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North Branch Nature Center

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713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

April 2020

LIVE Online: Vermont’s Glacial Lakes & Geologic History w/ George Springston

April 24, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Much of Vermont's dry land was once beneath hundreds of feet of Pleistocene glacial lakewater. We'll use new geology maps, Google Earth, and aerial photographs to explore the story of our geologic landscape over the last 12,000 years, and learn how to identify the evidence of glacial lakes in our environment today. Presented by NBNC's Sean Beckett.

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LIVE Online: The Magnificent Monarch Migration

April 29, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Explore the mysteries of one of the most miraculous migrations on earth. The small but mighty monarch butterfly undertakes a multi-generational migration that takes them from the mountains of Mexico to Canada and back. See what it is like to be among millions and millions of monarchs in their overwintering forests, and find out what you can do to help them on their journey.

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Parents & Teachers Online: The Ecology of Hope – How Connecting Children with Nature Helps them Learn and Thrive – with Cheryl Charles, PhD

April 30, 2020 @ 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Cheryl Charles a leader in the worldwide movement to reconnect people to nature and speaks internationally about the benefits of connecting children to nature. She is the Co-Founder and CEO Emerita of the Children & Nature Network, Founding Executive Director of Project Learning Tree and Project WILD, and is the Executive Director of the Nature Based Leadership Institute at Antioch University New England. Cheryl is an inspiring speaker, an author, a professor and mentor and an advocate for nature connection for all people. 

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May 2020

LIVE Online: Solving Sparrows with Bryan Pfeiffer

May 1, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

There is joy to be found among the “little brown birds.” Yet so many birdwatchers lose patience and opportunity among sparrows. No more. In this hour-long webinar, Bryan Pfeiffer will demystify sparrow identification for novice and advancing birders alike. After all, whether you are staying home or finding your way to birding spots this spring, there will be sparrows. Lots of them. So let’s enjoy their little brown escapades.

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LIVE Online: Grassland Birds in Vermont with Liza Morse and Kevin Tolan

May 6, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Join Liza Morse and Kevin Tolan, the Grassland Bird Outreach team at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, for an evening program about grassland birds in Vermont. Grassland birds are undergoing the most drastic decline of any bird community in the continental United States. Liza and Kevin will focus on the ecology and the natural history of the predominant grassland breeding bird species in Vermont: Bobolinks, Savannah Sparrows, and Eastern Meadowlarks. They will also address strategies to help support grassland birds for landowners in Vermont. Whether you are a landowner, a bird enthusiast, or even if you have never heard of a Bobolink, come learn about these amazing birds, the challenges they face, and what you can do to help support them. 

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Parents & Teachers Online: ECO at Home – Nature Based Routines for Families Part 2 – with Amy Butler

May 7, 2020 @ 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This webinar will be a continuation of  ECO at Home - Nature Based Routines for Families Part 1. In Part 2, NBNC Education Director Amy Butler and special guests including parents and teachers will share inspiring stories of the benefits of nature connection in both school and at home. A panel discussion with a Q and A will wrap up our time together.

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LIVE Online: A Shared Life – People and Biodiversity in Vermont

May 8, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

How do we share the planet with the rest of life? Using E.O. Wilson's Half-Earth concept, Field Naturalist Eric Hagen will give a presentation about protecting biodiversity here in the Winooski Watershed, and throughout Vermont. The talk will feature the latest scientific tools available to Vermonters for protecting biodiversity, along with a look at the results of Eric's graduate work. In 2019 Eric interviewed residents of the Winooski Watershed to learn about why they care about biodiversity and the health of the land. To view some of their stories before the talk, visit this link: https://arcg.is/1vHu5z

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LIVE Online: Making the Most of Your Trail Camera with Declan McCabe

May 13, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This presentation will cover the essentials of selecting, installing, and using trail cameras to monitor wildlife in natural areas or in your back yard.  We’ll cover tips for success, followed by a collection of some of the best photographs and video clips captured in the Saint Michael's College Natural Area on the border of Essex and Colchester and from sites in South Burlington.  Presented by Declan McCabe, Professor of Biology at Saint Michael's College

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LIVE Online: Wild Adventures in the United Arab Emirates with Erika Mitchell and Seth Frisbie

May 20, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

The United Arab Emirates, famous for its oil reserves, flashy skyscrapers, and man-made Palm Islands, is also home to wide open spaces and desert landscapes brimming with life. In this virtual camping trip, we’ll turn the clock back to 2000, to explore the biodiversity of the region, from scorpions to desert wildflowers blooming after rain. We’ll see how water shapes the natural setting, from the bedrock on up.

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LIVE Online: Biofinder & Vermont Conservation Design – understanding, valuing, and mapping Vermont biodiversity

May 27, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Have you ever wondered how your backyard or woodlot fits into the bigger picture? Are you interested in learning about your town’s wildlife habitat and its most important ecological areas? Join Andy Wood from VT Fish & Wildlife Department’s Community Wildlife Program to learn about BioFinder, a free online portal, mapping tool, and go-to resource for exploring Vermont Conservation Design – a powerful dataset and vision for conserving Vermont’s biodiversity.

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June 2020

LIVE Online: An Artist in the Arctic

June 10, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Arctic sea ice is melting and it’s not just affecting polar bears. Artist and Field Naturalist Chelsea Clarke will explore how changing sea ice conditions are impacting the plankton at the foundation of the Arctic food web, and discuss why artists are an important part of the research effort. We’ll also get a glimpse into life on a Coast Guard icebreaker above the Arctic Circle. In 2014, Chelsea spent spent six weeks at sea as a resident artist on a scientific research expedition in the Pacific Arctic.

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LIVE Online: Grow Your Own Pollinator Garden with Charlie Nardozzi

June 17, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Learn about all aspects of growing and maintaining a pollinator garden. We'll start with the essential aspects pollinators need such as shelter, nesting sites, water and habitat. then I'll spend time discussing the best trees shrubs and flowers to attract and sustain pollinators in your yard. Co-hosted by the University of Vermont Extension Master Gardener Program.

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LIVE Online: Monitoring Rabies in Vermont

June 24, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This presentation will provide a broad overview of USDA Wildlife Services' activities concerning rabies in Vermont. Wildlife Biologist Owen Montgomery will outline Vermont's Oral Ravies Vaccination (ORV) program, Enhanced Rabies Surveillance (ERS) program, and discuss plans to eliminate terrestrial rabies in Vermont.

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July 2020

Online Course: Bees of the Northeast with Spencer Hardy

July 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$75

With over 300 species in Vermont, bees are so much more than the source of honey. This course will introduce you to a mindblowing diversity of shapes, sizes, and life histories found in almost any habitat. While most species can only be identified by using a microscope, we will focus on the species and groups that are relatively distinctive to the naked eye. By the end of the course, participants should be able to identify most bees to the genus level, which is certainly not a common skill! Guided field challenges will be based on the flowers and bees currently active. With so little known about the distribution of some of these species, it's definitely possible to find new state records right in your own backyard!

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Online Course: Kingdom Fungi with Dave Muska

July 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$75

The world of fungi is both fascinating and mysterious. Fungi are equipped to succeed in some of the earth’s most unique and challenging environments. They have captivated human imagination and inquiry, and their existence has intimately shaped life on earth. In this class you will be introduced to the ecological roles that fungi play globally and within ecosystems here in the northeast.  We will cover major taxonomies of common mushrooms and the skills necessary for mushroom identification in the field.  Each unit will also spotlight some local and common mushrooms you are sure to run across.

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(In-Person) BioU: Field Herpetology

July 11, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - July 12, 2020 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Amphibians are among one of the most imperiled groups of animals on earth and many reptile species are in sharp decline, even here in Vermont. Increasingly, reptiles and amphibians are receiving attention from state, federal, and non-profit conservation organizations, so knowledge of and experience with these secretive animals can be an asset in the fields of ecology, conservation, and education. Throughout this two-day course, participants will learn about the almost 30 species of frog, salamander, snake, and turtle found in Northeastern Vermont, including how to identify them, their ecology, habitat requirements, and the methodology used by biologists to sample their populations. The course will include a combination of active searches, standardized surveys, catch-and-release trapping, radio telemetry, and educational presentations such that participants become confident in their ability to identify each species occurring in Northeast Vermont, what their conservation needs and threats are, and some of the methods used by professionals to study their populations in the wild.

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(In-Person) BioU: Freshwater Macroinvertebrates

July 18, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - July 19, 2020 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

In this course we will explore the major invertebrate groups found in freshwater habitats. We will cover the ecology and differences between aquatic habitats. This is a hands-on course that will include instruction in a range of field sampling techniques and sample processing. Using preserved samples, and samples collected during the course, we will cover all of the major taxonomic groups of aquatic invertebrates to the family level, and pursue a subset to the genus level. Lab work will include microscopy and identification using a range of resources.  By the end of this course you should be familiar with the common macroinvertebrate orders at a glance, and have the taxonomic tools at your fingertips to identify whatever you may encounter.

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August 2020

(In Person) Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates w/ Charley Eiseman

August 15, 2020 @ 8:00 AM - August 16, 2020 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

This course addresses the full spectrum of topics covered in the book by the same name, with an emphasis on signs found on plants. We will explore nearby habitats in search of leaf mines and other feeding sign, galls, eggs and egg cases, cocoons, nests, webs, burrows, and other objects and patterns created by insects, arachnids, snails, worms, etc. In the process of identifying these features we will discuss the life histories and ecology of numerous species.

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September 2020

Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

September 4, 2020 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

Find out more »

Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

September 11, 2020 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

Find out more »

(In-Person) Slow Birding: Reconnecting with Nature and Self w/ Bridget Butler

September 12, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - September 13, 2020 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Sounds a bit strange, “slow birding.” Watching birds isn’t really fast in the first place and the pace of a birder in the field is already slow and methodical. But, it is possible to change how we approach traditional birding and what we get out of it. Slow Birding is a practice that builds a deeper observation of birds while at the same time creating a deeper connection to your self and the place you live.

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

September 18, 2020 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

Find out more »

ECO Homeschool Program

September 21, 2020 @ 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$255

Knowing that more students will be learning from home this school year, we are glad to announce our new ECO Homeschool program. 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 ECO Teacher-Naturalist Dave Muska. Each session will consist of games, songs, stories, and activities that are designed to help students directly engage with the land and what lives on it.  

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

September 25, 2020 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

Find out more »

(in person) Mushrooms: Field Identification and Fungal Ecology w/ Dave Muska

September 26, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - September 27, 2020 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Biodiversity University - Mushrooms: Field Identification and Fungal Ecology Instructors: Dave Muska September 26 - 27 | $265 Course size: 8-10 students 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…

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October 2020

Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

October 2, 2020 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

Find out more »

“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 5, 2020 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

Find out more »

“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 12, 2020 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

Find out more »

Owl Banding Livestream Event

October 15, 2020 @ 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 23, 2020 at 8:00 PM

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

Take a virtual visit to North Branch Nature Center's owl research station! Each fall, NBNC researchers capture, tag, measure, and safely release the fierce yet tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl on its nocturnal migration through Central Vermont. During this livestream, researchers will discuss their research methods and explain owl ecology, migration, and life history. With a little luck and favorable winds, our researchers can expect anywhere from one to twenty saw-whets to visit the station during the peak of their October migration season. Have all your owl questions answered by our staff, and learn how to adopt an owl this fall!

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“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 19, 2020 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

Find out more »

Turning Stones: Exploring Aquatic Invertebrates with Declan McCabe – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

October 21, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We’ll explore the ecology and basic identification of freshwater macroinvertebrates and where to see them. The talk will cover inexpensive and home-made sampling gear, and the major groups of macroinvertebrates commonly found in Vermont’s streams, ponds, and Lake Champlain. Sampling techniques for biomonitoring and/or teaching will be covered. The talk will include information of value for parents, teachers, fly anglers, and nature study fans. This talk is sponsored in part by Vermont EPSCoR.

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Owl Banding Livestream Event

October 23, 2020 @ 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 23, 2020 at 8:00 PM

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

Take a virtual visit to North Branch Nature Center's owl research station! Each fall, NBNC researchers capture, tag, measure, and safely release the fierce yet tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl on its nocturnal migration through Central Vermont. During this livestream, researchers will discuss their research methods and explain owl ecology, migration, and life history. With a little luck and favorable winds, our researchers can expect anywhere from one to twenty saw-whets to visit the station during the peak of their October migration season. Have all your owl questions answered by our staff, and learn how to adopt an owl this fall!

Find out more »

“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 26, 2020 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

Find out more »

Fishes of Vermont: Confessions of an Ichthyologist with Doug Facey – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

October 28, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We will take a brief tour of some of the major groups of fishes of Vermont, including discussions of diversity, biology, and ecology of some of these groups.  Why does Vermont have more species of freshwater fishes than other New England states? Which fish in Vermont is born in the Sargasso Sea? Which is carefully described in Samuel de Champlain’s diary? Which fish have a lung-like structure that allows them to breathe air? Join us for answers to these and other fishy questions.

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November 2020

Macrophotography: A Naturalist’s Perspective with Joseph Saunders – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 11, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Macrophotography: A Naturalist's Perspective Presented by Joseph Saunders of Para Herpetologica November 11th | 7 - 8 PM (Eastern) Free | Live via ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86151252811 In this presentation, Joseph will give you a new perspective and appreciation for the macrofauna of our world. Through his experiences as a naturalist and photographer, Joseph will empower you with the tools and techniques to better notice, appreciate, observe, and photograph the minuscule in nature. He'll share camera settings, knowledge of animal behavior, tips…

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Wild Apples: making the most of the feral apple harvest with Matt Kaminsky – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 18, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

In this presentation we will discuss the history and resource of wild apple trees and the many forms that Malus manifests in. This workshop is aimed at giving audience members a background to what exactly makes an apple "wild," and we'll touch on techniques for how to identify, effectively harvest, assess and grade, and steward & perpetuate the bountiful gift of wild apples in our landscape.

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Gulls Demystified with Bryan Pfeiffer – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 20, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Gulls Demystified - Presented by Bryan Pfeiffer Friday, November 20 | 7 - 8:30 pm FREE | Live via ZOOM | Join at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85716943263 They are among the most successful birds on the planet, living everywhere from the polar regions to parking lots. Yet even as they pose for us in plain sight, gulls can be notoriously hard to identify. With Bryan’s images, videos, exuberance and strategies, you’ll be enjoying gulls this winter like never before. And his identification system will guide…

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December 2020

Slugs, Seed Dispersers, & Stone Walls: Community Ecology of Northeastern Herbaceous Flora with Nathan Kiel – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

December 2, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Every spring, naturalists seek the friendly faces of Spring Beauty, Red Trillium, and Bloodroot as symbols of warming temperatures and lengthening days. These dense carpets of herbaceous plants  in the forest floor comprise the majority of vascular plant biodiversity in the north woods. Yet past agricultural activity and other contemporary factors have left many modern forests without these plants, and with little opportunity for natural reestablishment. In this presentation, learn about the little-known ecosystem of dispersers, pollinators, seed thieves, and the other characters involved in the ecology of spring ephemerals. We'll discuss factors affecting plant distribution on the landscape, and explore current research and restoration initiatives around eastern forests.

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Online Course: Winter Ecology with Jason Mazurowski

December 8, 2020 - December 22, 2020
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$60

This course is designed for those who wish to embrace the cold — to explore, understand, and appreciate the winter world. Students will learn how to read the winter landscape, explore ice age relics clinging to alpine summits, decipher animal tracks, tackle the challenge of winter tree ID, and discuss the implications of Lake Champlain’s warming waters.

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From ‘Sangers to Sochan: Plant Gathering in the Southern Appalachian National Parks with Maria Dunlavey – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

December 9, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

In the botanical wonderland of the Southern Appalachians, plant poaching is a very real threat. It's also a reflection of how important plants are to the people who live here — providing food, medicine, and income, not to mention cultural connection and belonging, for everyone ranging from the Cherokee to white settlers to newly arrived immigrants. But overharvest threatens to wipe out some species, like ginseng and ramps, even on the protected landscapes of the national parks. How can the parks keep their plant populations safe? And is there any role for cultural harvest inside their boundaries?

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Children’s Author Virtual Visit – Alex McConduit

December 16, 2020 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This Virtual Author Visit with Alexander McConduit will feature a reading from his new book, Bloom, and a Q&A with the audience. McConduit will also give a short talk about his career and his love for nature, travel and his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. The visit will conclude with a musical reading of McConduit's Thorn in My Horn. 

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60th Annual Plainfield Christmas Bird Count

December 19, 2020 @ 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Join the nation's largest and longest-running citizen science project. The Christmas Bird Count, organized by the National Audubon Society, has been getting birdwatchers outside recording species in their backyards and towns for over a century! This project has become a powerful tool for understanding the rise and fall of bird populations over time. NBNC organizes and compiles two local Christmas Bird Count circles. The Plainfield count encompasses a 7.5-mile radius around Plainfield, including the towns of Montpelier, East Montpelier, Calais,…

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5th Annual Hunger Mountain Christmas Bird Count

December 20, 2020 @ 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Join the nation's largest and longest-running citizen science project. The Christmas Bird Count, organized by the National Audubon Society, has been getting birdwatchers outside recording species in their backyards and towns for over a century! This project has become a powerful tool for understanding the rise and fall of bird populations over time. NBNC organizes and compiles two local Christmas Bird Count circles. The Plainfield count encompasses a 7.5-mile radius around Plainfield, including the towns of Montpelier, East Montpelier, Calais,…

Find out more »

January 2021

Online Course: Bugs in Winter with Charley Eiseman

January 3 @ 12:00 AM - January 5 @ 12:00 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Explore the different strategies insects and other arthropods have for surviving the winter. Each species has one life stage that overwinters, which may be the adult, egg, larva/nymph, or pupa. Each unit will focus on one of these life stages, including examples of species that can be found out in the open all winter as well as some that are hidden from view.

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Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist with Donald Kroodsma – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

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

Once you are attuned, every singing bird becomes interesting. There’s never “just a robin,” for example, or chipping sparrow, or whatever it is that you’re listening to. No, there’s more to be heard-- something beyond the ID that can forever captivate the curious listener. As a result, you’re never “done” with birds, never done listening to the most common of birds, such as . . . robins, thrushes, sparrows, chickadees, blackbirds, buntings, starlings, mockingbirds, thrashers, tanagers, wrens, grosbeaks, cardinals, and, oh my, warblers galore . . . you name it. Not a bad bird anywhere. Each one captivating. Somehow, sadly, we’ll have to limit the number of performers to fit into the confines of the allotted time.

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Winter Wildlife Tracking Institute

January 16 @ 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$235

Join naturalists/trackers Jonathan Shapiro of Fox Paw School and Dave Muska of North Branch Nature Center for a three-month wildlife tracking immersion! Participants will deepen their tracking and trailing skills through expert field instruction and independent study in a shared community of practice. Students will leave with richer skills in identifying and interpreting animal trails, and a deeper connection to our wild neighbors.

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Winter Naturalist Virtual Lunch Hangout

January 18 @ 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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Birds, Bees, Bats, and Bugs: Why Animals Make and Use Sound with Laurel Symes – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series (Date/Time Change!)

January 27 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This engaging and accessible presentation will delve into the world of animal sound to explore how and why animals produce sound. Using examples from crickets to whales, we will discuss animal sounds that are too fast for us to follow, sounds that are too high for us to hear, and sounds that take hours or days to finish. The talk will include many opportunities to listen to animal sound and will include examples from far away and close to home.

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February 2021

Winter Naturalist Virtual Lunch Hangout

February 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!

Find out more »

Winter Birding in the Champlain Valley 2021

February 20 @ 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Winter Birding in the Champlain Valley 2021 Led by Zac Cota | $30/$40 NBNC members/nonmembers Saturday, February 20 2021 In case of bad weather, this program will take place instead on Sunday, February 21 The Champlain Valley is one of New England’s premier inland destinations for winter birdwatching. Join expert birder and NBNC Teacher Naturalist  Zac Cota on a trip to explore the shores, fields, and forests of the Champlain Valley in search of eagles, waterfowl, raptors, owls, snow buntings, winter…

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Owls of Vermont – A Virtual Presentation

February 26 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

People worldwide have long been captivated by owls, though the intimate details of their lives go unnoticed by most, held secret by the night. Vermont is home to a diverse cadre of owl species including fearsome nocturnal predators, iconic visitors from the high arctic, and stealthy migrants who pass through our backyards by the hundreds. We will explore the unique position owls hold in both our culture and our ecosystems, and learn ways to detect and protect these enigmatic creatures.

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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.

Find out more »

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!

Find out more »

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

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

April 1 @ 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…

Find out more »

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

April 8 @ 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…

Find out more »

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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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

April 15 @ 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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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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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

April 22 @ 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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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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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

April 29 @ 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…

Find out more »

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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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

May 6 @ 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…

Find out more »

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

May 13 @ 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…

Find out more »

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.

Find out more »

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

May 20 @ 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…

Find out more »

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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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

May 27 @ 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…

Find out more »

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

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

June 3 @ 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…

Find out more »

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

June 10 @ 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…

Find out more »

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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Paintings by Susan Bull Riley

June 15 @ 9:00 AM - August 26 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This exhibit is a delightful mixture of moments in nature. A stroll through the gallery evokes the feeling of a summer walk through the Vermont countryside, with all that one encounters along the way. You’ll meet pitcher plants, apple trees, waxwings, and owls between sweeping views of the Worcester Range and quiet moments along a shady creek. These paintings reflect my desire to translate the intensity of my feelings for the natural world into images that speak to others.

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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…

Find out more »

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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August 2021

Mushrooms – Biodiversity University

August 7 @ 9:00 AM - August 8 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Dave Muska | 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. Participants will leave the course with the foundational knowledge necessary to successfully and confidently identify mushrooms, and enjoy a greater understanding of fungi ecology and life history. All skill levels and knowledge bases are welcome.

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Wetland Sedges – Biodiversity University

August 14 @ 9:00 AM - August 15 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Jerry Jenkins & Brett Engstrom | An introduction to the late-season sedges of marshes and shores, emphasizing structure, ecological requirements, and landscape patterns. Most sedges can be identified if you know where they live, what they look like, and what you need to see about them. This is direct identification—look, think, make your best guess, check pictures and characters if you have to... It is how we, and most professionals, identify sedges, and how we teach them.

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RiverFest

August 21 @ 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Cool off in the heat of summer at this community-wide, family-friendly river celebration! Visit each river access point at the nature center to partake in different activities and adventures along the North Branch.

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Coevolution with Tom Wessels – Biodiversity University

August 28 @ 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$125

This course will delve into the scientific principles of self-organization and coevolution. Specifically we will examine how self-organization works to create systems that are energy efficient, stable, and resilient. We will then examine how this process happens in ecosystems through evolutionary time via coevolution creating biologically diverse ecosystems with robust networks of mutually beneficial relationships. After gaining a theoretical foundation we will head into the field and examine numerous examples of coevolved, mutually beneficial interrelationships. We will then head back inside to discuss human systems from the perspective of coevolution to see ways we can create a far more sustainable future.

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September 2021

The Caterpillar Lab – Caterpillar Camps!

September 2 @ 12:30 PM - September 3 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$40

Two-hour camps | For children ages 6-13 | Perfect for homeschoolers | Take a journey into the incredible lives of caterpillars. Part living nature museum and part wildlife safari, this hands-on exploration with The Caterpillar Lab and NBNC staff brings kids up close and personal with some of the weirdest and wildest critters in the woods. We’ll hold huge caterpillars, play hide-and-seek with caterpillars disguised as twigs and bird poop, witness metamorphosis, and adventure through the fields and forests to discover specimens in the wild.

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

September 3 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until September 24, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

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The Caterpillar Lab – Moth ID & Natural History Workshop

September 3 @ 8:30 PM - 11:59 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$50

The Caterpillar Lab staff will lead participants on a tour of moth taxonomy, diversity, identification, and ecology in this special, small-group workshop for naturalists. We’ll begin with a classroom overview of moth morphology and strategies for learning to identify the bewildering diversity of moths in our region. We’ll also discuss the equipment, setup, and habitats that make for successful moth stations. As the moths arrive at the lights, we’ll practice identification while turning our attention towards the life history and ecology of some of the visitors. By the end of the evening, beginners will have the foundational knowledge to recognize major moth groups, while more experienced students will gain proficiency in species identification. All participants will leave with a renewed sense of awe and wonder, and many new examples of astonishing natural history found in our moth diversity.

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The Caterpillar Lab – Public Exploration Exhibit

September 4 @ 10:00 AM - September 6 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Caterpillars take over the Nature Center! Join The Caterpillar Lab for a journey into the incredible world of New England’s native caterpillars and their habitats. This hands-on, over-the-top exhibition features open-air displays where you’ll witness rare moments of metamorphosis, mimicry, symbiosis, birth, death, deception, and wonder in a program unlike anything else! CaterpillarFest is a casual, drop-in experience. Stay for ten minutes or four hours. Photograph the caterpillars, discuss gardening for insects, observe countless species, open up cocoons with staff, or just hold a really HUGE caterpillar—choose your own caterpillar adventure! There is something for everyone from young children to seasoned naturalists and professional biologists – if you are wondering if this exhibit is appropriate for you, the answer is YES!

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The Caterpillar Lab – Caterpillars for Educators

September 5 @ 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$50

Bring caterpillars into your classroom and your curriculum! This workshop for PreK-12th grade teachers is an exploration of caterpillar diversity and ecology, a workshop on keeping caterpillars in the classroom, and an exploration of curricular connections that use caterpillars to meet NGSS and proficiency standards. The Caterpillar Lab’s residency at NBNC is a museum, zoo, circus, laboratory, and classroom rolled into one and directed by world-class science communicators. This workshop promises bewildering stories of natural history and zoology, practical tools and technologies for working with caterpillars in the classroom and in the field, and a learning community of other biodiversity-loving educators.

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The Caterpillar Lab – Public Moth Lighting Night

September 5 @ 8:30 PM - 11:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

With specialized light bulbs and a few white sheets, The Caterpillar Lab’s moth lighting station turns the NBNC quad into Vermont’s single greatest concentration of biodiversity for one special evening. The station will attract thousands of insects for us to enjoy and investigate, including hundreds of seldom-seen moth species decorated in ornate patterns and strange shapes. The Caterpillar Lab’s expert staff will guide us on a family-friendly tour of our awe-inspiring nocturnal neighbors, as we enjoy all the huge, tiny, regal, absurd, furry, shiny, gorgeous, perplexing, audacious and outrageous moths that Vermont has to offer!

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

September 10 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until September 24, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

September 17 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until September 24, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup – Fall Session

September 21 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, repeating until November 16, 2021

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

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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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

September 24 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until September 24, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

Find out more »
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