For Montpelier schools, this past week was April vacation. And what better way to spend a few days off from school than outdoors with friends at North Branch Nature Center! Over three days campers enjoyed fun and games in the fields, ponds, and forests surrounding NBNC. On Monday our focus was Amphibians and Reptiles. We searched for stream salamanders in Hubbard Park, heard spring peepers across the bridge in North Branch River Park, and caught newts, tadpoles, and a young painted turtle in the beaver pond.
Tuesday we celebrated Earth Day through several fun projects. Using both tools and our bare hands, we removed many small conifer saplings that had been encroaching on the nature center fields – helping to keep the fields open for grassland nesting birds like Bobolinks, Eastern Bluebirds
and American Kestrels.
Wednesday we were all about wildlife as we hiked through and investigated the forest and fields. We took note of the sights, sounds, tracks and signs of animals we discovered throughout the day. Highlights included a Hermit Thrush (identified later by campers), wood frog egg masses in a vernal pool, and Belted Kingfishers over the river.