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Vermont Institute of Natural Science

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) was begun in 1970 as a bird banding station. Today they've matured into something much more, engaging in ecological research, monitoring wildlife populations and putting on workshops and educational programs like Environmental Learning for the Future (ELF), which brings the natural world to some 13,000 Vermont and New Hampshire school children each year.

They currently operate out of three locations in Woodstock, Montpelier and Manchester, although it is the Woodstock location that gets the bulk of the visitors each year. In addition to its 78 acres of nature trails and exhibits, the Woodstock location also plays host to the Vermont Raptor Center, a leading research center for the study of migratory songbirds, common loons, owls, peregrine falcons and other birds. The Raptor Center serves as a living museum and is home to more than twenty species of unreleasable birds such as eagles, hawks, owls and falcons.

The Raptor Center is open Monday through Saturday, 10-4. Admission for the Center is $7/adults, $4/students 12-18, $3/children 5-11 and $1/children 3-4. Children under 3 and members get in for free. Their Website contains much more information on VINS and the Raptor Center, and they can be reached at 802-457-2779.

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