Programs & Events



Field Day


Winter 2016

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


Robins Nest Nature Playgroup
Winter Schedule: Feb. 8, Feb. 22, 10:30 - 12:00
Fee: free, donations welcomed
Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup offers parents, caregivers and children ages birth to five an opportunity to play outside and discover the sights, sounds, and sensations of the forests and fields at the NBNC. 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
Polar Bear Wonderland

Friday, February 12, 7:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier
Suggested donation: $5
Hundreds of earth’s largest terrestrial predators converge on the Hudson Bay’s frigid shores for six restless weeks each fall. Join naturalist and expedition leader Sean Beckett on a photographic exploration of the ecology, culture, and uncertain future of the King of the Arctic.

Naturalist Journeys
Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave

Friday, February 26, 7:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier
Suggested donation: $5
When the great environmental writer, Edward Abbey, died in 1989 in Tucson, AZ, four friends buried him secretly, in a spot unknown. Author Sean Prentiss went looking for Abbey’s grave as a way to unravel the greater mystery of home.

North Branch Trekkers - After School Program
Thursdays, March 3 to May 26, 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Total Payment: $410 ($200 deposit). Scholarships may be available.
Students in grades 4 through 8 can join teacher-naturalist Ken Benton every Thursday afternoon as we explore the magnificent green spaces of Montpelier while practicing outdoor living skills such as tracking, foraging for wild edibles, camp cooking, wildlife monitoring and much more.  Based out of the North Branch Nature Center, we’ll make frequent hikes into both Hubbard and North Branch River Parks as we explore the woods to develop a sense of place and play games that will enhance our powers ofobservation as well as lay the groundwork for a positive relationship with the outdoors.  For more information, call 229-6206 or email Ken.

Forest Preschool: Spring session
Starting March 8th for 12 weeks.
Choose any one day (Tuesday-Friday)
OR 2 days (either Tuesday/Wednesday OR Thursday/Friday)
Fee: $480 for one day, $910 for two days. Scholarships may be available.
Enrollment opens December 7.
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. The Forest Preschool program is almost exclusively outdoors except in the case of extremely cold temperatures or thunder and lightning. For more information, email Mary at .

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup 
Mondays, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., starting March 14th – June 6 (12-week session)
Fee: By donation
This is an outdoor playgroup for parents, caregivers, and children ages 0 - 5. Join us for 2 hours of spontaneous play, exploration, discovery, song, nature inspired crafts, and oral story telling. Come learn about the benefits of   nature connection and enjoy the community experience of time immersed in nature with your young ones. NBNC thanks The Vermont Community Foundation for making Robin's Nest possible.

Please call 229-6206 for more info and to register

What's Next

Naturalist Journeys
Lecture & Slideshow Series

Next Lecture:
Polar Bear Wonderland

Friday, February 12
at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier

naturalist journeys

Learn more

Summer ECO Institute Opens Soon! 

ECO Institute Level 1- June 27-July 1, 2016
ECO Institute Level 2 – July 25-29, 2016


Registration will open February 15th through Castleton University. Register soon in order to reserve your spot! Learn more about Summer ECO Institute.

A New Nature Center Building
for Montpelier


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.

Texas Birding Adventure!

Friday, April 15 to Saturday, April 23, 2016

VEFLThe Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas is home to an
incredible diversity of birds, with the breeding ranges of many just barely extending their range into the US. From Aplomado Falcon and Buff-bellied Hummingbird to Vermillion Flycatcher and Green Jay, we’ll see resident species and well as northbound spring migrants.

And there’s always the chance for the unexpected – Varied Bunting, Masked Duck, Crimson-collared Grosbeak – the list goes on. We will visit legendary birding locales, as well as some off-the-beaten track spots, in our week-long (plus) tour of southern Texas.

Cost: $2,200 (double), $2,500 (single); meals and airfare not included. Itinerary (subject to some change):

Day 1 & 2 - McAllen/Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
Day 3 - Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
Day 4 - Sabal Palms in Brownsville and Estero Llano Grande Day 5 - Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park
Day 6 - Salineno, Chapeno and Falcon Dam
Day 7 - Falcon Dam State Park
Day 8 - Frontera Audubon Center and environs

Contact Chip at or call 802-229-6206 for more information.

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
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