Nature and nurture. You’ll find both are instrumental at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) in Quetchee. The nonprofit, member-supported environmental organization is a center for research, education and protection, with a 47-acre campus adjacent to Quechee State Park. It is a very special place and well worth a visit.
Open year-round, VINS features raptor enclosures, exhibit spaces, classrooms, interpretive nature trails and a wonderful avian rehabilitation area. If you have never seen an eagle or falcon up close, this is your chance. More than 40 raptors live at the center, all having sustained injuries or are suffering from conditions that prevent them from living in the wild. Here they take part in classes, helping to educate visitors about their species. Stop by the Center for Avian Rehabilitation, and you can get a glimpse of the wildlife rehabilitators working with their “patients.” Another avian section includes native Vermont songbirds, also unable to live freely due to injuries, but who can still charm with their sweet tweets.
The largest of the exhibits is Ice Age Mammals on the Meadow. It’s hard to imagine a time where wooly mammoths and camels roamed North America, but you’ll get a sense for it as you wander through the VINS meadow and view these and other magnificent, long-gone species.
Education is a key component of the Institute and visitors can learn via classroom or hands-on. Its Get Outside! program features activities like hiking and kayaking as a means to explore and learn about nature. A science series offers a wide range of interesting topics including lectures, films and discussions. You’ll also find workshops on painting and photography, as well as many programs for children and families.
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
6565 Woodstock Road, Quechee, VT
April 9 – October 31, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
November 1- April 8, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Adults/$14.50, Seniors (62+)/$13.50, Youth (4-17)/$12.50, Children 3 and under and VINS members/free
VINS is a wonderful place to visit, whether you want to delve into a class or just enjoy a leisurely stroll along its nature trails. And it’s only a 30-minute drive south of the Inn, through beautiful Vermont countryside.
Come stay with us for a while and explore!