The History of the North Branch Nature Center

The North Branch Nature Center (NBNC) had its start in 1996 as part of Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS). Since that time, NBNC has undergone many changes, but educating about the natural world has been the driving force of the Nature Center from its inception. In 2006, NBNC spun off from VINS to become an independent nonprofit organization. Today the North Branch Nature Center is thriving and offers many benefits to the community.

1995 VINS board votes to purchase the Brown farm in Montpelier

VINS closes on the 28-acre Brown property; first summer camps held at NBNC
August 11 – 1,000 people attend grand opening celebration

1998 NBNC mortgage retired
1999 NBNC teens win World Series of Birding (youth division) in New Jersey
2001 Footbridge connecting NBNC to North Branch River Park completed

NBNC launches amphibian monitoring and rescue project

2006 NBNC splits off from VINS – forms its own independent nonprofit
2008 NBNC holds first Montpelier BioBlitz; Revitilization effort begins for youth birding
2009 ECO starts (as NAP) at Union Elementary
2010 NBNC launches Kids Need Nature (KNN) initiative
2011 First Forest Preschool launched
2012 Canaday Family Charitable Trust awards NBNC $150,000 for expansion of ECO; Forest School launched
2013 NBNC purchases its Montpelier property from VINS
2015 NBNC launches capital campaign to build a new education and visitor center



North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street, Montpelier VT 05602
(802) 229-6206

Open Monday - Friday, 9am to 4pm
Trails open every day
Directions to the Nature Center
Contact Us