• Newsletter — June, 2018

    JUNE EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES –>

    JUNE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS: Pond Life 

    This month’s after-school program will focus on pond animals.  Who lives in the pond, and why? Come find out! 

    We will spend as much time outside as possible, so please dress for the weather.

    Pk-K : Tuesdays, June  5th and 12th 
    1st and 2nd: Wednesdays, June 6th and 13th 
    3rd through 6th: Thursdays, June 7th and 14th 

    Just 2 days!  Time: 3:45pm - 5:00pm

    Cost: $25 members $35 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.

    POND CELEBRATION AT RUCKMAN POND!

     JUNE 3rd from 1-4 PM

    (Rain Date: June 10th)

    Please join us for the sixth annual celebration of the revival of Ruckman Pond! Come for an afternoon of 

    pond science and fun! Admission is FREE

    Enjoy the pleasures of our Nature Center, cabin and pond on a lovely early June afternoon that will feature:

    Canoe Rides        Tie dying shirts

    Webbed Foot Race   Pond Hikes

    Arts and Crafts   Pond Scooping

    Microscope Activities   Live Animals

    Fishing 101    Casting Class

    Live Music...And Much More!

    Bring your family and friends, grandparents, aunts, cousins and uncles!

    Cute Kid’s Quote 

    About an hour before a windy spring storm was about to hit, a 4 year old girl came running and up to me said, "Nature Marc ...There's A Tomato Warning!!!!"

    CNC 2018 Summer Program: Registration Is Ongoing!

    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

    COMMUNITY PASS: TO HELP US MOVE FORWARD!

    To those members that have logged into Community Pass, opened accounts, purchased memberships online or otherwise helped us in updating our administration… THANK YOU!! 

    For members that haven’t gone to Community Pass, please take a look!  

    The link to our “community" is:  https://register.communitypass.net/Closter

    Hopefully, this online platform will allow us to spend less time doing paperwork and more time in the great outdoors! 

    But we need your help. If you have an account on Community Pass, log in and check out the Closter Nature Center offerings.

    If you don’t have an account, open one today — it’s free and takes about a minute! By opening an account on Community Pass, we get your email for communication and you can sign up for classes online and purchase your membership online, too. 

    If you have any questions, please contact admin@closternaturecenter.org

    Spring: The Perfect Time to Clean Out Your Closets!

    Bring your unwanted clothing to the bins located in the Stop and Shop parking lot, and the proceeds will benefit the Closter Nature Center. 

    Look for the blue and green receptacles, towards the front of the parking lot on Demarest Ave. 

    Put your unwanted clothing to good use!

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

    CNC MONTH BY MONTH:

    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


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  • Naturalist Notes: June, 2018

    >> NATURALIST NOTES: June, 2018

    What would The Nature Center be without Ruckman Pond? I have a hard time even imagining it. I often hear people referring to the nature center as "The Pond". Although Ruckman Pond is far from being our geographical center on the map; it is definitely the heart of it. People of all ages take advantage of what it has to offer: from toddlers coming to see their first duck, to seniors reflecting on a long life- and everyone else in between. Kids fishing, bird-watchers watching, dog-walkers walking, coffee-drinkers sipping, hikers hiking, musicians playing, picnickers eating, and people enjoying the magic of nature. Forgive me if I left you out, I'm sure the list can go on for a whole page. The importance of the pond to our educational programs is immense. Our pond ecology classes are among the most popular choices for school trips and summer programs- and with good reason. They are exciting and fascinating. The pond is home to an incredible number of plants and animals that are often the focus of our science lessons, and is, itself, a great classroom for so many ecological concepts. I am ecstatic about the number of kids that have learned to canoe here and hope it opens up a world of adventure that they can take with them forever. On June 3rd, we will be hosting our annual pond celebration. It can't possibly capture all that Ruckman Pond means to us, but it is a chance for our community to celebrate this gift that brightens our lives in so many ways.

    See you on the trails...Marc Gussen, Naturalist


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  • Naturalist Notes: May, 2018

    >> NATURALIST NOTES: May, 2018

    Last May while out walking the trails with my then 5 year old, Willow, we came across one of the Nature Center’s many low-lying areas. What made this one special is that the forest floor in this particular spot is plastered with small yellow flowers. Willow was quickly mesmerized by the fact that what at first glance appeared to be a yellow painted meadow was actually acres of tiny yellow flowers. Her excitement quickly grew as we ran home to tell her mother about what she enthusiastically titled -  "The million field of flowers". Those flowers lasted only a couple of weeks but during the height of their glory we made several trips to visit them. Now that another spring is here we are waiting patiently for their return. If the suspense is tearing you apart, stop worrying. By the time you read this they will be here, and I'm sure Willow will be more than happy to direct you to "The million field of flowers".

    See you on the trails...Marc Gussen, Naturalist


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  • Newsletter — May, 2018

    MAY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES –>

    SPRING BIRDING EXPERIENCE:

    Saturday, May 5th 8:00- 10:00 AM

    Come join the "early birds" at the Nature Center cabin from 8:00 to 10:00 Saturday morning, May 5th, for a birding adventure with Naturalist Nancy Slowik.  While seasoned birders are welcome, no experience is required. A pair of binoculars is most helpful.  A few extra binoculars will be available for those not able to bring their own.  We will start indoors for some pointers and to see images of the wide variety of birds we hope to spot out on the trails.

    This program is geared to adults, but interested young people are welcome.  The walk portion will last about one hour.  Free for members, $5 for non-members. 

    CNC ANNUAL MEETING AND LECTURE

    Wednesday, May 2nd - 7 PM AT THE CABIN

    Impacts of Deer and Invasive Species on Forests in Northern-Central New Jersey

    Dr. Jay Kelly from Raritan Valley Community College will be presenting the results of his research on the impacts of overabundant deer and invasive plant species on forests in northern-central NJ. Since 2014, he and his students have studied over 135 forests, primarily in the Raritan Watershed, documenting how tree regeneration and other aspects of forest understories have changed since the mid-Twentieth Century, when deer and invasive plants were much lower in the state. They also studied the effectiveness of different strategies for forest restoration, including exclosures and deer management programs, at improving forest conditions over time. The goals of this research are to provide real-world research opportunities for students, and to provide local communities with information needed to understand these important issues: showing what is happening to our forests, and what can be done to address them.

    Jay F. Kelly, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Raritan Valley Community College, where he teaches a wide variety of ecology, botany, zoology and environmental science courses. He holds a BA in Biology and a PhD in Ecology & Evolution, both from Rutgers University. His research interests are the biology and conservation of rare plant and animal species, coastal and forest ecology, and the design and implementation of ecological land management practices that balance the needs of humans with other species in the landscape. His other research interests include plastic marine debris, historical ecology, human ecology, and toxins in consumer products. Dr. Kelly attempts to develop community-based research projects and partnerships that benefit both his students and the communities they serve. He received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his research and service in 2010.

    MAY AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS:

    Frogs, Toads and Newts: Amphibians of the Nature Center
    Kids will explore the amazing world of amphibians!

    Pk-K ....Tuesdays, 5/8, 15th and 22nd
    1st and 2nd.....Wednesdays....5/9, 16th and 23rd
    3rd through 6th......Thursdays......5/10,  17th and 24th

    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.

    CNC 2018 Summer Program: 

    Registration Is Ongoing!

    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

    Our Thanks go out to the many generous souls who contributed more than 25 homemade soups to our delightful Soup Supper. In addition, The Barn, Closter One, Madeline Petit Paris, La Promenade and Zendiggi all donated soups, and Balthazar Bakery contributed bread! All were delicious!  By the end of the cold, rainy afternoon, (perfect for enjoying soup!), we’d had a warm, friendly and very well attended Soup Supper! 

    COMMUNITY PASS: TO HELP US MOVE FORWARD!

    To those members that have logged into Community Pass, opened accounts, purchased memberships online or otherwise helped us in updating our administration… THANK YOU!!

    For members that haven’t gone to Community Pass, please take a look!  

    The link to our “community" is:  https://register.communitypass.net/Closter

    Hopefully, this online platform will allow us to spend less time doing paperwork and more time in the great outdoors!

    But we need your help. If you have an account on Community Pass, log in and check out the Closter Nature Center offerings.

    If you don’t have an account, open one today — it’s free and takes about a minute! By opening an account on Community Pass, we get your email for communication and you can sign up for classes online and purchase your membership online, too.

    If you have any questions, please contact admin@closternaturecenter.org

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

    CNC MONTH BY MONTH:

    May 2 - Annual Meeting and Presentation by Jay Kelly: 7 PM

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

    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


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  • 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

     


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  • 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


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  • 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


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  • 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


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  • 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


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  • 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)


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  • 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

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  • 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)


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