AMHERST — While salamanders typically migrate in the spring, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment — which has the amphibian as its mascot — is preparing for an off-season migration of its own.
On Saturday, the center formally leaves its current home — a converted carriage house in the Larch Hill Conservation Area — and heads to a new building 2½ miles away on the Hampshire College campus.
The celebration and migration parade begins at 10 a.m. Shuttles will bring walkers back to the conservation site.
The center’s spotted salamander-like mailbox has already been set in place at the new site. The center in 1987 helped build a tunnel in North Amherst to allow salamanders to migrate safely.
Opening ceremonies begin at noon and activities include tours, nature walks and games. There will be ice cream and a food truck on site as well.
The 9,000-square-foot building is double the size of the current building and will allow the center to expand its hours, host more programs and accommodate more visitors.
The center has occupied the town-owned space for the last 40 years.
The new building, near the R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire, was built starting in May 2015 using the guidelines of the Living Building Challenge for environmentally friendly construction. The Kern Center was also built with those guidelines.