support our programs.) We also hold workshops for landowners and other events as well.

Please Note: RSVPs for weekend outings MUST be received before 5 pm on the Friday prior to the outing. Thank you!


Plein Air Art Event & Hike on Mount Holyoke Range

On Saturday, June 18th Valley artists are invited to participate in Kestrel Land Trust’s Open Air Studio at 1 pm atop the Mt. Holyoke summit at Skinner State Park.

Inspired by Thomas Cole’s 1836 painting of the same landscape view, painters are invited to capture once more the remarkable beauty of the Connecticut River and its oxbow. This event evokes the rich artistic and historical tradition of landscape painting in Western Massachusetts that contributed to the American conservation movement in the 19th century.

Local artists are encouraged to come together in the spirit of a shared love for our cherished Valley places and the iconic beauty of our region. The Open Air Studio begins at 1 pm with an introduction by local plein air painter Lewis Bryden, known for his remarkable Pioneer Valley landscapes reminiscent of Thomas Cole, George Inness and Winslow Homer.

Novice painters will also have the opportunity to explore basic techniques of plein air painting and composition with ecologist and Pioneer Valley painter, Christine Labich whose work is known for its strong sense of place and will be featured in Plein Air Magazine’s June/July issue.

For hikers and art lovers not so artistically-inclined, Kestrel Land Trust is offering a guided hike up to the Mt. Holyoke Summit. Guest hike leaders Andrea Caluori-Rivera and John Body will discuss the art historical and ecological significance of the land as we make our way to the top to witness the plein air painters in action! Hike begins at 1 pm.

We only have limited spaces available for this event and anticipate it will fill quickly. Registration is required for both the hike and the paint out. Please RSVP by June 10 to

Thanks to the generosity of the artists, both the paint out and the hike are FREE, though donations are welcome. (There is a small fee to enter the State park.) 

Story Walk at Nontuck Park in Easthampton

Paradise City Arts Festival

Vincent Van Gogh wrote, "Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art."

Spend Memorial Day Weekend (May 28-30) at a world-class arts fair right in the cultural heart of New England, and show your love for the land at the same time! At the Paradise City Arts Festival, 260 carefully selected artists and makers from every corner of America descend upon Northampton for three days of astounding visual arts, eye-popping design, scrumptious food, fabulous live music and great fun. And don’t miss the silent auction of stellar artwork: All proceeds will benefit Kestrel Land Trust!

The exhibitors in year’s show include dozens of marvelous artists showing their work for the first time at Paradise City. Plus there’s the special exhibit “American Beauty: From Landscape to Dreamscape”, sensational cuisine from local restaurants, three exciting bands on the Soundstage, and “smART talk”, a series of fun and informative talks and demonstrations on a wide variety of topics.

Puffers Pond Pancake Breakfast

Wildflowers on the Holyoke Range

On Saturday, June 4, from 9 -11 am, join UMass Professor & botanist Karen Searcy for an intimate look at the wildflowers around the base of the Mount Holyoke Range in Amherst. Please RSVP for meeting location to

The Language of Birds Workshop

Bird language is a great way for beginning birders to understand the messages sent between birds, without needing to know one species from another. Experienced birders can take their knowledge one step further toward understanding what the birds are talking about, and what their behavior says about you!

On Saturday, June 25 from 9 am - 3 pm, join us as we learn the special language of the forest. This workshop is led by Connor Stedman, Ecological Designer and Wilderness Educator from the Hudson Valley. Connor is an expert in bird language, landscape awareness, and nature-based mentoring.  

he workshop will take place in Easthampton (details will be provided upon registration). It will be field-based, requiring active participation, and will include a lecture component.   

COST: $25 per person

Register Online Now! 

Co-sponsored by Pascommuck Conservation TrustMass Audubon, and Vermont Wilderness School.

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