Programs & Events

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


Forest Preschool: Spring session
Spring session ends June 3
We have limited openings on Tuesdays,Thursdays, and Fridays NOW!
Fee: prorated tuition for late registration (please inquire)
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.

North Branch Trekkers - After School Program
Thursdays, April 28 to May 263 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Fee: $34 per session (pro-rated for late registration)
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.

Spring Migration Bird Walks
Fridays, 7:00 - 8:30 a.m.
Fee: $10, free for members
Explore NBNC and other local hotspots for spring migrants, such as warblers, vireos, thrushes and waterfowl. Learn birding basics, expand your birding ear and discover more about the birds that inhabit the fields and forests of NBNC. These walks are led by our naturalist staff and are a great way to meet other local birders!
  -   April 29 – North Branch Nature Center
  -   May 6 – Hubbard Park (meet at New Shelter)
  -   May 13 – North Branch Nature Center
  -   May 20 – Sodom Pond, Adamant (directions)
  -   May 27 – Cross VT Trail, Waterbury

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup 
Mondays, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., May 2  – June 6 
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.

Wood Turtles in Vermont: Ecology and Conservation,
Thursday, May 5th, 7 pm at the North Branch Nature Center.
Fee: Free & open to the public.
Wood turtles are incredible icons for the conservation of Vermont’s rivers. Wood turtle ecology is so closely linked to rivers, streams, and riparian areas that it is critical to understand and conserve these waterways if we want to save the turtle. Come spend an evening with River Conservation Specialist, Lydia Menendez Parker, and Herpetologist, Chris Jenkins to learn more about the ecology and conservation of wood turtles and the rivers they call home.

Mother's Day Wildflower Walk
Sunday, May 8th 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Fee: $10 adults, $5 kids and members
Come join us on a wonderful walk for all ages with Everett Marshall of the Fish & Wildlife Department Diversity Program. We’ll take a walk through the meadows and woods along the North Branch to view our spring flora and learn the folklore behind names of these beautiful, ephemeral, wildflowers. Moms, families, plant lovers - and dads too - are invited to join us on this easy and enjoyable walk.

World Series of Birding (Youth Birding)
Thursday - Sunday, May 12-15
Youth birders wanted for our team! An NBNC tradition for over 10 years, experience spring migration at its best in Cape May, NJ for this youth birdwatching competition/fundraiser. Yellow-throated Warblers and Summer Tanagers are our alarm clock as we camp in the heart of Belleplain State Forest. Whether you’re an avid birder, or just getting started, we welcome team members of all abilities.  Beginning birders are welcome and encouraged! Contact us today for more info on how to join the team.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Fee: $10 members, $15 nonmembers, free for kids
Join us for our 5th annual celebration of birds at NBNC! Featuring bird walks &
workshops, live raptors, kids activities, bird banding demo, bird house building, photo contest and much more!

Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale
Saturday, June 5, 9am - 12pm
Not just selling plants, but demonstrations and talks about dahlia bulbs, willow weaving, and things for children! Hosted by Central Vermont Chapter of UVM Extension Master Gardeners.

Birding Camel's Hump
Saturday, June 11th, 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Fee: $25 members, $30 nonmembers, free for teens
Join us for an early summer trek up Camel's Hump as we search for montane species such as Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Blackpoll Warbler, Swainson's Thrush, and Bicknell's Thrush. We'll follow the 3.1 mile Monroe Trail to the summit, where we will break for an early lunch before hiking back down to the trailhead. This hike is rated
moderately difficult. 

Nature Photography with Bryan Pfeiffer
Saturday, June 11, 10am - 2pm
Fee: $35
Bryan explains your digital camera’s dials, buttons and menus. Bryan’s workshops help any photographer capture vivid images of the world. Bring lunch and camera! Contact to reserve a spot. Hosted by Central Vermont Chapter of UVM Extension Master Gardeners.

ECO Teacher Trainings 2016
Professional Development held at The North Branch Nature Center

The ECO Teacher Institute is a five-day nature immersion course for educators, elementary teachers, assistants, aides and administrators. During the week, a leadership team of professional nature immersion specialists guides teachers in learning the direct application of outdoor     classroom routines as well as ways to incorporate NGSS and Common Core Standards into those routines. All    trainings are held in an outdoor setting so please come  prepared to spend the entire day outside. This graduate course is 3 graduate credits through Castleton University.
  -   ECO Level 1: June 27 - July 1, 2016 (full - waitlist only)
  -   ECO Level 2: July 25 - 29, 2016 (full - waitlist only)


Please call 229-6206 for more info and to register

What's Next

Summer Camp 2016

summercampSpring is around the corner, and summer camp registration is in full tilt. It is time to start thinking about your child's summer plans! This year we've increased our offerings for both Pre-K and 1st - 4th grade camps and added an overnight element to two of our travel camps. For a complete listing of this summer's camps, please visit the camps page. Scholarships are available.

Capital Campaign News!

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