2018 Valley We Live In Series

1/25: Sustainable Forestry for Wildlife in Vermont (Lisa Sausville, Director, VT Coverts)

Join Lisa as she explains options and strategies for landowners and others to consider as they look to manage woodlands for wildlife.  Come and learn about both public and private organizations that can help with the development of a forest management plan, enrollment in current use, obtain recommendations from a biologist or forester and find financial resources to help with land management.  Lisa will also share some options for some actions that can have a quick benefit for wildlife species on your property.

Lisa Sausville is the Executive Director of Vermont Coverts:  Woodlands for Wildlife, a Vermont non-profit established in 1985.  The mission of Vermont Coverts is to enlist Vermont landowners and others in a long term commitment to maintain and enhance diverse wildlife habitat and healthy ecosystems.  Coverts flagship 3-day Cooperator Training offers landowners and others an in depth program on forest ecology and management, wildlife stewardship and outreach.


2/1: An Archaeological History of Vermont (Jess Robinson, State Archaeologist)

Jess Robinson will present an archaeological overview of Vermont’s past from the first human entrants into the region, approximately 13,000 years ago, to the arrival of Europeans and beyond. He will highlight recent discoveries and current debates throughout his presentation, including a discussion of a large-scale archaeological site excavation conducted for the Bennington Bypass project. Jess will be happy to answer questions following the presentation.

Jess Robinson, PhD, is the Vermont State Archaeologist in the Division for Historic Preservation. He is from Burlington and lives in Richmond with his wife and son.  Jess has 15 years of experience in Vermont, working as an archaeologist in both regulatory and academic settings. He is a PhD candidate at the University at Albany-SUNY, having received Masters Degrees in Anthropology and English. His graduate work has focused on Vermont’s Native history. Jess has published numerous articles and book chapters on the archaeology of Vermont and the Northeastern region, presenting his findings at local, regional, national and international conferences. He has taught classes at the University of Vermont and Johnson State College.



2/8: Growing up in Bennington in the 1950s (Ted Bird, local historian)

Please join local historian Ted Bird as he describes life in Bennington when he was a youngster. Included in his presentation will be a discussion of the Bennington schools, where kids went after school, churches, shops and places of employment. Especially interesting will be his discussion of rites of passage and how they entertained themselves.

Ted was born in Arlington and moved to Bennington when he was 12. He graduated from  Bennington High School in 1958 and with a partner bought Abe Noveck’s Music and Camera store in 1962.  He married to a Shaftsbury girl–Phyllis Spaulding– and they had three children, two of whom live in the Bennington area. Presently he sells commercial real estate for Hoisington Realty, Inc.


2/15: Vermont’s land use changes and their effects on wildlife populations (Kim Royar, VT Fish and Wildlife)

Join wildlife biologist Kim Royar as she walks through the history of land use in what is now Vermont from the time of the Native Americans to present. She will discuss how human changes to the landscape influenced the wildlife  that live in Vermont, particularly beaver, otter, coyote, bobcat, and wolf, etc.

Kim Royar is a wildlife biologist with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.  She has worked for the Department for 36 years in various roles including as a habitat biologist, furbearer biologist, Deputy Commissioner, and private lands biologist.  She is passionate about maintaining Vermont’s beautiful landscape for both wildlife and future generations of people.


2/22: The Idea of Vermont (Laird Christensen, Green Mountain College)

“The Idea of Vermont” explores the way that Vermont has evolved—socially and even physically—based on the ideas that people have about it, both within the state and beyond. Through the presentation, attendees will get a history lesson that illustrates the succession of various “ideas of Vermont” over the last 12,000 years. Christensen’s presentation will also look at how the idea of Vermont will likely change by the end of the current century.

Laird Christensen, PhD, Professor of English Literature and Environmental Studies, and Director of the Master of Science in Resilient and Sustainable Communities at Green Mountain College

Born and raised in western Oregon, Laird Christensen is a writer, teacher and activist focusing on the search for balance between the human and the wild. He teaches course in English Literature and Environmental Studies at Green Mountain College, where he directs the graduate program in Resilient and Sustainable Communities. His poems and essays have appeared in a variety of books and journals, including Northwest Review, Wild Earth, Northern Woodlands, and Studies in American Indian Literature.  His books include Teaching about Place: Learning from the Land and Teaching North American Environmental Literature.

Christensen’s teaching and writing are informed by a wide range of environmental experience, from grading lumber in Oregon to working as a ranger for the state of New Hampshire.  In 1999 the University of Oregon awarded him a Ph.D. for his dissertation, Spirit Astir in the World: Sacred Poetry in the Age of Ecology. Christensen has taught literature and writing at the Universities of Illinois and Oregon, as well as at Keene State, Franklin Pierce, and Alma Colleges. He served as the founding director of Green Mountain College’s Master of Science in Environmental Studies, and his teaching interests include American literature, creative writing, bioregionalism, and natural history writing.  

In 2009 Christensen was invited to the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, to lead a workshop on place-based teaching for professors from as far away as India, Turkey, and Bulgaria. While he continues to write about environmental issues in his native Northwest, Laird is increasingly focused on Vermont, exploring how one comes to feel at home in a place through exercises in environmental perception and learning the local natural history. As a part of this reinhabitory work, he weaves local landmarks through the songs he writes for Spruce Knob Uprising, a bluegrass band that plays at concerts and rallies throughout the region. Laird became a new father in October of 2009, and is thrilled to be introducing his son, Addison, to the forests and hills around Poultney.


Register Below

  • Please bring cash or check in amount of total to event(s).
  • $0.00

Summer 2016 Newsletter

Summer 2016 Newsletter

Emerald Ash Borer Monitoring on the Reserve

This summer the OWCC Greenberg Reserve will serve as one of several monitoring sites for the possible arrival of the invasive exotic Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) insect in southwestern Vermont.

The OWCC will be working with state and county foresters as a location for trap monitoring and regular citizen science opportunities. We will have an information exhibit set up at the education center, and please check this website for upcoming programs.

Please visit the following website for more details about EAB and how you can get involved!


Check out our Discovery Bags!

Do you want to find out more about the plants and animals on the Greenberg Reserve without attending a scheduled program? Our self-guided back packs are a great way to have fun learning at your leisure. Packs are available at the education center, and contain binoculars, a field guide, species cards, family activity, and several other tools to assist you with your adventure. There are a variety of bags to choose from , including mammals, birds, trees and wildflowers, and more!

Suitable for all ages. Fee: $5 for a half day/free for OWCC members

Job Posting: The OWCC Seeks a Summer Intern!

Are you interested in working in the conservation field? Do you enjoy being outdoors and speaking with the public? Would you like to develop and deliver educational programs?

The OWCC is Bennington’s nature center. We aim to connect our community to the outdoors by offering a variety of educational programs to adults, families, children and students of all ages in the tri-state area. The OWCC consists of an education center and the adjacent 96 acre Greenberg Reserve; our living laboratory with meadow, wetland, and woodland environments.

We are looking for an energetic and self-motivated intern to join our small, friendly staff over the summer of 2015.

The position:

  • 30 hours/week including Saturday
  • $12/hour
  • June 8-August 15


The intern will be expected to assist in all aspects of education at the OWCC, and will have the opportunity to develop an area of particular interest through research and programming.

  • Greet and assist visitors in the education center and on the Reserve
  • Design and prepare education center exhibits
  • Develop, assist/lead non-formal education programs at the center and on the Reserve
  • Prepare a report at the end of the summer season

Desired Experience and Qualifications:

  • An interest in, and basic general knowledge of, the ecology of Southern Vermont
  • Must have completed some college, preferably to have included natural science/education courses
  • Ability to interact with people of all ages
  • A willingness to learn
  • The ability to work outside in all types of weather.

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume and the names and contact information of two references to:  Jen Loyd-Pain, One World Conservation Center,   PO Box 4715, Bennington, VT 05201.   The application deadline is April 30, 2015.

Winter Bird Feeding Area Wish List

The development of our winter bird feeding area is in progress. We have had kind gifts of feeders from individuals and Whitman’s Feed Store. If you would like to donate that shepherd’s crook that is cluttering the garage, bird seed, or a wooden indoor bench for under the bird window so that kids can better watch our feathered friends, please contact the center. Thank you!

The Bennington Potters – The Early Days

Presented by Deana Mallory, Bennington Museum

Thursday, January 29 at 7 pm

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The Geologic Evolution of Bennington’s Valley

Presented by Tim Schroeder, Bennington College

Thursday, January 22 at 7 pm


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Jen Loyd-Pain Appointed Director of the OWCC

Jen & birchWe welcome Jen back to the OWCC as Director. In her new role she will build on the programs and activities initiated last year with a goal to make the OWCC a vibrant resource for conservation and nature education in our tri-state area.

Jen brings pertinent experience in conservation education and a strong educational background. She has served as an educator and office manager for two years at the Wissahickon Environmental Center in Philadelphia, and for five years as educator and volunteer coordinator at the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science. A Bennington resident since 2010, she has been a seasonal nature interpreter at Woodford, Shaftsbury, and Emerald Lake State Parks, and is a Vermont Forest Pest First Detector for Bennington.

She holds a PhD in Conservation Education and an MSc in Environmental and Development Education from London South Bank University in the UK, and a baccalaureate degree in Political Communications from the George Washington University, Washington, DC. She is a Certified Interpretive Trainer with the National Association for Interpretation and a Project Learning Tree facilitator.

Last year, as Coordinator of Education, Jen accomplished a major expansion of our programming, and we look forward to continuing and expanding these initiatives.


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Animals of the North: What Will Global Climate Change Mean for Them?

Susan Morse, nationally recognized naturalist and director of Keeping Track, Inc., will be offering a special presentation about ways in which northern wildlife species are already being affected by climate change. Canada lynx, moose, American marten, caribou, polar bears, arctic fox and arctic marine and waterfowl ecology are some of the species and subjects covered in this beautiful and positive show. Open to all ages.

There will also be a full-day field workshop with Susan Morse at the Greenberg Reserve the following Saturday to learn more about how to discover and interpret wildlife sign from an expert.

Fee:      Friday, March 21 PowerPoint show – $5/person or $10/family. Open to all ages.

Saturday, March 22 Field Day – $35.00/person (the group will be limited to 20 people & geared towards adults and older teens)

Pre-registration for both the PowerPoint show and Field Day is required by Friday, March 14 as space is limited. Please call the center for more information and to register.


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