Programs & Events

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

Naturalist Journeys
In Search of Earth 2.0
Friday, January 27, 7:00 p.m. (at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier)
Admission by Donation
John O’Meara, Associate Professor of Physics at Saint Michael’s College will excite viewers with a question that has inspired humanity: "Are we alone in the universe?”  Through new technologies and theories, astronomers are on the verge of being able to answer this question.  In this talk, I will describe our current efforts to search for planets like Earth around Sun-like stars in the Galaxy, and the tools and telescopes we will use to see if life exists on them.

Ice On Fire
Sunday, January 29, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Suggested Donation is $5/family, $3/adult, and $1/child.
Come one, come all to Ice on Fire, a celebration of the warmth of community in the depth of winter with song, theater, stories, winter games and great food. It begins at 2 p.m. with a puppet processional parade and opening ceremony calling in the four directions, and closes at 5 p.m. with a bonfire. Volunteers needed. Contact Alec or Geoff at 223-7335 or Janice at 595-4296.

Superbowl of Birding XIV (Youth Birding)
January 28, 2017
Superbowl of Birding (for youth) Winter’s premier birding competition 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 are interested in joining the team!

Robin's Nest - Nature Playgroup
Mondays, February 6 & 20, 10:30-12:00
Fee: Free, donations appreciated
Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup offers parents, caregivers, and children ages 0 - 5, an opportunity to play outside and discover the sights, sounds, and sensations of the forests and fields at the North Branch Nature Center. Guided by the idea that children need to spend ample time outdoors, we offer a community experience in the world of nature and will model ways the natural environment can be used as a tool for learning and play.

Naturalist Journeys
Naked in Montpelier
Friday, February 10, 7:00 p.m. (at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier)
Admission by Donation
Reporting from the frontiers of Planet Earth, Bryan Pfeiffer and Ruth Einstein have already brought you “Naked in Norway” and “Naked in the Grand Canyon.” Now, direct from home, Bryan and Ruth bring you “Naked in Montpelier.” You’ll discover the odd and shocking wildlife that swims, slithers, walks, hops, flies or just sits there as the rest of us go about our lives in the capital city. This will be a revealing portrait of the wild in our own backyards. (Rated PG for “Politely Graphic.”)

Birding Cape Ann & Plum Island
Friday - Sunday, February 17-19
Fee: $390 (sharing a double); $490 (single room); $40 member discount
Winter birding on the Massachusetts coast is invigorating, and there is no better place to experience it than Cape Ann and Plum Island (and points in between!). See some of winter's best birds in a beautiful setting. Target species include Harlequin Duck, Razorbill, Barrow's Goldeneye, Snowy Owl, King Eider, and many more. Trip fee includes lodging, continental breakfast and guiding (but not transportation or other food). Space is limited, register soon!

Naturalist Journeys
Native Bee Conservation in Vermont & Beyond
Friday, February 24, 7:00 p.m. (at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier)
Admission by Donation
Leif Richardson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Gund Institute, UVM Vermont has 250+ species of native bees, many of which are important pollinators of wild and cultivated plants. These wild bee species may be threatened by land use change, pesticides, disease, climate change, and competition with honey bees. Leif will discuss how we know when insect species are of conservation concern, and recent efforts to protect declining bee pollinators in Vermont and beyond.

Naturalist Journeys
The Effects of Land Use Changes on Furbearer Populations in Vermont
Friday, March 3, 7:00 p.m. (at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier)
Admission by Donation
Kimberly Royar, Wildlife Biologist for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department will walk through the history of land use in Vermont since pre-settlement times and discuss how changes to the distribution of forests, farms, and development have influenced the populations of species like bobcat, beaver, wolves, coyotes, lynx and marten. 

Forest Preschool: Spring session
For children ages 3.5 - 6
12 weeks: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
March 7 to June 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fee: $580 for 12 weeks
Forest Preschool is an outdoor, exploratory, play-based program for children ages 3.5 to 6 that 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.

North Branch Trekkers & Explorers - After School Programs
Wednesdays, March 8 to May 31, 3 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! Learn more and download a registration form.

Champlain Valley Birding
Saturday, March 18, 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Fee: $25 members, $35 nonmembers
The Champlain Valley is a corridor for thousands of waterfowl that migrate through Vermont each spring. We'll search Lake Champlain and surrounding habitats for ducks, geese, raptors, early migrating songbirds and lingering winter species. Carpool from Montpelier (or other location).

Boreal Birds at Moose Bog
Saturday, April 8, 7:00 a.m - 3:30 p.m.
Fee: $25 members, $35 nonmembers
Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee and Spruce Grouse beckon from Moose Bog and other birding hotspots in the Northeast Kingdom. Enjoy a pre-blackfly season outing in search of the "boreal grand slam" and other northern species. Carpool from Montpelier.

hooded warblerMigration at Magee Marsh
Friday, May 5 - Friday, May 12
Fee: $1,650 (sharing a double); $2,250 (single room)
Magee Marsh in Ohio is a prime destination for birders looking to experience the marvels of warbler migration in spring. Three dozen species of warblers have been recorded in the area and plenty of shorebirds, raptors and waterfowl only help to sweeten the experience. The sheer number of individual birds and their close proximity (no warbler neck!) are a thrill to behold. Vermonters will also appreciate the western/southern species that range east to Ohio, including Trumpeter Swan, Prothonotary and Hooded Warblers, Lark and Henslow's Sparrows. Trip fee includes lodging, van transportation in Ohio, continental breakfast and guiding (but not airfare or other food). $250 deposit upon registration.

World Series of Birding
May - 11-14
(beginners welcome!) A decade old NBNC tradition, we have had both youth and young adult teams compete in this event. Cape May, NJ in spring is birding at its finest. Prothonotary Warbler, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak are just a few of the many species we are likely to see. Please contact NBNC to see how you can participate.

Please call 229-6206 for more info and to register

What's Next

Naturalist Journeys
Lecture and Slideshow Series

Coming Up Next:


In Search of Earth 2.0
Friday, January 27, 7:00 p.m.
at the Unitarian Chuch of Montpelier

Winter Whispers

Winter Whisperers

Dec. 8 -  Feb. 24
Thursday or Friday from 9 - 1 p.m.
for children ages 4-6

Learn More

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.

Make an Online Donation
and learn more ways you can support NBNC


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