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

Our 28 acre nature preserve offers
opportunities for all ages to play, study,
and explore in nature!


Thanks to members and donors, our newly completed, net-zero facility features a beautiful community room, a library, and space for exhibits, classes, art showings, and gatherings.


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


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

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


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.

previous arrow
next arrow

Connecting People with the Natural World

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

Naturalist Journeys 2023

Our annual winter presentation series is back with the new research and stories of biologists, artists, falconers, and naturalists from across the country. This year, some presentations are in person, and others are virtual. Tickets will be required this year for in-person programs to ensure safety and comfort for all. All programs are recorded and made available on our website. Learn more at our Naturalist Journeys Page.

Winter Programs at NBNC

We've got a great lineup of winter programs to connect you with the natural world, including a range of wildlife tracking clubs and classes for all levels of experience. Learn More.

Adventures Afar 2023

Space is still available on our Texas, Arizona, and Midwest trips this spring and summer, guided by Chip Darmstadt. NBNC's Adventures Afar will bring you to the planet's most enchanting places to encounter a dazzling diversity of birdlife. Learn more.

Montpelier PLACE Events this fall!

Montpelier PLACE is a series of community events celebrating the sites and stories in Montpelier’s unique heritage and ecology. Join us this fall on a citywide exploration to discover what makes our Capital City so special! Learn More

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

Conservation and Community at NBNC

by Braden DeForge, 2021 Conservation Stewardship AmeriCorps Member Sitting on the floor of the Nature Center on a hot June ...
Read More

The Art of Place: Community Connections Through Art and Nature 

By Chelsea Clarke Sawyer, Communications Coordinator Inspiration struck Brooke Piana and Katrina Jimerson on a hot July day last summer. ...
Read More

The Nature Of Wild Houseguests

The Nature Of Wild Houseguests By Sean Beckett, NBNC Program Director (This is an expanded version of the article published ...
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