Our Future in Nature

“Who is to make sure that our children’s sense of wonder grows indestructible with the years? We are. You and I. Because we believe that the North Branch Nature Center can play a vital part in our children’s lives and, if we are wise, in our own lives as well.”

—Katherine Paterson, award-winning author


Help Complete the Capital Campaign


by Chip Darmstadt, Executive Director
In about a year, I’ll be stepping down as NBNC’s Executive Director. By then I’ll have had the privilege of overseeing the organization’s growth for 25 years. We’ll reflect back on those years later, but right now I want to ask for your help planning for NBNC’s future.

After completing the first two phases of the Capital Campaign in 2017 (in which we built the addition, renovated the barn, and installed the solar array) we have largely taken a breather from the campaign in order to spend the past two years laser-focused on growing our programs and organizational capacity. I’m happy to report that NBNC’s team of 15 talented and committed employees (12.6 FTE) and hundreds of fabulous volunteers are now making full use of the center’s new teaching and meeting spaces.

However, we urgently need warm, energy-efficient and functional workspaces and other key improvements to support our staff and programs. This summer I turned my focus back to the campaign, and today I am asking for your support: Please make a gift to help NBNC complete the Capital Campaign. Here is what’s left to accomplish. We urgently need to:

1. Weatherize the farmhouse in order to become a net-zero campus, and to have warm, productive work spaces.
• Upgrade the thermal envelope and replace vinyl siding with wooden clapboards.
• Upgrade and restore windows to their historic size.

2. Renovate the kitchen to serve our expanded programming.
• Modernize the 1960s-era kitchen to serve program needs and catering for our growing number of special events.

3. Create a library/conference room.
• Remodel to create additional meeting space.
• Construct built-in shelving to house our natural history lending library.

4. Make improvements to offices.
• Upgrade flooring, lighting, etc. to several offices.

5. Make fun, educational outdoor improvements, including:
• Bird banding station.
• Trail hub and informational kiosks.
• Wayfaring signage and accessibility improvements.

The end is in sight. We have raised 79% of our $1.6 million goal, leaving $332,000 still to raise.

Perhaps you donated to the campaign a few years ago, or maybe you never had the chance – either way, please join us now to finish the good work we started.
I hope you will make a “stretch” gift today in order to help us complete the fundraising portion of the campaign. If we can do so by April, our wonderful contractor, Kingdom Construction, is holding a place for us and we can complete the improvements in 2020.

Will you help? Please make your gift today to help complete the campaign. Thank you!


For 24 years North Branch Nature Center has been connecting people of all ages with the natural world, here on our 28-acre preserve, in partnership with area public schools, and by leading programs around Vermont and beyond.  Learn more about our staff and programs.


We have a passionate, experienced staff, a fabulous site, and an inspired vision for the future of learning outdoors in central Vermont, but our buildings need renovation and expansion in order to meet the community’s demand for our programs. Check out the plans!

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To support our mission and vision, we launched Our Future in Nature capital campaign in 2014; to date we have raised $1,268,326. To reach our goal of $1.6 million, we need you. Here's how to get involved!

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