North Branch Nature Center bug watch
North Branch Nature Center bug watch
North Branch Nature Center river
North Branch Nature Center kids
North Branch Nature Center building
North Branch Nature Center beaver
North Branch Nature Center beaver

NBNC’s 28 acres of fields, woods, and river offers opportunities for all ages to play, learn, and explore in nature!


Visit our calendar to explore upcoming offerings,
from art gallery openings, to afterschool programs,
to educators institutes, to family events and more.

Visit our calendar to explore upcoming offerings,
from art gallery openings, to afterschool programs,
to educators institutes, to family events and more.

Nature Programs

As Central Vermont’s hub for nature education, we offer expert presentations, field trips, and workshops to enrich your understanding of the natural world.


Our distinguished nature-based education programs immerse children in extraordinary learning environments with an acclaimed, innovative teaching team.


Our beautiful facility is popular to rent – inside, outside, or both – for meetings, classes, presentations, and family celebrations.

Comm Sci

From amphibians to Saw-whet Owls, North Branch Nature Center studies and protects local wildlife with the support of passionate volunteer scientists.


Please support NBNC by becoming a member, volunteering, and/or making a financial gift to help us connect even more people with the natural world!

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Connecting People with the Natural World

Take our Community Survey!

What are NBNC's strengths and growth opportunities? We'd love to hear your ideas about where we should be investing our energies and resources as we develop our 2025-2029 Strategic Plan. To share your thoughts, please take 10-15 minutes to complete this survey. Thank you!

North Branch Nature Center connects people with environmental education, natural history, and community science. More than 10,000 people visit NBNC to be in touch with the sights, sounds, and sensations of the natural world.

Our 28-acre preserve of forest and fields is nestled in a gentle bend of the North Branch of the Winooski River, just two miles from downtown Montpelier. NBNC is the delight in the eyes of children as they watch fireflies in a field.  NBNC is a group of naturalists exploring the secrets of warblers and willows. And it's a quiet place to walk or ski, swim or sit, or simply relax beside the river. There is much to explore. Please join us.


NBNC News Watch

New Book: Educating Children Outdoors by Amy Butler

Educating Children Outdoors is a resource for educators interested in spending extended periods of time in nature with their students. Bringing over two decades of experience working outdoors with teachers and students, former NBNC Director of Education Amy Butler offers curricular guidance on nature-based lessons that align with K–12 education standards and build on the innate curiosity and wonder children have for the natural world. Order for pickup at NBNC or shipped to you.

Backpacking Adventure Camps at NBNC

backpacking adventureWe are accepting applications for our 7-9th and 10-12th grade backpacking adventure camps this summer! Visit our Camps Page for more info.

Announcing Our New Carbon-Neutral Travel Trips!

Our 2025 Adventures Afar will bring you to the planet's most enchanting places to encounter a dazzling diversity of wildlife. Now 100% Carbon-Neutral thanks to our partnership with Northeast Wilderness Trust's Wild Carbon program. Learn more.

Summer 2024 Educator Institutes Open!

Join us this summer for a weeklong, nature-based educator immersion! From naturalist skills, to building safe outdoor classrooms, to teaching NGSS and Proficiency-Based Learning frameworks outdoors, we've got offerings for educators PreK-12th grade! More Information.

Biodiversity University - Field Courses for Naturalists

Biodiversity University offers 2-day courses in natural history topics from geology to botany to entomology. See our 2024 season at our BioU Page!

Robins Nest

Our Land Acknowledgement

North Branch Nature Center acknowledges that we reside upon the traditional and unceded home of the Western Abenaki People. These lands and waters have been a site of meeting and exchange among Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years. North Branch Nature Center honors, recognizes and respects the Abenaki as the traditional stewards of this landscape. We strive to respect and protect this land, while continually honoring the legacy of Vermont’s Indigenous People, the Abenaki People of the Dawn.

NBNC's Land Acknowledgement is a first step in our work to recognize  the imperative of diversity and equity in our community. This statement is the beginning of a conversation to address and honor the Indigenous Peoples who lived on this land for hundreds of generations. 

Vermont’s Abenaki Bands

Each of Vermont’s Abenaki communities hosts a rich website full of information on the tribe history, traditions, language, stories, governance, education, events, and much more.

Elnu Abenaki Tribe: Elnu is an Abenaki Tribe based in Southern Vermont. We work to continue our cultural heritage through historical research, lectures and school programs, oral storytelling, singing, dancing and traditional craft making. Our primary focus is ensuring that our traditions carry on to our children. We are traditionalists trying to maintain our culture in a modern society. Learning from the past creates a better future for all.

Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe: The mission of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation is to strengthen our government; to build our community, and ensure sustainability; to protect our customs and traditions; and to revive our culture and celebrate our heritage while sharing it with those around us. N’dakinna (our homeland) is nestled among the lakes, rivers, and forests of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Our connection to this land cannot be described in any language. It is our birthright and obligation to advocate for our ancestral territory so that its uniqueness and beauty will be protected for the generations to come.

Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation: The Koasek Abenaki is an autonomous band of Abenaki families of what is now called the Western Abenaki Tribes, which have been recognized by the State of Vermont. The Koasek Abenaki people are the native inhabitants of central and northwest New Hampshire and northeast and central Vermont.

Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi: The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi is a Native American Tribe and First Nation located in Swanton, Vermont. The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi mission is to engage in efforts which will promote and sustain a strong, healthy, and united community for the members of the Abenaki Nation. It is further our purpose to improve the quality of life for the tribal members we serve by identifying, addressing, and working to decrease gaps in service and treatment across the spectrum of health, human, and social services.

Robins Nest

The River's Edge Blog

The Nature of Loons: An Afternoon on the Pond

By Emily Sloan, Office Manager My paddle sweeps and swishes, a light breeze floats along the water surface, and I ...
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Thinking Like a Shrub Willow

By Ken Benton, Director of Education Often in the spring, when the waters of the North Branch have not fully ...
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The Ecotourism Dilemma

By Sean Beckett, Program Director In a time of global biodiversity collapse fueled by climate change, how does a nature ...
Read More
Robins Nest

More about North Branch Nature Center

Robins Nest

Connecting People with the Natural World

North Branch Nature Center

713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
(802) 229-6206

Hours: Center Open Monday-Friday 9-4
Trails Open 24/7