A component fund of the Upper Valley Region of New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS)

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science Entices and Excites People to Care for the Natural World

VINS’ programs and services engage and instill in people of all backgrounds a desire to care for the wildlife and diverse natural habitats they encounter in their daily lives.

We offer relevant environmental education programs for adults, families, and school children; partner with leading conservation organizations to promote environmental science field research; and operate New England’s premier avian wildlife rehabilitation clinic at the VINS Nature Center.

VINS has been a leader in environmental education and wildlife conservation and care since 1972. We are known nationally for innovative natural science curricula and education programs for learners of all ages.

Our Environmental Educators and Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialists are Among the Best in the Business

Each year, they deliver specialized education and training programs in schools and communities and hands-on public education programs at the VINS Nature Center to more than 40,000 people from throughout New England.

In the next two years, VINS aims to reach beyond its traditional audiences and engage and serve large numbers of adult learners and teaching professionals. We will do this by developing and delivering specialized adult programs that illuminate current environmental science issues, and by providing professional teachers with new classroom-ready instructional materials and support.

We also aim to enhance the visitor experience at the VINS Nature Center by offering special public events throughout the year; by improving the center’s exhibits and adding new self-guided tour features; and by expanding virtual access to the center through unique online programs and services. Through these initiatives, VINS will increase the number of people it touches each year by at least 50%.

VINS’ programs and services have a long record of success informing people about the beauty, function, and critical importance of regional ecosystems and how our personal decisions can have a positive impact on their health and sustainability.

VINS Inspires People to Help Protect the Natural World by Appealing to Their Empathy and Intelligence

Above all, we empower people by providing them with sound information and gratifying opportunities to care for nature in their daily lives

VINS trains community volunteers to provide a wide-ranging grade-by-grade curriculum, helping young people learn about their role in preserving the natural environment. Starting young, the goal is to create citizen scientists for life.

Grants Awarded: 

2007 - Support for employee training to better harness the power of Raiser's Edge, new fundraising software for VINs. Funds to be used to pay training consultant.

2006 - The Children’s Fund contributed to the ELF program, Environmental Learning for the Future. This program awakens the natural curiosity of elementary-school children through hands-on exploration of the natural world in and around the school grounds, teaching children that learning science is not limited to textbooks and far-away field trips.

Grant Year(s): 

2016 Children's Fund Grantees