Programs & Events

Help us to accomodate you!
Call 802-229-6206 for more info and to pre-register

eclipseThe Great American Eclipse
Monday, August 212:00-3:00pm.
Come view the partial eclipse of the sun with your friends at the North Branch Nature Center. The eclipse maximum is at 2:41pm, but actually starts at 1:24pm. Be sure to arrive by 2:30pm, so you don’t miss the show! Bring your own eclipse glasses and/or a shoebox to make your own solar eclipse viewer. The northeast won’t experience a total eclipse of the sun, but at 65% solar coverage it should still be exciting to witness! Safety glasses for viewing the eclipse can be found at and elsewhere online. This website is also a great source of information about the eclipse in general.

Remember, it is extremely dangerous to view the sun at any time (even during an eclipse), without proper eye protection.

Fall Migration Bird Walks
Fridays, September 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29, 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Fee: free for members and kids, $10 for nonmembers.
September is the peak of fall songbird migration, and the woods and fields along the North Branch are excellent places to witness it. Come for a morning walk to search for migrating warblers, vireos, tanagers, thrushes and more. Beginners welcome and no registration required! Binoculars available for loan.

Forest Preschool
Forest Preschool will be opening its doors this fall as a full-time school!
Beginning, Tuesday, September 5 & ending in June 2018.
Our unique preschool offers outdoor, exploratory, play and place-based curriculum for ages 3.5 to 6. Forest Preschool empowers children to be active in their own learning process while providing them the means to connect to one another and the natural world in a caring way. In our dynamic outdoor classroom and newly renovated indoor space, we offer comprehensive, engaging, and developmentally appropriate curriculum. Please call NBNC for space availability.

Monarch Butterfly Tagging
Wednesdays, September 6 & 13, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Fee: $5 adults, $3 kids.
Drop by any time between from 3:30 on to catch, tag and release some migrating monarchs. We’ll look for other butterflies and bugs as well! We have nets to share, but bring a net if you have one.

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup                         
Running 12 weeks on Mondays, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (note change in time), starting September 11th and ending November 27th. This in an outdoor playgroup for parents, children, and children ages 0-5. Join us for 2 hours of  spontaneous play, exploration, discovery, song, nature  inspired art, and oral storytelling. This playgroup offers a community experience that models ways in which the    natural environment can be used as a tool for child-led learning and play. Donations welcomed.   *This playgroup is based entirely outdoors. Please be prepared with water, snack, and warm clothing that is suitable for getting wet and dirty!

Fall Wild Edible Workshop
Saturday, September 16th, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Fee: $20 member, $25 nonmember.
A veritable smorgasbord of edible plants are ripening across our fields and forests this time of year. Join teacher naturalist Ken Benton as we learn how to identify and sustainably harvest fox grapes, chokecherry, beaked hazelnut (if we can beat the squirrels to it), and many other lesser known edibles. We will also cover tips and tricks to incorporate these wild foods into your regular diet as well as simple ways to preserve our harvest. The program fee will cover a wild harvested lunch that we will create together from what we've picked that morning, as well as some creations to take with you to help get started at home. Pre-registration is required.

Trekkers & Explorers After School Programs
Wednesdays, September 20 to December 6, 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Fee: $410 (includes $200 deposit)
Every Wednesday after school, students can join North Branch Explorers (1st - 3rd grade) and Trekkers (4th - 8th grade) as we immerse ourselves in the mysteries of the natural world, practicing outdoor living skills such as    tracking, foraging for wild edibles, camp cooking, building shelters, telling stories, playing games, and much more. Our adventures will be crafted from the curiosities of the children, allowing them to develop a sense of place while exploring the landscape through direct interaction and play. With wonder we'll wander!

Saturday, September 30, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Fee: $8 member, $10 nonmember, $5 kids
Come see hundreds of native caterpillars brought to you by naturalist, photographer, and founder of the Caterpillar Lab, Sam Jaffe. Sam & staff will show off and tell us about dozens of species including some of the LARGEST, spiniest, WHACKY, WEIRD, and deceptive species you never knew were hiding in your own backyards. Be sure to save the date for this unique exhibition, featuring new autumn species! In addition, we will explore the meadows of NBNC during scheduled bug walks and Monarch butterfly tagging activities. Food & beverage will be available by donation.

Birding Cape May
Thursday, October 5 - Monday, October 9
Price: TBA – will include accommodations and van transportation.
Cape May, New Jersey is a birder’s paradise almost any time of year. Early October is a great time to see migrating songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds and, of course, raptors. We’ll spend five days in the Cape May area during the peak of migration for Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks, Ospreys and three falcon species. The right weather conditions can bring thousands of Yellow-rumped Warblers and Tree Swallows, hundreds of American Kestrels and perhaps one major rarity (another Cape May specialty). We’ll stay in a comfortable hotel right in Cape May, so we’ll be close the action and well positioned for an evening stroll on the beach.

Touring Kenya: A Slide Lecture by Annie Tiberio Cameron
Friday, October 27, 7:00 p.m.
Join Annie for a slide-illustrated talk about the land and people of Kenya, its history, geography, and wildlife, from the coastal city of Malindi to Masaai Mara National Preserve, part of the Greater Mara Ecosystem. You’ll get a peek at the gathering of the wildebeest for their amazing semi-annual migration, as well as watch a giraffe give kisses. The traditional Kikuyu wedding ceremony joining two cross-continental families is a cultural gem, and you’re invited! Suitable for all ages.

Superbowl of Birding XV
January 2018
Winter’s premier birding competition along the New Hampshire and Massachusetts is back! In the past, NBNC’s youth and young adult teams have tallied nearly 100 species, including gems like King Eider, Razorbill, and Snowy Owl. For any interested teens - let us know early if you’re interested in joining the team. Beginners welcome!

cockoftherockAmazing Ecuador: Birding in Paradise
March 18 - 31, 2018
Price: TBA
Spend 14 days birding in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Over 1,500 species of birds call Ecuador home, including a whopping 134 hummingbird species alone. We will cover everything from the paramo grassland above tree line to lush tropical rainforest, visiting renowned birding areas including Yanacocha, Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Cabanas San Isidro and Guacamayos Ridge. We pay a special visit to Paz de las Aves, where Andean Cock-of-the-Rock display and several species of antpitta show up looking for a handout of worms every morning. We will also descend into the lowlands, where we’ll   travel by boat from Coca, down the Napo River to the remote Sani Lodge. With birds like the Shining Sunbeam, Sword-billed Hummingbird and Toucan Barbet, we will truly be birding in paradise! Please contact Chip at for more information.

Experience Yellowstone National Park
June 2018
Plans are just starting to emerge for a North Branch Nature Center trip to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming next summer. Yellowstone is famous for its populations of wolves, bison and grizzlies, its otherworldly geological formations and its diverse birdlife. For more information email Chip.

Please call 229-6206 for more info and to register

What's Next

Forest Preschool

Forest Preschool

NBNC is proud to announce that we will be offering a Full-time Forest Preschool
for the 2017-18 school year.

Click here for more information
To register, click here

Saturday, Sep. 30.11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

summer camp

Featuring the LARGEST, spiniest, WACKY, WEIRD, and deceptive species you never knew were hiding in your own backyards

Summer Camp Registration

summer camp

check for the latest availability

Chestnut-sided WarblerBuy "Bird-Friendly"

Order your bird-friendly coffee through NBNC and save on shipping! You'll be supporting the Nature Center, the birds, and the farmers who grow this sustainably produced product. All orders can be picked up from the Nature Center. Click here to download an order form.

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

Open Monday - Friday, 9am to 4pm
Trails open every day
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