• Naturalist Notes: April, 2018

    NATURALIST’S NOTES: April, 2018

    Some of my favorite frequent visitors to the Nature Center aren’t people, but dogs. There are quite a few dog walkers and their four legged friends that come for a stroll daily, and some that come less often, but all greatly enjoy the time they spend here. The combination of a taste of nature, exercise and quality time spent with your best friend is too good  a thing to pass up. We see everything from St. Bernards to tea-cup Yorkies, and every breed in between. 

    You can see the excitement in their snouts as they pull up to the CNC parking lot, and when the door opens up it’s like a kid in a candy store-- or better yet: a dog in a nature center.

    I can only imagine what all the smells, sights and sounds of nature do to the mind of a house dog, but I’m sure that many of them end up on the verge of sensory overload. 

    We encourage everyone to get out and enjoy this little 136 acre gem...and if you have a dog, bring them too! As you might expect, we have a couple of simple rules: Please keep your dogs on a leash, clean up after them and, most importantly, enjoy your time at the candy store!

    See you on the trails....

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist

     


    Continue reading
  • Newsletter — April, 2018

    APRIL EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

    THE SOUP SUPPER  IS BACK!

    April 15th 5-7 PM

    One of our most popular events, the Soup Supper has brought members and friends together for more than 30 years. A great variety of homemade soups and breads is our speciality. You get a bowl and spoon to sample as many soups as you like—plus tasty breads! Arrive by 6:30 for best selection. 

    The charge is $10 for adults, and $5 for children under 10. Pay at the door. Also available, for only $5 extra, are wonderful ceramic, re-usable soup mugs, with our CNC logo. All proceeds go to support the Nature Center’s education programs.

    To contribute much appreciated soups, please call  Adri Turrell at (845-359-3828). Leave a clear message with type of soup, your name and phone number. 

    Very Important: Please bring hot soups HOT! (Due to limited space, we can’t reheat your delicious soups).

    And just before we start ladling soup, join us for the big unveil of the “Mayer Loop Trail” sign! This trail was named to honor the tireless work for our Nature Center by Gay and Mary Mayer. 

    4:30pm — far side of the pond

    April After-School Programs:

    "Spring Has Sprung”

    Spring is here, and there is a lot going on in the forest and the pond. Animals are waking up, migrants are returning, buds are opening and the weather is getting more beautiful every day. Let’s go check it out!
    We will try to spend as much time as possible outside, so please dress for the weather.

    P-K and K.........Tuesdays 4/3, 17th and 24th
    1st and 2nd............Wednesdays 4/4, 18th and 25th
    3rd - 6th...........Thursdays 4/5, 19th and 26th

    Time: 3:45pm - 5:00pm

    Cost - $40 for members, and $50 for non-members.

    To register online please go to: https://register.communitypass.net/Closter

    and you will be taken to Community Pass, our online registration and payment system.

    If you would prefer to register in person, please call Marc Gussen at  (201) 750-2778.

    *Spring Break Program*
    Monday, April 9th – Thursday, April 12th 

    Looking for something for the kids to do during the spring break?
    Here is the answer - Bring them to the Nature Center!
    Our Break programs have been such a success, we are going to do them again.
    The topics will depend on the weather,

    and they will definitely be fun and educational. To help make these programs fit your schedule, the classes will run for 4 days and kids can sign up for 1, 2, 3, or all 4 of the days.
    We will try to spend time outside each day, so please dress for the weather.
      
    1st and 2nd grade: 9:00 - 11:30am
    3rd thru 6th grade: 1:00 - 3:30pm

    Cost: $80 full session for Members... $100 full session for NON-members

    $25 per day for members, $30 per day for non-members

    Feel free to sign up online with CommunityPass, if you are signing up for the whole week.

    For Daily Classes, please call Marc at (201) 750-2778 to sign up, then pay $25 or $30 by check or in cash on the day of the program.

     

    April Photo Contest and Exhibition! 

    Beginning on Tuesday, April 2, the Closter Library will host the Closter Nature Center's 2nd Annual Photography Contest and Exhibition.  Open to children and adults alike, the photos have been taken in all corners of the Nature Center, in all seasons of the year! The show can be seen during regular library hours, Monday through Saturday, during the month of April, with a reception and awarding of contest winners on Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

    DONATION NEEDED: 

    New or gently used laptop computer for our cabin. Send any questions to admin@closternaturecenter.org

    CNC 2018 Summer Program: Registration Has Begun! 

    The program runs Monday - Thursday for 9 weeks.  Each day includes two sessions as noted below. 

    We offer 2-hour programs for children ages 4 - 6 and 3-hour programs for children ages 7 - 10 and 11 - 14.

    Fees for the 2-hour programs are: 

    $70 for members ($90 for non-members)

    Fees for the 3-hour programs are: 

    $90 for members ($110 for non-members)

    DATES FOR THE PROGRAM ARE AS FOLLOWS:

    WEEK #1 June 25 - 28    Ages 4 - 6 and 7 - 10

    WEEK #2 July 9 - 12 Ages 11 -14 and 7 - 10 

    WEEK #3 July 16 - 19 Ages 7 - 10 and 4 - 6

    WEEK #4 July 23 - 26 Ages 7 - 10 and 11 - 14

    WEEK #5 July 30 - August 2 Ages 4 - 6 and 7 - 10

    WEEK #6 August 6 - 9 Ages 7 - 10 and 11 - 14

    WEEK #7 August 13 - 16 Ages 4 - 6 and 7 - 10

    WEEK #8 August 20 - 23 Ages 11 - 14 and 7 - 10

    WEEK #9 August 27 - 30 Ages 4 - 6 and 7 - 10

    To register please go to:  https://register.communitypass.net/Closter

    and you will be taken to Community Pass, our NEW online registration and payment system.

    Any questions? Please send to CNCsummer@closternaturecenter.org

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

    CNC MONTH BY MONTH:

    March Photo Contest: Entries Due on March 30th

    April 9th – 12th Spring Break Classes

    April 15, Soup Supper Sunday, 5-7 PM

    April 21, Earth Day Fair...11AM to 4 PM , NV Demarest High School

    April 28 at 2 p.m. Photo Contest Reception and Awards

    At Closter Library

    May 5th Bird Walk Saturday, 8-10 AM with Nancy Slowik

    May 2 - Annual Meeting , 7 PM

    June 3rd - Pond Celebration (June 10th rain date)

    June 25 to August 30 - Summer Programs!

    September 30 - Hawks Over the Hudson at State Line Lookout


    Continue reading
  • Naturalist Notes: March, 2018

    NATURALIST’S NOTES: March, 2018

     As the days lengthen and the air temperatures warms, nature gives us many signs that spring is on the way. The harbinger of spring that has the most profound effect on me and on my natural history calendar is the first sighting of aquatic turtles. During winter, ponds and lakes don't seem like hot beds of animal activity, but a lot goes on under the ice. Fish of all kinds can be actively feeding and prepping for the spring breeding season. Being cold blooded doesn't stop fish from enjoying winter, but reptiles like our native eastern painted turtles and northern water snakes must hibernate to survive the cold months. The red-eared sliders are the first of our aquatic turtles to make a showing in the spring, with painted and snapping turtles soon to follow. After months of sleeping in the mud, they awaken as the water temperatures rise and they set out to look for their first meal of the new year. On warm sunny days in March they can sometimes be seen sitting en masse on the rocks around Ruckman Pond soaking up some much needed sunshine. I look forward to seeing the first robin and hearing the first spring peeper; but soon, on a warm and sunny afternoon, a little head will pop up and break the water’s surface marking the end of winter.

    See ya on the trails.

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist


    Continue reading
  • Newsletter — March, 2018

    MARCH EVENTS AND CLASSES

    “Last Chance Winter Hike” March 18that 2 PM

    Come one, come all! Layer up your winter clothes and join us for an afternoon forest adventure. With no leaves on the trees, finding wildlife becomes much easier! You never know what you may find around the next bend in the trail...

    MARCH AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS Pets, Pets and More Pets!

    This month we will focus on what animals make good pets and why.
    Kids will learn about responsibility and the work required to take care of animals.
    Dress for the weather.

    PreK-K .......Tuesdays - 13th, 20th and 27th
    1st and 2nd...........Wednesdays - 14th, 21st and 28th
    3rd thru 5th...................Thursdays - 15th, 22nd and 29th

    Time: 3:45pm - 5:00pm

    Cost - $40 for members, and $50 for non-members.

    To register online please go to:REGISTER.CAPTUREPOINT.COM/CLOSTER and you will be taken to Community Pass, our online registration and payment system.

    If you would prefer to register in person, please call Marc Gussen at (201) 750-2778.

     

     

    Photo Contest: Entries Due on March 30th

    This is the month to take some new photos at the Nature Center or look through ones that you've saved from previous seasons.  The Second Annual Photography Contest and Exhibition will be held at the Closter Library during the month of April.  Adults and kids can enter up to two photos each measuring no more than 16" x 20".  No matter where you live, the photos must have been taken at the Closter Nature Center.  Photos must be dropped off at the library by March 30 and left in Director Ruth Rando's office.  Please attach a note to the back of photos with name, address, email, phone and age (for kids).  A donation of $10 is requested.  Contest winners will receive a CNC hat, t-shirt or sweatshirt.  Last year's exhibition was a great success, so let's make this one even better!  For more information, contact Susan McTigue at msmct4@aol.com or 201-767-0955.

     ANNUAL CLOSTER TOWN CLEANUP 

    SATURDAY, MARCH 24TH 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

    The Closter Environmental Commission is conducting its Annual Spring Cleanup Drive on Saturday, March 24th from 10 AM to 2 PM.

    Staging stations will be at the Closter Nature Center Log Cabin and the Lustron House on Durie Ave. Gloves, pickup tools and bags will be provided to participants, and refreshments will be available. This cleanup has been an annual event in Closter for many years! It is particularly suitable for families and children eager to help, although those under fourteen years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Pitch in and join the volunteer members of the Environmental Commission, Closter Nature Center, Closter Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts.  Event details are at the Borough website: www.closternj.us.

    SOUP SUPPER COMING IN APRIL!

    April 15th 5-7 PM

    One of our most popular events, the Soup Supper has brought members and friends together for more than 30 years. A great variety of homemade soups and breads is our speciality. You get a bowl and spoon to sample as many soups as you like—plus tasty breads! Arrive by 6:30 for best selection.

    Watch for more details in our next newsletter. 

    And just before we start ladling soup, join us for the big unveil of the “Mayer Loop Trail” sign! This trail was named to honor the tireless work for our Nature Center by Gay and Mary Mayer. 

    4:30pm — far side of the pond

    CNC 2018 Summer Program:

    Registration will begin in March.

    The program runs Monday - Thursday for 9 weeks.  Each day includes two sessions as noted below.

    We offer 2-hour programs for children ages 4 - 6 and 3-hour programs for children ages 7 - 10 and 11 - 14.

    Fees for the 2-hour programs are:

    $70 for members ($90 for non-members)

    Fees for the 3-hour programs are:

    $90 for members ($110 for non-members)

    DATES FOR THE PROGRAM ARE AS FOLLOWS:

    WEEK #1 June 25 - 28    Ages 4 - 6 and 7 - 10

    WEEK #2 July 9 - 12 Ages 11 -14 and 7 - 10 

    WEEK #3 July 16 - 19 Ages 7 - 10 and 4 - 6

    WEEK #4 July 23 - 26 Ages 7 - 10 and 11 - 14

    WEEK #5 July 30 - August 2 Ages 4 - 6 and 7 - 10

    WEEK #6 August 6 - 9 Ages 7 - 10 and 11 - 14

    WEEK #7 August 13 - 16 Ages 4 - 6 and 7 - 10

    WEEK #8 August 20 - 23 Ages 11 - 14 and 7 - 10

    WEEK #9 August 27 - 30 Ages 4 - 6 and 7 - 10

    To register please go to:

    REGISTER.CAPTUREPOINT.COM/CLOSTER 

    and you will be taken to Community Pass, our NEW online registration and payment system.

    If you prefer to register in person please email:

    CNCSUMMER@GMAIL.COM to receive a registration form and the mailing address.

    Cute Kid’s Quote
     Out with some kindergartners last month we saw a bright red cardinal standing out against the drab winter forest. One of the kids yelled with enthusiasm..."Look, a Carnival!"MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

    CNC MONTH BY MONTH:

    March “Last Chance Winter Hike” March 18th at 2 PM

    Photo Contest: Entries Due on March 30th

    April 9th – 12th Spring Break Classes

    April 15, Soup Supper 5-7 PM

    April 21, Earth Day Fair...in Demarest this year!

    Photo Contest and Exhibit!

     May – Annual Meeting May 2nd

    Bird Walk Saturday, May 5th 8-10 AM

    June 3rd - Pond Celebration (June 10th rain date)

    June 25 to August 30 - Summer Programs!

    September 30 - Hawks Over the Hudson at State Line Lookout


    Continue reading
  • Naturalist Notes: February, 2018

    NATURALIST’S NOTES:

    With the crazy swings in temperature we have experienced this winter, I have been asked many questions and heard lots of talk about climate change.

    I try to clear this up as often as possible, since I feel it is very important to help people understand this topic. There is way too much political and economic pressure trying to water down what has become the consensus of scientists. The earth is warming... period. No matter what political party you belong to, or whether or not you have investments in solar energy technology or coal mining, the climate of earth is changing, the sea level is rising, and polar ice is melting. The opinions of financial gurus, politicians and talk show hosts are not science. I often hear comments like, "It was 9 degrees last night and you're gonna' tell me the climate of earth is getting warmer !?!”

    One important distinction that many people have trouble grasping, and which prevents many from accepting the facts of global climate change is the difference between climate and weather. Stick your head out the window and take note of the temperature and conditions - that's weather. Do that every day for a hundred years, log all your data and put it on a graph - that's climate. This is a complicated issue both on the scientific side and the ramifications for humans, but I can only hope that we continue to embrace the findings of science and move forward making the best decisions we can.

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist


    Continue reading
  • Newsletter — February, 2018

    FEBRUARY EVENTS AND CLASSES

    FEBRUARY AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS:

    Volcanoes!

    Watch out!!!  Mount Closter is about to erupt again! 
    This month's after school science program will focus on everyone's favorite natural disaster – Volcanoes!
    We will try to get outside each day, so please dress for the weather.
    Kids will make model volcanoes and we will erupt our giant volcano simulator, Mt. Closter.

    PK-K    Feb 6th, 13th and 27th

    1st and 2nd Grade   Feb 7th, 14th and 28th

    3rd - 6th Grade   Feb 8th, 15th and March 1st

    Cost: $40 members, $50 non-members
    Time: 3:45pm - 5:00pm

    To register online please go to REGISTER.CAPTUREPOINT.COM/CLOSTER and you will be taken to Community Pass, our online registration and payment system. 

    If you would prefer to register in person, please call Marc Gussen at (201) 750-2778.

    MEET THE ANIMALS of the Closter Nature Center

    Sunday, February 11th at 2 PM

    Come visit the cabin by the pond and meet the animals of the CNC! Our collection of education animals delights children who come for our after-school programs and summer camp, and now it’s time for everyone to get to meet them!

    The program is free, but donations will gladly be accepted.

    Celebrate Valentine's Day! 

    Take your sweetheart for a walk on the RED trail this month.

    (http://closternaturecenter.org/about-us-new/nature-center-map/

    Winter Break Program
    Tuesday February 20th - Friday February 23rd 

    Looking for something for the kids to do during the winter break?
    Here is the answer - Bring them to the Nature Center!
    Our Break programs have been such a success, we are going to do them again.
    The topics will depend on the weather, 

    but they will definitely be fun and educational.

    To help make these programs fit your schedule, the classes will run for 4 days and kids can sign up for 1, 2, 3, or all 4 of the days.
    We will try to spend time outside each day, so please dress for the weather.

    1st and 2nd grade: 9:00 - 11:30am
    3rd thru 6th grade: 1:00 - 3:30pm

    To register call Marc at (201) 750-2778

    Cost: $80 full session for Members... $100 full session for NON-members

             $25 per day for members, $30 per day for non-members

     Feel free to sign up online with CommunityPass, if you are signing up for the whole week. 

    For Daily Classes, please call Marc at (201) 750-2778 to sign up, then pay $25 by check or in cash on the day of the program. 

    PHOTO CONTEST AND EXHIBITION:

    The 2nd Annual CNC Photography Contest & Exhibition will be held at the Closter Library during the month of April, 2018. The contest is open to children and adults alike! All photos must be taken at the Nature Center during any season of the year (past and present).  The exhibition will be held at the Closter Public Library, 280 High Street.

    The following rules apply:

    All photos, either color or black-and-white, must not exceed 16" x 20" including a frame.  Up to two photos may be entered, with selections made based on judges' choices and space availability.  Each photo must have the artist's name, address, e-mail, phone and age (for children) affixed to the back of each entry.  1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be awarded determined by a judges' panel.  Recipients can select their prize of a Closter Nature Center sweatshirt, hat or t-shirt.

    All participants will pay a $10. entry fee (for up to two photos), as a tax-deductible contribution to the Nature Center.  

    All entries must be received at the Library by Wednesday, March 28th. For additional information or questions, contact Susan McTigue at msmct4@aol.com or 201-767-0955.

    Forest Stewardship and Ash Tree ID Workshops

    On Saturday, January 13th, 21 adult volunteers participated in our first Ash Tree Identification Workshop.  Anticipating the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer, a small insect that will likely destroy 90% of our ash trees in the next 3 to 8 years, we are working to identify which areas of our forest will be most affected.  After an indoor learning session, volunteers spread out along the White and Red Trails, recording the presence and general health of each ash tree they encountered.  The location of each tree was recorded by GPS on a computer map - and marked in the field with 2 small pink dots, so the same tree would not be counted again.  Using the GPS data, we can return to each individual tree and monitor its health.  This way we can anticipate the location of major changes in our forest canopy, perhaps plant replacement trees ahead, and identify which dying trees might pose a risk to frequently used trails.   A second workshop was held on January 20th to continue with this forest survey. Size and health data has now been collected for more than 80 ash trees along the White Trail. 

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

    CNC MONTH BY MONTH:

    February 11th at 2 PM “Meet the Animals of the CNC”

    February 20-23—Winter Break Classes, *Tuesday-Friday*

    March “Last Chance Winter Hike” March 18th at 2 PM

    Native Plant Society of NJ...Date and time TBA

    Photo Contest: Entries Due on March 28th

    April 9th – 12th Spring Break Classes

    April 15, Soup Supper 5-7 PM

    April 22, Earth Day

    Photo Contest and Exhibit!

    May – Annual Meeting 

    June 3rd - Pond Celebration (June 10th rain date)


    Continue reading
  • Naturalist Notes: January, 2018

    2018 is here, and it’s time for a New Year’s resolution. Every year I try to come up with something that will improve my health and happiness. This year I have a new, simple, and hopefully fruitful resolution...spend more time outside. The benefits are tremendous, it’s free, and can be fun for the whole family. Exercise is without out a doubt the best way to maintain physical and mental health, and there is no better place to do it than outside. When winter sets in it can be tough to get out, but dressing for the weather and keeping your time outside relatively short can be the difference between an ordeal and wonderful hour in nature. 
    Having real winter gear is important for extended outdoor activities, but simply dressing in layers and wearing some decent foot gear is all you need for a couple of trips around the pond. Give it a shot, turn over a new leaf, and start the new year with a resolution that will never cease to enrich you life in more ways than you can imagine.

    Happy New Year!

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist

    Continue reading
  • Newsletter — January, 2018

    JANUARY EVENTS AND CLASSES

    Hardy Volunteers Needed for Tree Survey

    Workshop January 13th , 1:30 -3:30 PM

    Ever wanted to learn more about the trees in our Nature Center? We are looking for a few volunteers willing to participate in a workshop followed by a tree survey in the woods.   The workshop will be held on Saturday, January 13th from 1:30 to 3:30 PM, at the Cabin. There may be an additional time scheduled on Saturday, January 20th, starting at 1:30 PM.

    This is an opportunity to learn how to identify ash trees and also, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle killing these trees in our area. EABs are a small, green beetle that targets Ash trees, a tree common to our Nature Center. The Emerald Ash Borer is virtually unstoppable and has already been identified in Rockleigh, Hillsdale and Paramus. 

    In the central section of the Nature Center, between the White and Red Trails, almost 20 % of the trees are Green Ash. After learning to identify ash trees, participants will be divided into at least 2 teams and assigned a section of the Nature Center to mark all the ash trees they can be sure of.  These ash trees will then be located on a GPS database so that it will be easier to return and check on each tree in the future.  By clearly identifying where ash trees are grouped or single, we can better anticipate how the canopy will change as they almost inevitably die off, and we can better plan for locating replacement trees.  There will certainly be additional opportunities for volunteers to assist in this identification and survey work but we especially need hardy souls willing to learn and then hike through the cold woods on Saturday, Jan. 13th, with their best observation skills at work.  Please e-mail Mary Mayer (marym812@aol.com) if you plan to attend...or if you have questions.

     

    January After-School Classes

    ********* Winter Wonderland **********

    This month's after school program will focus on the nature in the winter. What is all this white stuff? How do animals survive the cold? What’s going on under the ice on the pond? Dress for the weather: we will be going outside as much as possible.

    Pre-K and K ...Tuesdays 9th - 16th - 23rd 
    1st and 2nd... Wednesdays 10th - 17th - 24th
    3rd thru 6th ... Thursdays 11th - 18th - 25th 

    Cost: $40 members, $50 non-members
    Time: 3:45pm - 5:00pm

    To register online please go to REGISTER.CAPTUREPOINT.COM/CLOSTER and you will be taken to Community Pass, our online registration and payment system. If you would prefer to register in person, please call Marc Gussen at (201) 750-2778.

    January 28th Welcome Winter Night Hike, With Bonfire!

    6:30 to 8 PM

    Are you ready for a night to remember? 

    We will learn about the nocturnal animals of the Nature Center. Meet at the cabin, hike into the darkness for about ½ hour, 

    then come to the fire ring

     for a cozy campfire.

    The program is free, but donations will be welcome!

     

    PHOTO CONTEST AND EXHIBITION:

    The 2nd Annual CNC Photography Contest & Exhibition will be held at the Closter Library for the month of April.  Start looking through your best photos now and visit the Nature Center for some new ones.  Details for entering two of your photos will follow next month.

    Forest Stewardship Update:

    The Closter Nature Center is continuing to evaluate the recommendations contained in the Forest Stewardship Plan. Two Forest Ecologists, professors at Ramapo and Raritan Valley Colleges, were invited to visit the Nature Center and give us their opinions regarding the existing forest conditions and future forest needs. The good news is that they both observed that our forest is in much better condition than other urban forests they have seen in New Jersey! They also recommended that we consider moving forward slowly, and test various interventions as we go. We believe this is the prudent approach, and we will continue to update our members as steps to protect and preserve our forested wetlands are taken. If you are interested in being part of this long-term project, please let us know. Contacts: marym812@aol.com; lorispechler@gmail.com; ravit@envsci.rutgers.edu. We hope to have an engaged group of volunteers who would like to join in this sustainability initiative. 

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

    CNC MONTH BY MONTH:

    January 28th Welcome Winter Night Hike, with bonfire! 

    6:30 to 8 PM

    Tree Survey Workshop 1/13, 1:30 to 3:30 PM; and

    possibly 1/20

    February 11th at 2 PM “Meet the Animals of the CNC”

    February 19-22—Winter Break Classes

    March “Last Chance Winter Hike” March 18th at 2 PM

    Native Plant Society of NJ...Date and time TBA

    Photo Contest: Entries Due.

    April 9th – 12th Spring Break Classes

    April 15, Soup Supper 5-7 PM

    April 22, Earth Day

    Photo Contest and Exhibit!

    May – Annual Meeting 

    June 3rd - Pond Celebration (June 10th rain date)


    Continue reading
  • Naturalist Notes: December, 2017

    NATURALIST’S NOTES:

    Fall is slowly coming to an end, and everything in nature is readying for winter. Plants are closing up shop, migrants are leaving, forest residents are prepping to sleep or stick it out; and we are here to enjoy it all. Late fall is probably my favorite time to be in the woods.  Deep breaths of cool autumn air, the sound of crunching leaves under my feet, and that magical fall smell of the forest are just some the reasons to take a hike in December.  With the leaves off the trees, visibility is increased and you would be amazed at the number of last years’ nests that are visible now. Animal watching reaches new levels, since seeing birds of all kinds and mammals is easy without leaves blocking your view. The sounds of the forest are enhanced as well. I am always amazed at how far the sounds of woodpeckers can travel in a leafless forest. It’s not just the loud and obvious, but the soft sounds of squirrels’ claws on the bark of tree as they scurry up to safety, and the footsteps of deer traipsing along can finally be heard. As the temperature drops and the days shorten, and we are often feeling trapped inside, let’s not forget what a great time it is to be outside.

    See you on the trails,
    Marc Gussen, Naturalist

     


    Continue reading
  • Newsletter — December, 2017

    DECEMBER EVENTS AND CLASSES

     

    ***** A Gift From the Forest *****

    Looking for that perfect gift for your special somebody? 

    How about a legacy of wooded bliss! A place to walk in the woods! 

    Click --> HERE <-- to purchase the gift of membership in the Closter Nature Center TODAY

     

    After-School Programs:

    Rocks + Minerals

    This month’s after-school program will be about the amazing world of geology. We will get to see the Nature Center’s incredible collection of rocks and minerals, and make our very own crystals to take home and eat!
    This program will be inside and out so please dress for the weather!

    Pk-K   Tuesdays   5th - 12th - 19th 
    1st and 2nd  Wednesdays  6th - 13th - 20th
    3rd thru 6th  Thursdays  7th - 14th - 21st

    Cost: $40 members, $50 non-members

    Time: 3:45pm - 5:00pm

    TO REGISTER ONLINE:

    Go to  https://register.capturepoint.com/Closter , and you will be taken to our online registration and payment system.  

    If you would prefer to register in person, call Marc Gussen at (201) 750-2778, fill out a registration form and bring the form along with payment in full (check or cash) to the first class. 

    You can pick up a registration form at the Log Cabin, 154 Ruckman Road, Closter, NJ 07624. Or, you can download a copy here: http://closternaturecenter.org/after-school-classes-registration-form

     

     

    Holiday Break Classes:

    Tuesday, December 26th through Friday, December 29th

    Need something fun and educational for the kids to do 

    during the holiday break?

    We have the answer: four days of Nature exploration and animal fun here at the Closter Nature Center.  Our Break programs have been such a success, we are going to run them again. Depending on your schedule you can sign up for one, two, three, or all the days.

    We will try to spend time outside each day, so please dress for the weather.

    Tuesday, December 26th through Friday, December 29th

    1st and 2nd grade 9:00 - 11:30 AM
    3rd thru 6th grade 1:00 - 3:30 PM 

    Cost: $80 full session, Members; $100 full session NON-members

                 $25 per day for members, $30 per day for non-members

    PLEASE REGISTER ONLINE AT: https://register.capturepoint.com/Closter

    Link takes you to CommunityPass, our online registration and payment system. If you would prefer to register in person, call Marc Gussen at (201) 750-2778, fill out a registration form and bring the form along with payment in full (check or cash) to the first class. 

     

    Bergen County Christmas Bird Count
    Saturday, December 16th, 11AM to 2PM 

    All Skill Levels Welcome
    The Closter Nature Center is going to participate in the Bergen County Audubon's Annual Christmas Bird Count for the third time!  We need spotters with binoculars who can at least distinguish a cardinal from a crow, a chickadee from a blue jay.   Learners are very welcome, but we hope several more experienced folk will enjoy the opportunity, and help us out as well.  

    Come to the cabin first to learn the system, then, spread out in small groups to an area of the Nature Center and record as best you can what you see.  If you can't name the bird, note its appearance.  

    We'll have books available to help you confirm a best guess. Stay for an hour or more, as you are able.  Less sturdy hikers are welcome to monitor our busy feeders near the cabin and walk the level ground near the ponds. 

     No matter the weather, the event will take place, so be sure to dress warmly, especially your feet!   The cabin will be open throughout the day.  

    A few extra binoculars are available at the Nature Center, and Susan McTigue and Jim Lager will be on hand to assist.

    Hardy Volunteers Needed for Tree Survey 

    Ever wanted to learn more about the trees in our Nature Center? We are looking for a few volunteers willing to participate in a workshop followed by a tree survey in the woods.   The workshop will be held on Saturday, January 13th from 1:30 to 3:30 PM, at the Cabin. There may be an additional time scheduled on Saturday, January 20th, starting at 1:30 PM.

    This is an opportunity to learn how to identify ash trees and also, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle killing these trees in our area. EABs are a small, green beetle that targets Ash trees, a tree common to our Nature Center. The Emerald Ash Borer is virtually unstoppable and has already been identified in Rockleigh, Hillsdale and Paramus. 

    In the central section of the Nature Center, between the White and Red Trails, almost 20 % of the trees are Green Ash. After learning to identify ash trees, participants will be divided into at least 2 teams and assigned a section of the Nature Center to mark all the ash trees they can be sure of.  These ash trees will then be located on a GPS database so that it will be easier to return and check on each tree in the future.  By clearly identifying where ash trees are grouped or single, we can better anticipate how the canopy will change as they almost inevitably die off, and we can better plan for locating replacement trees.  There will certainly be additional opportunities for volunteers to assist in this identification and survey work but we especially need hardy souls willing to learn and then hike through the cold woods on Saturday, Jan. 13th, with their best observation skills at work.  Please e-mail Mary Mayer (marym812@aol.com) if you plan to attend...or if you have questions.

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

    CNC MONTH BY MONTH:

    December 16th – Christmas Bird Count, 11 AM -2 PM,  

    December 26-29…Holiday Break Nature Classes

    January 28th Welcome Winter Night Hike, with bonfire! 

    6:30 to 8 PM

    February 11th at 2 PM “Meet the Animals of the CNC”

    February 19-22—Winter Break Classes

    March “Last Chance Winter Hike” March 18th at 2 PM

    Native Plant Society of NJ...Date and time TBA

    April 9th – 12th Spring Break Classes

    April 15th Soup Supper 5-7 PM

    April 22th Earth Day

    May – Annual Meeting 

    June 3rd - Pond Celebration (June 10th rain date)


    Continue reading
  • CNC NATURALIST RECEIVES AWARD

    Northern Valley Press, Front Page

    CNC NATURALIST MARC GUSSEN RECEIVES NJ AUDUBON AWARD

     

    Marc Gussen receiving NJ Audubon award.


    Continue reading
  • Looking for a Home? Check Out Closter, N.J.

    The Bergen County borough has lots of parks and good schools, but the buzz now is about shopping

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/check-out-closter-n-j-1469808827

    Closter, N.J., has a reputation for good schools and plenty of parks, but what has folks talking these days is a shopping center.

    The mall, Closter Plaza, is getting a new look and new retailers. And the changes have the Bergen County borough thinking about its future, said Mayor John Glidden.

    “It’s really exciting the entire town,” Mr. Glidden said. “It’s going to improve the look of the town because the developers are doing a first-class job.”


    Continue reading