• Newsletter — December, 2018

    >>December Events and Activities –>

    END OF YEAR GIVING

    Closter Nature Center educational programs, held in Northern Valley classrooms, after school at the Nature Center, and during the summer session, reach over 6,000 children each year. Our goal is to disconnect children from digital devices and reconnect them with Nature! However, Closter Nature Center needs your support to extend our curriculum to as many Northern Valley schools as possible, and to expand our program offerings at the Nature Center. Please consider an education donation to the Closter Nature Center in your year-end giving plans. You can give either by going online to closternaturecenter.org/donate-now or by sending a check to P.O. Box 80, Closter NJ, 07624.

    We are a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your tax –deductible donation will help support our programming, our facility and 136-acre tract of forested woodlands. Thank-You for your support!

    December After-School Classes:

    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 get to 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   4th - 11th - 18th 
    1st and 2nd  Wednesdays  5th - 12th - 19th
    3rd thru 6th  Thursdays  6th - 13th - 20th

    Cost: $40 members, $50 non-members

    Time: 3:45 - 5:00 PM

    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.

    Holiday Break Classes

    Need something fun and educational for the kids to do during the holiday break?
    We have the answer... Three days of Nature exploration and animal fun here at the Closter Nature Center!

    Our Break programs have been so successful, we are going to do it again.
    Depending on your schedule you can sign up for one, two, or all the days.

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

    Wednesday December 26th through Friday the 28th

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

    Cost: Full Session: $60.00 members, $ 80.00 non-members

    $25 per day for members, $30 per day 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.

    Cute Kids Quote

    After I used the word “photosynthesis” during a 1st grade botany class,

    a young girl’s hand shot up. I called on her, and she happily shared with the class that her aunt’s name is Cynthia.

    SPIDERS!

    Thursday, December 13th at 7 PM

     A Presentation by Emil Fiore

    Ever since he was seven years old, Emil Fiore has been fascinated by spiders and their webs. Join us to find out more about our local spiders and their webs! Admission by donation; light refreshments will be served.

    Bergen County Christmas Bird Count 

    Saturday, December 15th, 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 fourth 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.

    RECOGNIZING OUR SUMMER VOLUNTEERS!

    The summer may be over, and the cold weather has arrived.  The trails which were filled with children all summer are now covered with snow. We look back at another successful summer program and wish to recognize the many volunteers who helped out all summer long.  This year we had two groups of volunteers, one group helped Marc with the summer program and the other group worked tirelessly throughout the Nature Center maintaining the trails.  

    The Board of Trustees wishes to thank all the volunteers who worked tirelessly ensuring that all the children gained an appreciation of the outdoors and learned about the environment; Zach Weiss, Marin Moore, Christina Ricciutti, Derin Ayas, Tanner Marshall, Luke Brakiovich, Olivia Greco, Sophia Clarke, Christian Brueck, Julie Ricciutti, Sienna Fenu, Ashley Kennedy, James Greco, Jay Woolf, Reese Wilson, Shauna McLean, Sophia Ashbahian and Sarah Keppler.  We also wish to thank the Trail Crew led by Liam McGrath who worked each day keeping the trails clear and safe; Rhett Matthews, Kevin Tong, Cole Veras and Joseph Matera. 

    The Board also greatly appreciates the generosity of Adri Lindgren who made the facilities of the Lindgren School and Camp available to Marc and our volunteers for a wonderfully relaxing pool party.  We also need to thank Closter #1 for their continued support and generosity helping to nourish our hungry volunteers.  

    OUR THANKS TO CHIPOTLE IN CLOSTER PLAZA!

    On October 21st, CHIPOTLE sponsored a delicious fundraiser for the Closter Nature Center, donating a percentage of their receipts to the CNC. It was a great success! Many thanks to the team at Chipotle for recognizing and generously supporting our nature center!

    PHOTO CONTEST AND EXHIBITION:

    The 3rd Annual CNC Photography Contest & Exhibition will be held at the Closter Library during the month of April 2019. 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.

    Deer Fence Installation Update

    There is a slow down in our preparations for installing deer exclusion fencing in 3 sections of the Nature Center.  The project is on hold as we conform to Borough regulations for a revised bidding process, triggered by the cost of the bids we have received so far.  We expect the project will move forward once this procedure is accomplished.  It is possible the installation will not occur until early spring.  Meanwhile, keep those light-colored, torn sheet ties coming in...about 3"x3' long.

    CNC Month By Month:

    December 13:  12/13 at 7 PM -  “Spiders!” with Emil Fiore

    December: 12/15, 11 AM -2 PM - Christmas Bird Count

    December:   Wednesday, 12/26 - Friday, 12/28

    Holiday Break Classes 

    January: 1/20 - Full Moon Winter Hike

    February:  2/20 - Primitive Technology Presentation, Part 2

    March: 3/25 - Welcome Spring Hike

    March: TBD Tick Presentation

    March: Photography Exhibition Entries Due 

    April: Photography Exhibition!

    April: Sunday, 4/7 from 5-7 PM - Soup Supper

    April: 4/29 - Annual Meeting

    June:  6/2, from 11-2 PM - Pond Celebration

    COMMUNITY PASS TRANSITION

    Closter Nature Center is gradually moving our administrative functions over to Community Pass. This digital support option allows our members to conveniently sign up for classes and renew their annual Closter Nature Center memberships. Community Pass renewal reminders will now be sent out on the anniversary date of your membership sign up. This transition is a significant change for the Nature Center and we hope it will enable us to better meet the needs of all our member families.


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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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  • Newsletter — October, 2017

    OCTOBER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

    October After-School Classes:

    Bones, Bats and Black Cats

    Nature with a taste of Halloween!

    This month we will learn about skeletons, nocturnal animals and mythical creatures. 

    Please dress for the weather.

    PK and K - Tuesdays - 10th - 17th - 24th

    1st and 2nd - Wednesdays - 11th - 18th - 25th

    3rd through 6th - Thursdays - 12th - 19th - 26th

    TO REGISTER ONLINE:

    go to: https://register.communitypass.net/closter/ and you will be taken 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. 

    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

    A Fall Hike in the Woods: 

    Sunday, October 15, at 2 PM

    Come visit the Nature Center and join us for a hike along our trails. Enjoy the wonders of autumn!  Meet at the cabin by the Ruckman Pond.

    HAWKS OVER THE HUDSON at STATE LINE LOOKOUT

    Sunday, October 1st  FROM 12-4

    On Sunday, October 1st, State Line Lookout in Alpine, in the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey, will host a special nature event called “Hawks Over the Hudson.” To be held rain or shine from 12 to 4 PM, the program will feature live birds of prey, presented by the Delaware Valley Raptor Center at 1 and 2:30 PM. Between the programs, visitors will have a chance to see the animals up close, chat with the presenters, and to enjoy activities and exhibits presented by some of the member organizations of the Nature Program Cooperative. The program is free and open to all, with no advanced registration required to attend.  State Line Lookout is accessible via its own exit on the northbound Palisades Interstate Parkway about 2 miles north of Exit 2 (a well-marked U-turn is available for southbound travelers).

    The presentation will be held under a tent, but if weather permits, visitors will also be able to stop by an ongoing “hawk watch” only a few yards beyond the parking area — and over 500 feet above the Hudson River. There they can try their luck at spotting wild “raptors” — hawks, eagles, and falcons—as they migrate south. Throughout the fall, volunteer observers congregate at the lookout point to identify the passing raptors, part of a continent-wide study conducted by the Hawk Migration Association of North America. All through September and October and into early November, the State Line hawk watch welcomes visitors who want to learn more about these magnificent animals. While an occasional eagle will glide by the lookout at eye-level, visitors will also learn how experienced observers use a combination of clues like silhouettes and flight patterns to identify even those animals that pass hundreds of feet overhead. (Visitors to the hawk watch are encouraged to bring binoculars with them if they can.)

    NATURALIST’S NOTES:

    October is a magical time of the year. Transition from summer to fall brings the fireworks display of foliage as the trees lose their leaves, the migration of birds and Monarch butterflies, and my favorite: the proliferation of mushrooms. A handful of species are prized as food, but other than those, most are ignored and are often maligned.

     Mushrooms are actually just the "fruit" of a fungus. As an apple tree makes apples - fungi make mushrooms. Their importance in the forest is eclipsed only by trees themselves; forests simply could not survive without fungi. They exist in the forest soil, and on living and dead trees. They act as decomposers, parasites, and sometimes as mutualistic “symbionts” (which help living plants to get water and nutrients from the soil). When the fungi are ready to reproduce, they make their reproductive structures: mushrooms. The mushrooms make spores, which are the fungi's version of seeds. Mushrooms come in an amazing variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and October is probably the best time to experience and enjoy this enchanting slice of forest life.

    A New Bench

    The Closter Nature Center has a new bench from which to enjoy viewing our beautiful pond.   The bench was given in memory of our friend and former Board member George Heise, and was made possible by donations made in his name.  His daughter Lori hopes everyone enjoys many relaxing and peaceful moments there, with family, friends and nature.

    AUTUMN: The Perfect Time to Clean Out Your Closets!

    Bring your unwanted clothing to the bins located in the new 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!


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  • Naturalist Notes: September, 2017

    September is here and the kids are back in school. While children learn many things both academic and social in school, the relatively new subject of Environmental Education is the one we at the Nature Center are most concerned with.  By learning about natural systems, the field of ecology, and society’s impact on nature, they will be able to appreciate nature and make decisions with the good of our planet in mind.

    A lot of what we teach here is the science behind nature, and also how to go outside and have fun! Armed with a knowledge of our world and a love for its’ wonders, kids will be able to enjoy and preserve our ecosystems for the future. Our programs are designed to accent the state science curriculums for children from Kindergarten through 8th grade. They are based on what kids are supposed to learn, but with a good bit of extra natural history and eco-awareness. We hope to provide these to our local schools for years to come.

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


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  • Naturalist Notes: March, 2017

    Many of the animals that we love and care for here at the Nature Center were once brought here as unwanted pets. Their stories vary…


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  • Newsletter – March, 2017

    MARCH AFTER-SCHOOL CLASSES:

    Pets 101
    What it means to have a pet, what animals make good pets, and what it takes to keep them happy and healthy.


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  • Newsletter – February, 2017

    FEBRUARY ACTIVITIES AND CLASSES:

    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…


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  • November 2016 Newsletter

    CLOSTER NATURE CENTER NEWS
    NOVEMBER, 2016

    P.O. BOX 80, CLOSTER, NJ 07624  closternaturecenter.org
    By the pond on Ruckman Road

    NOVEMBER AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS:

    “Dogs and Their Wild Relatives”

    This month’s after school science program…


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