VINS Celebrates 50 Year Anniversary

50 Year Anniversary

 Quechee, VT – To mark this historic occasion, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS), will host a series of fun events throughout the year. It will begin with a kick-off event on the Saturday of Earth Day weekend, on April 23. This event has a day packed with activities for both adults and children of all ages. It will include two local authors, Tim Traver and poet Jon Meyer, who will be signing their latest books. There will also be an opportunity to meet visual artist Ms. Kannenstine from 3pm to 5pm, with a full array of artwork focusing on the Ottauquechee River. Passports will be distributed to all participating youth for them to check off the activities they participated in or the items they find.

On May 7, also Vermont Green Up Day, VINS will hold a river clean up event to celebrate its origins. VINS was founded by David and Sally Laughlin, Richard Farrar Jr., and June McKnight – local professionals from the Woodstock area who wanted to clean up the Ottauquechee River. The group’s efforts mounted and ultimately led to the first water quality litigation in the state. Their momentum continued even after the victorious cleanup of the River, and in1972 they formed VINS, an education and research organization.

Celebratory events will also include a Member Appreciation Day on Sunday, May 22; a Volunteer Appreciation Day on Sunday, August 29; and the David P.C. Chang Memorial Fly Fishing for children on September 24, co-sponsored with the Greater Upper Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, honoring the importance of clean riverine ecosystems. There will also be an anniversary celebration on or close to the actual birth date of VINS in mid-October.

From its very founding, VINS’ mission stressed education as a way to change attitudes and maintain a healthy environment. Starting this spring, our education team is developing more exciting field trip options, in-person and virtually, including: the “Virtual Geology Hike” and “Home Sweet Habitat.” These virtual offerings go hand-in-hand with the in-person field trips, some of which include “Stream Ecology,” “Climate Change and Bird Migration,” and “The Forest Canopy.” More information on all of our field trips can be found on our website,

Over the last 50 Years, through several iterations and even rising from occasional adverse events, VINS has become a sought-after destination for visitors to Vermont and the Upper Valley. This year alone over 67,000 visitors learned about raptors, native species, and the environment in which they live. These adults and children learned how they can participate in the care of our natural world, helping to fulfill VINS’ mission of motivating individuals and communities to care for the environment through education, research, and avian wildlife rehabilitation.