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North Branch Nature Center

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713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

May 2022

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 Please bring a small camp chair or cushion to sit comfortably. 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…

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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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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

May 31 @ 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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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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The Overstory by Richard Powers: A Book Discussion Group with Kellogg-Hubbard Library

June 23 @ 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on July 21, 2022 at 6:30 PM

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

Join us for this special book discussion group for The Overstory by Richard Powers. Discussion will be co-facilitated by the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and North Branch Nature Center. All are welcome and this event is free of charge. Please come dressed for comfort as we gather in the outdoor tent space at NBNC rain or shine. Multiple copies of The Overstory are available for patrons at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library at the main circulation desk. Ask for the KHL Book Group. For more information, contact: Michelle Singer at [email protected]

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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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Summer Saturday River Walks (Family Friendly!)

July 9 @ 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:30 AM on Saturday, repeating until July 30, 2022

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

Cool off this summer by exploring the water with NBNC naturalist educators on Saturday mornings in July. We’ll travel up and down the shallow reaches of the North Branch River in search of aquatic critters like fish, mussels, insects, beavers, and maybe even otters and mink. We’ll use nets, jars, traps, and even snorkels to learn why the North Branch supports so much life, and what we can do to better care for our waterways and watersheds. A casual nature walk at the river! (Led by Ken Benton, NBNC Director of Education)

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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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