— Tom Slayton

“In a world that more and more needs nature’s healing and restoration, North Branch Nature Center is a treasure for all Vermonters.”

About Us

Welcome to NBNC


F or 22 years North Branch Nature Center has put people in touch with the sights, sounds and sensations of the wild within our capital. North Branch Nature Center has become an integral part of outdoor recreation and learning in central Vermont, serving 10,000 visitors annually. 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. North Branch is firefly light sparkling in a child’s eye. It is a lecture hall where we learn the secrets of warblers and willows and weather. And it is a quiet place to walk or ski, swim or sit, or simply to do nothing beside the river.

Our Staff


Chip Darmstadt
Executive Director

Sean Beckett
Director of Natural History Programming

Ken Benton
Teacher Naturalist

Amy Butler
Director of Education

Caitlyn Bain
AmeriCorps Teacher-Naturalist

Zac Cota
Teacher Naturalist

Arianna Dayharsh
Teacher Naturalist

Lauren Esserman
Finance & Administration Manager

Leslie Hill
Forest Preschool Teacher

Dave Muska
Teacher Naturalist

Jenna Plouffe
Forest Preschool Teacher

Carrie Riker
Teacher Naturalist

Emily A. Seiffert
Development & Communications Director

Emily Sloan
Office Manager

Mary Zentara
Co-Teacher & Director of Forest Preschool


"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

—Rachel Carson

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