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

Our 28 acres offer a wide menu of opportunities for Vermonters of all ages to play, study, and explore in nature!


Thanks to capital campaign donors, our newly-expanded, net-zero facility features a beautiful community room with space for lectures, classes, art showings, meetings, and community gatherings.


Visit our new platform, NBNC Online, to access to all of our COVID-adapted programming and resources.

Visit NBNC Online for access to all of our COVID-adapted programming and resources.


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


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


From amphibian monitoring to bird research, North Branch Nature Center studies and protects local wildlife with the support of passionate volunteer scientists.

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Connecting People with the Natural World

Please visit for our current policies and protocols.

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

Adopt an Owl!

The Northern Saw-whet Owl fall migration is here, and NBNC staff and researchers are once again poised to catch them as they move southward through the forests. This October, we'll have banding demos for members, public nights, and virtual opportunities to see our research up close. If you'd like to support our work, you can learn more and adopt an owl here!

In the Gallery - Susan Bull Riley

We're excited to present local artist Susan Bull Riley's new gallery of watercolors and oils, on exhibit at NBNC through the end of 2021. Come on by to check it out! Join us on November 16th for a gallery reception.

New Nature Library!

NBNC has just launched its brand new Nature Lending Library! Come on over to NBNC to peruse over 2,000 volumes, including everything from bird taxonomy to environmental history. NBNC members are invited to sign out books. To learn more and browse the catalog, click here.

The North Branch "Live Stream"

Visit our brand new Rivers page to watch crayfish, minnows, mussels, and aquatic insects live in the NBNC river aquaria. You'll also learn how to protect our rivers, what makes good habitat, and what it means to live in a watershed. Visit the river

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 Missiquoi: 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

Planting Keystones

By Sean Beckett NBNC Director of Natural History Programs I was in the garden lamenting what a single conservationist could really do amid a planet ...
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A New Virtual Home for the Vermont Alliance for Half-Earth

The Vermont Alliance for Half-Earth is a group of Vermont residents and conservationists, including NBNC staff, who have come together to advance biodiversity preservation in ...
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Embracing Outdoor Learning All Year

By Amy Butler The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges for teachers, students, schools, and families. One response has been increased interest in outdoor learning ...
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Robins Nest

More about North Branch Nature Center

Robins Nest
duckflying 1@1.5x-8

NBNC Capital Campaign

The Final Phase!

Thanks to hundreds of donors like you, the Capital Campaign has moved forward despite the pandemic.  In late 2020 we added a beautiful new entrance sign, and the farmhouse was weatherized and received much-needed exterior renovations. In February, 2021, we began the final building construction phase: renovating the farmhouse interior, which includes creating a library/meeting room and completely renovating the kitchen to better serve our programs, festivals, and rentals.

We have $77,000 left to raise for the last campaign phase: construction of two new kiosks, improvements to our trails, and the creation of a fully accessible trail. Thank you for making a gift here to help us cross the finish line in 2021!

$77,000 left to raise

Learn More about the Capital Campaign

Connecting People with the Natural World

North Branch Nature Center

713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
(802) 229-6206
[email protected]

Office Open Monday-Friday from 9 am to 4 pm
Trails Open 24/7