North Branch Nature Center bug watch

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

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

North Branch Nature Center bug watch

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

North Branch Nature Center building

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.

North Branch Nature Center kids

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

North Branch Nature Center river

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.

North Branch Nature Center beaver

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 of All Ages with Nature

NBNC Online & The NBNC Resiliency Fund

Check out NBNC Online, our hub for COVID-adapted programming and resources for all ages. Our work is made possible by generous contributions to our NBNC Resiliency Fund, our urgent fund to support NBNC during these difficult times. If you find these resources valuable, please consider making a donation. Thank you, and be well!

COVID-19 Program Adaptations and Expectations - Click to Open

In order to keep you, our staff, and our community safe, NBNC is adhering to strict safety protocols based on CDC and VT Department of Health guidelines. We’re in this together, so here’s what you can expect from us, and what we ask of you as a participant of an in-person NBNC program:

What you can expect of us:

  • Breathing Room: We’ve capped all our programs at 10-12 participants or fewer, and designed them to take place outdoors, with the exceptions of bathroom access, thunderstorm contingencies, and (in some cases) short-term use of the community room.
  • Cleanliness: All potential shared surfaces will have been sanitized before and after each program. No two programs will share the same indoor space (including bathrooms) on any given day. We’ll start each program with a briefing to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding behavior, expectations, masks, distancing, etc.
  • Professionalism: We have completed state-mandated safety trainings, established a staff/board safety committee and a COVID-19 Task Force, and are adhering to strict workplace guidelines to make sure we are taking appropriate measures to make NBNC a safe place to work, learn, and play.
  • Honesty: Our instructors will be following state safety guidelines, and complete health screenings prior to each program to ensure a healthy staff and a safe space for each program.
  • Respect: Our staff and instructors will wear a mask at all times (inside and outside), and maintain at least 6’ distance from all other people throughout all programs. 
  • Transparency: We want to make sure you are comfortable. If you’ve got questions or concerns about our programs and policies, please reach out to us at [email protected].

What we ask of you:

  • Honesty: Do not come to the program if you are feeling ill in any way. You’ll be asked to sign a waiver and health screening document upon arrival acknowledging that you are symptom-free and haven’t been at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus recently. If you develop COVID-like symptoms within 14 days after the program, notify NBNC immediately.
  • Respect: Wear a mask at all times (inside and outside), during NBNC programs. Maintain at least 6’ distance from all other people, including staff, during the program. Follow all safety guidelines explained by our staff.
  • Cleanliness: Sanitize bathrooms and other common surfaces before and after use, according to our guidelines posted in each space. Bring and use hand sanitizer, and wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Flexibility: Please understand that programs may be cancelled on very short notice, and that our protocols are continually adapting to best available science and expert recommendations.

Thank you for your support in keeping our community safe!

North Branch Nature Center connects people with environmental education, natural history, and citizen 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

Robin's Nest Nature Playgroup

Robin's Nest Nature Playgroup is back this fall, with a six-week session. Robin’s Nest is a low-cost activity for families to gather, learn, and play in nature. Guided by the idea that children need to spend ample time outdoors, we offer a community experience for young families in the world of nature. For children ages 0-5 with their parent or caregiver. More Info

Nature Drawing: New Online Course this October

Close observation can inspire wonderful works of imagination. This course will begin with observational drawing, which combines visual observation and drawing technique to build the keen observation skills foundational for both artists and naturalists. Using example plant and animal groups, we will review growth and body patterns, learning through drawing. We will introduce field sketching, grayscale and color drawing, and watercolor layer technique. The course will culminate with examples and projects in imaginative nature art, launching you into your own nature illustrating journey! Learn More

ECO Homeschool Program

Knowing that more students are learning from home this school year, we are launching our new ECO Homeschool program. The woods and fields of NBNC will be our classroom, where students will learn by doing, using all five senses to engage with the landscape through standards-based lessons led by our ECO Teacher-Naturalists. More Info and Registration

Diversity and Equity at NBNC

Our staff and board have been listening, learning, and discussing NBNC's role in perpetuating systemic injustice in our society, as well as how we can begin to play a role in dismantling injustice. We invite you to read our letter addressing our perspective on the intersection of nature and justice in our community. The Imperative of Diversity and Equity

Robins Nest

The River's Edge Blog

Outdoor Educators Share Tips for Learning in Nature

We invite you to check out this great article in KidsVT by Heather Fitzgerald, interviewing several outdoor education organizations, including NBNC, about new opportunities for ...
Read More

Moths of Cloud Bridge by Maya Akazawa – An Online Art Exhibit

In celebration of National Moth Week (July 18-26), we're delighted to host this "e-opening" of Moths of Cloud Bridge, a multimedia collage and embroidery exhibit ...
Read More

The Imperative of Diversity and Equity

This is a Red Trillium. It exists here because a beetle pollinates it, an ant disperses it, a deer eats it, trees shade it, and ...
Read More
Robins Nest

More about North Branch Nature Center

duckflying 1@1.5x-8

NBNC Capital Campaign Update

We're in Phase 3!

(Paused due to COVID-19)

$331,674 left to raise

Learn More about the Capital Campaign

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