Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter
OurChester | Community + Tourism + Commerce in Chester, Vermont
Latest News
Great River Hydro Bellows Falls Visitor Center Opens Memorial Weekend Summer-Long Programs Hosted by The Nature Museum

Great River Hydro Bellows Falls Visitor Center Opens Memorial Weekend Summer-Long Programs Hosted by The Nature Museum

posted Friday, May 19, 2017

GRAFTON, VT - The Nature Museum in partnership with Great River Hydro will open for the summer season at the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder Visitors Center on Friday, May 26. This nature education center is open each weekend Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through September 3rd. The Visitor Center is home to a series of hands-on environmental programs and exhibits for local families and passing tourists. The Visitor Center is located at 17 Bridge Street in downtown Bellows Falls, next to the Post Office building. Admission and programs at the Visitor Center are always free.

Visitors and residents alike are encouraged to learn more about the Connecticut River watershed, the salmon and other fish that use the fish ladder, and the river's many plants and animals. The Nature Museum's Jay DeGregorio, a popular naturalist and environmental educator, is on hand to answer any questions and deliver free, environmental programs throughout the summer. He will present family programs each Friday and Saturday from 11am-12pm. The family programs are recommended for children ages 4 and up. Admission and programs at the Visitor Center are always free.

The health of the Connecticut River is vital to the health of our region. The Visitor Center seeks to inspire stewardship of the Connecticut River and all Vermont's local waterways. The Nature Museum operates the Visitor Center on behalf of Great River Hydro, owner of the fish ladder as well as the hydroelectric facility in Bellows Falls.

2017 Programming at the Great River Hydro Bellows Falls Fish Ladder Center

June 9 & 10 | Amazing Adaptations:
Learn more about the body parts and behaviors that help native New England wildlife survive. Young naturalists will investigate animal pelts, skins, and other artifacts to learn more about the unique wildlife that call New England home. Hands-on items, tales about astonishing animals and a craft will captivate all ages.

June 16 & 17 | Magnificent Migrations:
When the cold winter winds of Vermont start to blow where does our native wildlife go? Many critters, whether they have fins, feathers or feet migrate to find warmer weather. During this program, learn about migrating Vermont wildlife and their journeys during our coldest season. Fun facts and a craft are included.

June 23 & 24 | Trees: Tall Storytellers of the Land:
Did you know there are 110 different species of trees and shrubs in Vermont? Our trees and shrubs tell great stories about Vermont's natural history. Unlock the riddles our woods hold with facts about the forests that surround us and enjoy creating a craft.

June 30 & July 1 | Eagles, Hawks and Owls - Predators of the Sky:
Bird of prey or predatory bird, also known as raptors, refers to several species of birds that hunt and feed on rodents and other small animals. Raptors rule the sky and include eagles, falcons, hawks and owls. Examine feathers, feet, bones and other artifacts that highlight special characteristics of these predators. Find out how they hunt and how they live. Hands-on items, bird facts and a craft will teach all ages about these wild hunters.

July 7 & 8 | The Abenaki and Nature:
Thousands of years ago, Abenaki people relied on nature to survive, making clothing and building shelters from natural materials. Their food came from hunting, gathering, and fishing. Knowledge about the natural world was critical to survival. Come engage in Native American stories, play traditional games, make a craft and imagine daily life before roads, stores, and electricity.

July 14 & 15 | Who is Swimming in the Water?
Do fish lay eggs? Can a fish live both in the ocean and in a river? This program teaches about the Connecticut River and its tributaries, which are home to many species of fish. Along with learning more about the fish in local waters, attendees will make a craft.

July 21 & 22 | The Recipes for Thunderstorms:
Mother Nature has a great recipe for thunderstorms. Do you know the ingredients? Join us to learn more about what thunderstorms are, how they form, and safety tips for surviving storms outdoors. No need to wear a raincoat, but bring your curiosity to learn more and your creativity to make a craft.

July 28 & 29 | Righteous Reptiles:
Turtles, snakes, and even lizards call Vermont home. Learn what makes a reptile a reptile and all about the species that live in New England. Reptile facts, hands-on items and a craft will keep your snake charmer engaged.

August 4 & 5 | Caterpillars, Moths, and Butterflies, Oh My:
The woods and fields close by are home to a wide variety of moths and butterflies. Learn about winged species that live in the region and their life cycle. Hands-on items, stories about these remarkable creatures, along with a craft will captivate all ages.

Aug 11 & 12 | The Colors of Fall:
Why do leaves turn a different color in fall? Why do trees lose their leaves? Countless shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown will color our woods this fall. Enjoy stories, hands-on items and a craft.

For more information about the programs at the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder, please go to: or call 802.843.2111.

The Nature Museum is a regional resource for nature, science and environmental education in Southern Vermont. The Nature Museum is not only a museum, but also provides hands-on exhibits, delivers natural history and science information, creates experiences that engage and enlighten audiences, and inspires stewardship of the natural world through programming and events for all ages. For more information, please visit, or The Nature Museum is located at 186 Townshend Road in Grafton, Vermont. The Nature Museum is open Thursdays & Fridays: 10:00 a.m.-4 p.m. (year around) Saturdays: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Do you have news or information that would be of interest to our readers?
Email us at
March Madness Is About To Begin. Create Your Very Own MVP.
I have a selection of limited edition prints of the Chester Village Green, the Stone Village and historic village vignettes framed and unframed.
Call Lew Watters at 802.875.2114 or email
Helps Vermonters put three balanced meals a day on the table. Most households get at least $50 each month for food. If you qualify, you could get a monthly payment that helps you buy more food.
To learn more, visit or dial 2-1-1.

Saturday, March 3
"Salamander Sky": Book Reading and Signing with Author Katy Farber
The Nature Museum
186 Townshend Road, Grafton, VT
Thursday, March 8
"Climate Solutions in Plain Sight: The Role of Water" with Author Judith D. Schwartz
NewsBank Conference Center
352 Main Street, Chester, VT
Saturday, March 17
2018 LEGO Contest
NewsBank Conference Center
352 Main Street
Chester, VT
Pre-K through Grade 8
©2007-2018, Impression Technologies LLC
Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Facebook