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March 2021

What’s in a Name? – Learning to see and identify bird subspecies (online presentation)

March 3 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We can all identify a cardinal - but can you tell the difference between an Arizonan Northern Cardinal from one at your feeder? Learn what subspecies are common in Vermont, how to identify them, and how it can be rewarding to see and hear backyard (and back of the mountain) birds with a closer lens.

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Online Course: Drawing on Creativity with Rachel Mirus

March 7 @ 12:00 AM - 12:30 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$60

Observing nature has inspired many artistic flights of imagination. This course will use nature study through observational drawing to learn about a selection of familiar animals, from birds to beetles. From that foundation, we will follow in the footsteps of scientific illustrators and storytellers to invent our own reconstructions of vanished animals like the dinosaurs or our own versions of folk animals like the jackalope. Along the way we will cover field sketching, adding color to drawings, watercolor gradients, and more. Come learn to fuel your imagination with your love of nature!

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ECO Homeschool Program (Ages 6-12)

March 8 @ 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$450

A meaningful and fun learning environment based in environmental education and a mentorship model. We are pleased to announce new full-day ECO Homeschool programs with a wider age range to better meet the needs of our community. Space is limited!

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Inside-Outside: Nature Based Educators of New England (Chapter Meeting)

March 11 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Inside-Outside is a network of educators and organizations from throughout the northeast and beyond. We come together to connect and support one another in teaching and learning outdoors, while continuing to grow the nature-based education movement. NBNC hosts a once a month Central Vermont Chapter meeting for anyone interested in learning more about nature-based education for children in grades preK to 12th grade. We host our meetings on the second Tuesday of each month during the school year.

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Winter Naturalist Virtual Lunch Hangout

March 15 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on February 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM

One event on March 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Need a break? Join NBNC naturalists for a casual, lunchtime virtual gathering to swap nature notes, ponder wildlife sightings, explore questions, and spend time with like-minded nature lovers. We'll see you there!

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Amphibian Road Crossings: Ecology & Volunteer Training

March 16 @ 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Join NBNC scientists to learn about our Amphibian Road Crossing program, and find out how you can help Vermont's frogs and salamanders safely cross the road during their annual spring movements. Every April, amphibians migrate by the millions from upland forests to wetland breeding grounds, often crossing roadways at their peril. North Branch Nature Center's ARC program trains volunteers to survey known and suspected road crossing sites and help amphibians across the road while collecting valuable data to inform local conservation and transportation planning efforts. Over the last two years, NBNC volunteers conducted 300 surveys and documented 8,700 salamanders at 60 crossing sites across Central Vermont! This citizen science project accommodates volunteers of all ages and background-- the only requirement is an eagerness to enjoy and protect our local amphibians!

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Drawing on Birds: Comics, Science, and Sharing Nature with Rosemary Mosco

March 17 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Learn about the funny side of nature - and especially birds - and discover why comics and science are natural allies. Rosemary Mosco, a cartoonist, naturalist, and kids' book author, will explain her unique blend of art and science, and share some of the funny creatures she's encountered along the way.

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April 2021

Inside-Outside: Nature Based Educators of New England (Chapter Meeting)

April 8 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Inside-Outside is a network of educators and organizations from throughout the northeast and beyond. We come together to connect and support one another in teaching and learning outdoors, while continuing to grow the nature-based education movement. NBNC hosts a once a month Central Vermont Chapter meeting for anyone interested in learning more about nature-based education for children in grades preK to 12th grade. We host our meetings on the second Tuesday of each month during the school year.

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Online Course: Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers with Grace Glynn

April 11 @ 7:00 AM - May 16 @ 7:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$65

Wild leeks, trillium, spring beauty: each spring brings an explosion of wildlflowers to rich Northeastern forests. This course will equip you with tools to identify the plants in our spring flora and an ecological understanding of their place on the landscape. Topics will range from etymology of the spring flora to the potential effects of climate change on spring ephemerals and their pollinators.

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Green Mountain Meadowlarks: Ecology and Conservation of an Imperiled Grassland Bird

April 15 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Eastern Meadowlarks in the Northeast are rapidly declining; based on the latest USGS Breeding Bird Survey results, they’re undergoing an estimated 8.7% annual decline in Vermont. With their recent designation of Threatened in New Hampshire, and imminent listing in Vermont, now is a golden opportunity for targeted survey efforts. The Vermont Center for Ecostudies is partnering up with New Hampshire Audubon to launch a bi-state “blitz” this spring to encourage birders and community scientists to target areas of grassland habitat with the goal of seeking out meadowlarks. Join North Branch and VCE to learn about these imperiled songbirds and what you can do to help keep them on the Vermont landscape. 

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April Break Camp for K-3rd Grade

April 19 @ 8:30 AM - April 21 @ 3:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$185

Spring is a great time to explore the Nature Center. Children in grades K-3 join us for one, two or three days of spring nature adventures and activities. We will make art using natural materials, explore the fields and forest for signs of wildlife, try our hands at wild edible cooking and give back to the land in celebration of Earth Day.

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Nature Trivia Night with Northeast Wilderness Trust

April 22 @ 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

April 22 | 5:30 - 6:30 pm Free | Registration Required - Space is Limited MORE INFO & REGISTRATION Calling all Nature Nerds! Join Northeast Wilderness Trust and North Branch Nature Center to celebrate Earth Day the wild way, with a round of Nature Trivia. With a variety of topics and a range of easy, medium, and difficult questions, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. We’ll have prizes for the first, second, and third-place winners, and plenty of laughter and…

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May 2021

Nocturnal Migration: The birds flying over your bed while you sleep – by Larry Clarfeld

May 4 @ 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Presented by Larry Clarfeld Tuesday May 4  | 7:30 - 8:30 pm Free | Join via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85469408269 Hosted by:  Green Mountain Audubon Society and North Branch Nature Center Migration is one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world, and yet much of the migration of North America’s birds takes place under a cloak of darkness. This talk by Larry Clarfeld will illuminate nocturnal migration, delving into the historical context of the “night flight”, current techniques for studying this…

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Inside-Outside: Nature Based Educators of New England (Chapter Meeting)

May 13 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Inside-Outside is a network of educators and organizations from throughout the northeast and beyond. We come together to connect and support one another in teaching and learning outdoors, while continuing to grow the nature-based education movement. NBNC hosts a once a month Central Vermont Chapter meeting for anyone interested in learning more about nature-based education for children in grades preK to 12th grade. We host our meetings on the second Tuesday of each month during the school year.

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Lady Beetles of Vermont: Invasions, Extirpations, & Discoveries – with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies

May 20 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Thursday May 20 | 6 - 7 pm Free | Join via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82792711468 Presented by: Vermont Center for Ecostudies Native lady beetles play an important role as biological pest control agents, yet native populations have been in decline across North America. Vermont's lady beetles seem to be following continental trends of decline, but due to lack of modern data, we do not understand what native lady beetles remain in Vermont, how their populations are doing, or what conservation initiatives…

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Digital Photography for Naturalists – Biodiversity University

May 27 @ 9:00 AM - May 28 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Sean Beckett. Learn to better harness your camera and your artistic imagination to improve your nature photography and expand your naturalist skill set. In this course, we’ll delve into each part of the nature photography workflow, including conception, composition, exposure, camera technique, editing, and production.

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Slow Birding with Bridget Butler – Biodiversity University

May 29 @ 9:00 AM - May 30 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Bridget Butler. Slow Birding is a practice that builds a deeper observation of birds with the intention of knowing more about the whole bird in addition to identification. The Slow Birding approach is useful for beginner birders and experienced birders alike. Beginning birders find it a more relaxed approach to learning birds and experienced birders enjoy the feeling of letting go of the list and seeing birds with a fresh perspective.

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June 2021

Friday Morning Bird Walks

June 4 @ 7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:00 AM on Friday, repeating until June 4, 2021

Vermont Vermont

Weekly trips to birding hot spots around Central Vermont searching for spring migrants like warblers, vireos, thrushes, and waterfowl. Led by NBNC staff.

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TRACES 2021: Vermont Dance Alliance’s Day of Dance

June 12 @ 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

TRACES 2021 June 12, 2021, 10am - 12:30pm Free, donations greatly appreciated on site or at vermontdance.org/donate Questions? [email protected] More Info: https://vermontdance.org/events/traces-2021  The long-time goal of expanding Traces (our annual summer outdoor dance festival) into a state-wide day of dance, is happening this year! Vermont Dance Alliance (VDA) will present TRACES 2021 in three locations simultaneously: Montpelier, White River Junction & Burlington. Traces, a day of outdoor dance happenings, will celebrate the change into summer, dancing in public spaces, and…

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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

June 17 @ 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:30 AM on Thursday, repeating until June 17, 2021

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Thursdays, April 1 - June 17 | 9:30 - 11:30 am For children ages 0-5 with parent or caregiver A Free, drop-in program | Registration not required (donations welcome) Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup is a free, weekly 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 in the world of nature and will model ways the natural environment can be used as a tool for…

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Forest Mosses – Biodiversity University

June 26 @ 9:00 AM - June 27 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Jerry Jenkins & Sue Williams | An introduction to the mosses of cold-temperate and boreal forests, emphasizing growth form, field characters, ecological patterns, and geography. Indoor sessions to learn the common species, field trips to locate them in the woods; lots of looking, comparing, drawing, discussing; an hour or two of stories about mosses and forests and the planet; a little microscopy to show you what the next steps look like.

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July 2021

Bedrock Geology – Biodiversity University

July 10 @ 9:00 AM - July 11 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Stephen Wright $265 | Full - Join the waitlist at the link below Financial Support Available | Prof. Dev. CEUs available. This course is designed to introduce participants to the geologic materials and processes necessary to understand the framework of northern Vermont’s geologic history. Multiple field trips will take students to areas where key aspects of the area’s geology can be observed. These field trips will introduce students to many of the different rocks underlying the area. Great…

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Old Growth – Biodiversity University

July 17 @ 9:00 AM - July 18 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Liz Thompson & Bob Zaino | Old forests capture a special place in our imagination, and they provide important ecological functions, especially in a changing climate. In this course, we will visit some of the few remaining patches of old forest in Vermont. We will start by considering the history of Vermont’s forests, and learn why old forests are now so rare on the landscape. We will discuss and explore the unique characteristics of old forests, and we will learn how to recognize old forests in a variety of ecological settings. We will identify indicator mosses and lichens, dig into the biotically rich soils, and use an increment borer to study tree rings. Finally, we will reflect upon the science and practice of conserving and restoring old forests in Vermont.

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Ferns & Lycophytes – Biodiversity University

July 24 @ 9:00 AM - July 25 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Michael Sundue | Ferns are our constant companions in the North Woods, yet many naturalists never get to know them due to their cryptic characteristics. In this course, we'll become familiar with ferns and their allies through an exploration of their natural history, evolution, and identification. Along with the other spore-dispersed vascular plants (horsetails, clubmosses, spikemosses & quillworts), ferns are the second largest group of flora on earth, exceeded only by the seed plants. We will explore this group's wonderful diversity in the field, investigate diagnostic features, then take a closer look under the microscope back in the lab.

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