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North Branch Nature Center

May 2022

My Grandmother’s Hands ​8-Week Facilitated Study Groups

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

The Everything Space and The Vermont Kindness Project present 8 week study groups to address racialized trauma.  Join together to engage deeply with Resmaa Menakem’s potent book My Grandmother’s Hands.  Experienced facilitators will guide important conversations and somatic practices. To dismantle racism we must collectively address the racial trauma held in our individual and collective bodies.  Learn how all bodies are impacted by the collective trauma of racism, though each body is impacted differently and disproportionately. My Grandmother’s Hands offers steps to embody vitally important change.  This facilitated book group will offer a container to do this necessary work.

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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

May 17 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, repeating until June 7, 2022

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

Tuesdays, April 5 - June 7 | 10:00 - noon | 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 learning and play.

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Tree Planting and Habitat Restoration Volunteer Evening

May 17 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Get involved with conservation stewardship at NBNC! We'll be planting shrubs and trees this afternoon in partnership with Friends of the Winooski River, and we need your help.
Please contact us ([email protected]) to sign up or to learn more about volunteer stewardship days this spring and summer.

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Spring Birding at Berlin Pond (South)

May 20 @ 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

A casual morning of birding for all interests and experience levels facilitated by NBNC staff and guest leaders. These outings are about enjoying, learning about, and spending time with wild birds. No binoculars? No ID guide? No problem! The only requirement is an appreciation of birds (though we do have binoculars for those who would like them).

This program will explore a property that the Berlin Conservation Commission is hoping to purchase and conserve.

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Wabanaki Ethnobotany – Biodiversity University

May 21 @ 9:00 AM - May 22 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

This course of study is designed to acquaint the student with historic and contemporary herbal medicines, industrial materials, and foods of the Vermont/New Hampshire Abenakis and their Wabanaki neighbors.  Using the academic discipline of Ethnobotany, counterbalanced with a Native American perspective, we will explore many facets of the relations of our region's Indigenous and plant communities.

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Tree Planting and Habitat Restoration Volunteer Morning

May 22 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Get involved with conservation stewardship at NBNC! We’ll be planting shrubs and trees this afternoon in partnership with Friends of the Winooski River, and we need your help.
Please contact us ([email protected]) to sign up or to learn more about volunteer stewardship days this spring and summer.

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Spring SLOW Birding with Bridget Butler

May 27 @ 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Friday May 27 | 7 - 9 AM | FREE North Branch Nature Center Sponsored  by Onion River Outdoors A casual morning of birding for all interests and experience levels facilitated by NBNC staff and guest leaders. These outings are about enjoying, learning about, and spending time with wild birds. No binoculars? No ID guide? No problem! The only requirement is an appreciation of birds (though we do have binoculars for those who would like them). Hosted by Bird Diva…

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Forest Mosses – Biodiversity University

May 28 @ 9:00 AM - May 29 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

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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June 2022

Spring Birding at North Branch Cascades (North)

June 3 @ 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

A casual morning of birding for all interests and experience levels facilitated by NBNC staff and guest leaders. These outings are about enjoying, learning about, and spending time with wild birds. No binoculars? No ID guide? No problem! The only requirement is an appreciation of birds (though we do have binoculars for those who would like them).

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Wasps: Misunderstood Marvels – Biodiversity University

June 11 @ 9:00 AM - June 12 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Wasps; misunderstood, often maligned, and commonly underestimated. These amazing insects are vastly diverse, complex in their life cycles, and vital to our ecosystems. As pollinators, predators, and parasitoids, they fill many vital –and often overlooked– roles in the biosphere. In this course we will learn how vital these insects are, and gain a greater appreciation for them through lecture and outdoor exploration at North Branch Nature Center.

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Native Pollinators – Biodiversity University

June 18 @ 9:00 AM - June 19 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

When it comes to pollination, honeybees get all the attention, but the vast majority of the work is credited to a diverse group of organisms that call New England home. There are over 300 species of native bees in Vermont alone, and they are responsible for pollinating ~80% of flowering plants and ~66% of our food crops. Not to mention dozens of species of butterflies, thousands of species of moths, myriad wasps, beetles, flies, birds, and microorganisms that all take part in the complex ecology of plant reproduction.

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ECO Institute: Natural History Fundamentals for Educators

June 27 @ 8:00 AM - July 1 @ 4:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$1300

The purpose of this course for PreK - 6th grade educators is to deepen our understanding of the natural landscape and learn how to utilize this knowledge to build a partnership with the land that meets the needs of all students.  Participants will develop a foundation of natural history knowledge through immersive study of bird language, tree and plant identification, wild edible safety, geology, and stream ecology.  We will practice techniques for achieving a deeper level of inquiry and observation in nature while learning hands-on methods for embedding this knowledge into outdoor lessons and making classroom connections.  The routines that we build throughout the week are designed to deepen your class’s sense of place within the outdoor learning environment.

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July 2022

Early Season Grasses – Biodiversity University

July 2 @ 9:00 AM - July 3 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

The grasses are our most diverse plant family in settled areas, and our second most diverse, after sedges, in forests, glades, and wetlands. They are interesting and rewarding: graceful, intricate, ecologically sensitive. If you don’t know them, you are missing a lot. If you are meeting them for the first time, you are in for a treat.

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Coastal Maine Birding Trip with Chip Darmstadt

July 13 @ 8:00 AM - July 17 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Coastal Maine Birding - Puffins, Storm-petrels & plovers! July 13-17 2022 $2075 ($425 single supplement) | Includes all lodging and transportation Guide: Chip Darmstadt Coastal Maine beckons with breeding seabirds, salt marsh specialists and beautiful seaside scenery. We’ll explore all the avian diversity Maine has to offer, including out on the open ocean! Our adventure includes a special boat trip to observe pelagic species and nesting Atlantic Puffins on Eastern Egg Rock. We’ll also visit the salt marshes and estuaries…

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Ferns – Biodiversity University

July 23 @ 9:00 AM - July 24 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

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.

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Vermont Biodiversity Educators Institute

July 25 @ 9:00 AM - July 29 @ 4:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$1300

This week-long investigation of Vermont biodiversity is designed for 7-12th grade teachers and educators looking to incorporate nature-based concepts and activities across their curricula. Each day is spent immersed in a different ecosystem, exploring the species, systems, and processes driving local ecology. We’ll practice field-based activities and classroom-based extensions aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Proficiency-Based Learning frameworks.

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Glacial Geology of Vermont – Biodiversity University

July 30 @ 9:00 AM - July 31 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

This class uses multiple field sites to demonstrate how we understand key aspects of northern Vermont’s glacial geologic history. In particular, we will observe a variety of landforms and sediments created by glaciers and focus on the different geologic processes that were active when the landforms and sediments formed. We will then use our understanding of how these landforms and sediments formed to interpret the changing environments existing in northern Vermont during the last 25,000 years.

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August 2022

Mushrooms – Biodiversity University

August 6 @ 9:00 AM - August 7 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Mushrooms have fascinated and mystified humankind for ages. From ancient origin stories and shamanic practice to modern systematic analysis, fungi intrigue us culturally, medicinally, and scientifically. In this course, participants will explore the diversity and ecological importance of the kingdom of fungi. Over this two-day course, participants will learn the fundamentals of mushroom identification through a combination of classroom and field experience. Topics include fungi ecology, taxonomy, field identification, morphology, edibility, toxicity, fungi as medicine, bioremediation, utilitarian function, as well as ‘best’ harvesting practices.

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ECO Institute: Nature-Based Routines for Outdoor Classrooms

August 8 @ 9:00 AM - August 12 @ 4:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$1300

Instructors: Ken Benton & Susan Koch August 8 - 12 $1300 ($1675 with 3 graduate credits) Class Size: 12-20 students For PreK to 6th grade educators This introductory ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) Institute course acquaints participants with the routines and protocols that structure a successful outdoor learning and play experience. Participants will: Develop a knowledge base and skill set to incorporate nature immersion practices into your program in a way that meets the needs of your students. Learn how to conduct site assessments and…

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Late Season Grasses – Biodiversity University

August 20 @ 9:00 AM - August 21 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

The grasses are our most diverse plant family in settled areas, and our second most diverse, after sedges, in forests, glades, and wetlands. They are interesting and rewarding: graceful, intricate, ecologically sensitive. If you don’t know them, you are missing a lot. If you are meeting them for the first time, you are in for a treat.

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The Craft of Timber Framing

August 29 @ 9:00 AM - September 3 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$1095

This course will teach participants how to craft and use pegged mortise and tenon joinery to build timber frame structures. We will focus on traditional hand-cut joinery and the art of the square rule system. The course is led by master artisans Seth Kelley and Skip Dewhirst, who have been teaching timber framing together for over 20 years.

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September 2022

Forest Bathing with Nature Connection Guide Duncan Murdoch

September 10 @ 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$35

Experience nature with the art and practice of Forest Bathing.  Give yourself this time to unplug, slow down and (re)connect as we begin to transition from summer to autumn in Vermont. Follow your certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide Duncan Murdoch through a series of sensory connection invitations designed to facilitate your immersion that includes time in solitude and in group.  A locally foraged tea will be served to complete your experience.

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ECO Homeschool (Ages 6-12) Early Fall Session

September 12 @ 8:45 AM - 2:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$450

Inspired by ECO, our full-day ECO Homeschool program provides a meaningful and fun learning environment based in environmental education and a mentorship model.

Each Monday, the woods and fields of North Branch Nature Center 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 talented ECO Education staff. ECO Homeschool Sessions will consist of age appropriate games, songs, stories, and activities that are designed to help students directly engage with the natural world and the organisms that we share this land with.

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Shorebirding and Fall Migration at Plum Island with Chip Darmstadt

September 13 @ 8:00 AM - September 15 @ 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$725

Plum Island and the 4,662 acre Parker River National Wildlife Refuge near Newburyport, MA offers amazing birding almost any time of year. With a list of 365 species documented on the refuge, Parker River NWR is one of the 10 "birdiest" hotspots in the United States! In mid-September migrating warblers, thousands of Tree Swallows and a wealth of shorebirds and waterfowl fuel up at the refuge. Our trip is timed to observe an exciting range of the diversity Parker River NWR has to offer.

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Cape May & Delmarva Birding Trip with Chip Darmstadt

September 20 @ 8:00 AM - September 25 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Explore this extraordinary birdwatching paradise during one of its most exciting times to visit. With over 430 total species observed, and over 330 species seen this time of year, Southern New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula are home to some of the greatest avian biodiversity in the northeast.

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October 2022

ECO Homeschool (Aged 6 – 12) Late Fall Session

October 31 @ 8:45 AM - 2:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$450

Inspired by ECO, our full-day ECO Homeschool program provides a meaningful and fun learning environment based in environmental education and a mentorship model.

Each Monday, the woods and fields of North Branch Nature Center 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 talented ECO Education staff. ECO Homeschool Sessions will consist of age appropriate games, songs, stories, and activities that are designed to help students directly engage with the natural world and the organisms that we share this land with.

Find out more »
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