What can we learn from the land, from nature, from the ebb and flow of nature? What can we learn about our relation to the planet, about each other, and about our inner selves? The Spring Hills Foundation is dedicated to enabling people to immerse themselves into the natural surroundings of the Spring Hills Farm, a 400-acre family farm located in the rolling hills north of Scranton, Pennsylvania. With its fields, farm animals and deep woods, the Farm provides a tranquil and timeless environment for tuning into nature and into oneself. The Foundation offers educational programming that is grounded on immersion into nature, and focused on individuals and a shared compassion for each other. The programming is primarily in the areas of sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship, and the Arts. The programming highlights synergies between art, science, nature and humanity.
The Spring Hills Foundation works to preserve working family farms as educational venues for sustainable land use and agriculture, and as a source of inspiration for artists of all disciplines. The main focus has been to support the Spring Hills Farm, located in northern Lackawanna county, near Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Farm has a long history of providing experiential education about sustainable environmental and agricultural practices, and inspiring artists by enabling them to become immersed in nature. The Foundation is embarking on a capital campaign that will help the Farm expand their programming and the audiences that it serves.
Spring Hills Farm has been continuously operated by the Hull family since 1946. The Farm is situated on over 400 acres of hayfields, grazing land and woodland. The Farm grows Christmas trees, Timothy hay, and blueberries; maintains a herd of Jacob sheep and a flock of egg producing chickens; and operates a substantial maple sugaring operation. The Farm includes numerous micro-biomes, including deep woods with sugar maples and rich undergrowth, hayfields, hedge rows, natural springs and creeks, three man-made ponds, and a beaver habitat. Dormant fields are managed for nesting bobolinks, a Federally protected bird species. The Farm has a deep history of sustainability and conservation practices, and of providing educational programming that is centered around an immersion in nature.
Spring Hills Foundation was created in 2013. The Foundation grew out of the Hull family’s interest in maintaining and expanding their programming around sustainable practices and the arts, and to enable more people to enjoy the benefits of immersing themselves into the Farm’s natural environment. The Foundation obtained 501(c)(3) status enabling tax-deductible financial contributions.
The primary focus of the Spring HIlls Foundation has been supporting and preserving Spring Hills Farm as an educational venue for sustainable land use and as a source of inspiration for artists of all disciplines who, through their works and immersive experience, will educate and inspire community involvement with the working landscape.
The Foundation is focused on providing experiential educational opportunities for students of all ages in the interrelated areas of
Living in harmony with the environment
Sustainable and regenerative agriculture
The Foundation is working with the Farm to manage and substantially expand its educational programming. The programming will continue following key guiding principles of the Farm, including: experiential learning through an immersion into nature, providing a safe and welcoming space for all comers, an emphasis on personal interactions that empower each participant, and a consensus-based orientation.
In recent years the Foundation has provided grants to the Farm to help it expand its sustainability and environmental practices. Please see the Projects page for more information.
An important component of all of the Foundation’s supported projects is to create outreach materials so that other family farms and the community at large can learn the Farm’s sustainability and environmental practices. If the Foundation and the Farm continue to have success with their programming, the Foundation may collaborate with other family farms to enable the development of similar programming in different locations in the future.
• Rick Hull, President. Computer Scientist, educator.
• Dylan Zeitlyn, Vice President. Vegetable grower, maple sugar maker.
• Jamie Constantine, Treasurer. ERP / Financial software implementation and support consultant.
• Trinka Ravaioli, Liaison to Spring Hills Farm. Artist, graphic designer, marketing consultant.
• David Boyer. Retired senior executive, Wood sculpture artist.
• Sachu Constantine. Solar and energy justice advocate.
• Susan Constantine. Retired international educator and administrator.
• Tim Hawkesworth. Resident at Spring Hills Farm, artist, educator, farmer.
• Sophia Hull. Graduate student in sustainable urban planning.
• Helen Lavelle. Artist, strategist, advertising executive.
• Michaela Moore. Creator, performer, educator, and advocate through the Performing Arts.
• Nicole Rogai. Development professional, nature and art enthusiast.
• Elizabeth (Lala) Zeitlyn. Resident at Spring Hills Farm, artist, educator, farmer.
• Mirah Zeitlyn. Socially engaged singer-songwriter.