The Birds of Vermont Museum’s treehouse debuted one year ago, much to the delight of the Museum community. Constructed by the students and instructors at the Center for Technology, Essex, the new structure, tucked into the trees above Sherman Hollow Brook, has already proven its immense value as an observation deck and a learning lab. Children attending our Nestling’s Nook story hour and Fledglings Junior Birder programs have enjoyed the treehouse’s outdoor adventure atmosphere as they explore the connections birds have with the environment. Girl Scout troops from the Green and White Mountains Council incorporated the treehouse into their nature walks while participating in three special programs at the Museum this past year. School groups following our guiding questions packet ponder sensory input such as sight, sound, smell, and touch to develop an understanding of the elements of natural systems in their midst. Interpretive drawings of living and non-living components in the bird-filled habitat surrounding the treehouse help young people make connections within food webs and nutrient use and recycling.
Many visitors to the treehouse linger over a picnic lunch as they take in the 360-degree view of life within the tree canopy. Bob and Gale enjoyed regular lunch dates there throughout last summer while connecting with the magic of the Birds of Vermont. Situated over the brook, the treehouse enables new and experienced birders to hear and glimpse birds which favor habitats featuring flowing water, such as the Louisiana Waterthrush. During the spring breeding season, Early Birders’ walks regularly finish at the treehouse for debriefing and bird chats.
It’s been a joy to see how accessible and enlightening the treehouse is for our visitors; we look forward to new experiences in the coming days and months. We hope you will join us there too!