Programs & Events

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

Forest Preschool
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday, and Fridays, 9-12 p.m.
Fall session begins August 30
Choose any 1 day (Tuesday - Friday) OR
2 days (either Tuesday/Wednesday or Thursday/Friday). 
Fee: $480 for one day, $910 for two days, for 12 weeks
Forest Preschool is an outdoor, exploratory, play-based program 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. This program is for children ages of 3.5 to 6 years old.

Fall Migration Bird Walks
Fridays, Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30, 7:30 - 9 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! Binoculars available for loan.

Monarch Butterfly Tagging
Tuesdays, September 6 & 13, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
Fee: $5 for adults, $3 for 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.

Wild Medicine Plant Walk
Friday, September 9, 5 - 7:00 p.m.
Fee: $10 member, $12 nonmember and $20 per family 
Wander through the North Branch plant communities with herbalist/naturalist Angie Barger to discover what seasonal wild medicinal and edible plants are seeking to be noticed. After our hour-long plant walk, we will gather at the fire pit to cook and enjoy cultivated foods and a wild edible snack as well. This program is family friendly and limited to 20 participants. In the event of rain, participants will receive an email to cancel and reschedule. Pre-registration required.

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup
Running 12 weeks on Mondays 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. September 12th - December 9th.
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.

North Branch Trekkers - After School Program
Wednesdays, September 14 to December 7, 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fee: $410 ($200 deposit)
Students in grades 4 through 8 can join teacher-naturalist Ken Benton every Wednesday 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 of observation as well as lay the groundwork for a positive relationship with the outdoors.  For more information, call Ken at 229-6206. Note: we are looking into the possibility of running a version of Trekkers for grades 1-3. Let us know if you would be interested and stay tuned for more info!

North Branch Explorers (NEW afterschool prog. for grades 1-3)
Wednesdays, September 14th through December 7th 3 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Fee: $410 (includes $200 deposit)
Every Wednesday after school, the North Branch Explorers (1st-3rd grade) will immerse in the mysteries of the natural world. We will play, discover, and learn in the field, forests, and waterways around the North Branch Nature Center. Our gentle adventures will be crafted from the curiosities of the children. Led by teacher-naturalist Eve Bernhard, we'll follow animal tracks, harvest and cook wild edibles, make fires, tune into our senses, give thanks, sing songs, tell (and create!) stories, build shelters, make art, and play lots of games! With wonder, we'll wander!

20th Anniversary Gala
Saturday, September 17, 2016. 6 p.m.
Fee: Tickets ($60 each)
Vermont College of Fine Arts, Alumni Hall in Montpelier.
We’re celebrating NBNC’s 20th year with a gala. The evening will feature the musical duo Jairo Sequiera and Ruth Einstein, a fabulous sit-down dinner, and dancing to classic tunes spun by VPR’s Joel Najman (count on lots of bird-related music!). Tickets will be available starting August 5th through a link from our website, so check back soon!

Caterpillar Fest!
Sunday, September 25. 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Fee: $10 for nonmembers, $8 for members and $5 kids
Come meet hundreds of native New England caterpillars at NBNC. Engaging educators from The Caterpillar Lab, including founder Sam Jaffe, will be here to tell you all about dozens of species you never knew might be hiding in your own backyards. This year, they will bring some unique and exciting early fall species. You'll meet strange and surprising slug caterpillars, camouflaged prominents that blend perfectly into leaf edges, giant silkmoth species preparing to pupate for the cold months, and more! Be sure to save the date for this unique exhibition!

Saw-whet Owl Banding
Saturday, October 8 & 22, starting at 7 p.m.
Fee: Donations welcomed
Every fall migrating pint-sized Saw-whet Owls filter through Vermont unseen and unheard. We invite you to join this exciting opportunity to view these common, yet seldom-seen, birds. Follow signs from North Branch Nature Center parking lot to the banding station and be sure to dress warmly.

Champlain Lake Watch
Saturday, October 22, 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Fee: $25 members, $30 nonmembers, free for teens
The Champlain flyway is a corridor for tens of thousands of waterfowl that migrate through Vermont each spring and fall. We’ll search the Champlain Valley for ducks, geese, and others.

Superbowl of Birding XIV (Youth Birding)
January 2017
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’re interested in joining the team!

Please call 229-6206 for more info and to register

What's Next

20th Anniversary Party
A Gala Evening
Celebrating our first 20 years

 Saturday September 17, 6 pmAlumni Hall, VCFA, Montpelier
Music, Dinner, Dancing
and Raffle Drawing!


Forest Preschool

Forest Preschool is an outdoor, exploratory, play-based program for children ages 3.5 - 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. For more info, please visit the forest preschool page. Scholarships may be available.

Raffle in support of our Capital Campaign


Support our Capital Campaign while having a chance to win fantastic prizes, including:

  • in-home dinner prepared by NECI chef
  • Sailboat cruise on Lake Champlain
  • Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine
  • Nordic Skiing Day Passes
  • Spa day package at Topnotch Spa
  • Fresh monthly bread from Manghis’
  • and more!

raffleTickets can be purchased online or at the Nature Center for $20 each or 6 for $100. All prizes are valued at $200 or more. Raffle drawing will take place on September 17 at our 20th Anniversary Gala Celebration.

Purchase Raffle Tickets

Learn more about the capital campaign.

Summer Camp 2016

summercampA very limited number of spaces remain for this summer's camps, and those spots are going fast! 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 may be available.

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