• Newsletter — September, 2018

    >>September Events and Activities –>

    Forest Stewardship Update

        During the summer, the Forest Stewardship team has been sporadically busy in the forest, despite the very wet weather.  Rutgers graduate students have completed spring and summer assessments of vegetation in their 6 study plots scattered throughout the Nature Center.  Three of the six research plots will be protected within 3 separate 8-10-acre deer exclusion fences.  The other 3 research plots will be left outside the fencing to allow us to compare and determine the effectiveness of deer exclusion.   You may notice the abundant pink and yellow flagging through the woods.  In a few months we expect vinyl fencing to be erected along these flag lines.

    A presentation of the project has been made to the Mayor and Council, and we received their appreciative endorsement for our plans to protect this Borough-owned forest.

    SEPTEMBER EVENTS AND CLASSES:

    September After-School Programs

    “Let's Take a Hike”

    Come explore the trails of the Nature Center. See the sights, meet the animals and have some fun outside this September!

    Please dress for the weather... 

                                            Pk-K - Tuesdays 11th - 18th - 25th 

                                            1st-2nd – Wednesdays - 12th - 19th - 26th 

                                            3rd-6th – Thursdays - 13th - 20th - 27th  

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

    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.

    “Goodbye Summer” Hike

    Saturday, September 22 at 11 AM

    Come visit the Nature Center and join us for a hike along our trails. Enjoy our woods as Summer turns to Autumn!  Meet at the cabin by  Ruckman Pond...

    ADULT PROGRAM: MUSHROOMS!

    Thursday, September 27, at 7 PM

    You will not want to miss this captivating and fascinating program: Naturalist Marc Gussen has offered it often over the years, and always has had a great response. Come learn about mushrooms, their role in the forest...and in the 

    kitchen! 

    SPECIAL PROGRAM: BATS, BATS, BATS!

    Sunday, October 7th at 2 PM

    Throughout the world, bats have been misunderstood and persecuted, causing a serious decline in the bat population. The program "BATS, BATS, BATS!" was established to bring this matter to the public's attention. Find out why bats are now being protected because of their vital role in virtually every environment on earth, and learn, for example, about their importance in insect maintenance and rainforest regeneration. 

    Suggested donation of $5 per person for non-members and $3 per person for members. Light refreshments will be served.

    CNC Month By Month:

    Saturday September 22nd, at 11 AM – “Goodbye Summer” Hike

    Thursday September 27, at 7 PM - Marc’s Mushroom Presentation

    Sunday, October 7th, at 2 PM – BATS, BATS, BATS!

    Sunday, November 5th, at 3 PM – Winter Hike

     

    .


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  • 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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  • 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: 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 — 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)


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  • CNC NATURALIST RECEIVES AWARD

    Northern Valley Press, Front Page

    CNC NATURALIST MARC GUSSEN RECEIVES NJ AUDUBON AWARD

     

    Marc Gussen receiving NJ Audubon award.


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  • Naturalist Notes: November, 2017

    With Thanksgiving around the corner, it's time to take a look at what is important to us and to give credit to many of the things that we take for granted. For me, this list begins with my loving wife and children and includes simple amenities like running water, healthy food and of course, access to nature. If we took a look around the world, we would see the bulk of human population living in urban areas often with little to no natural world around them. Luckily for us, even though we live in the most densely populated state in the country, we can take advantage of so much that a metropolis offers, yet still bask in the glory of nature. One of the things that we at the Closter Nature Center aim to provide for the members of our community is a chance to experience nature. The land here was preserved with both wildlife and US in mind. I am thankful that I get to live in such a beautiful place, and that I get a chance to share my love, knowledge and passion concerning nature with all who are interested and in need of the magic that nature can bring to our lives.

    See you on the trails,
    Marc Gussen, Naturalist
    Cute Kid’s Quote: "Dogs are my favorite people."

      -Willow 


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  • Newsletter — November, 2017

    NOVEMBER EVENTS AND CLASSES

     

    *** Annual Membership Drive ***

    Welcome to our newest members! If you’ve joined our Nature Center in the past six months, we say thanks and hope that you've been enjoying the trails. 

    For everyone else, it is time to show your support and renew your membership! 

    With nearly 400 members, the Closter Nature Center is an active and vital part of the community. We provide hundreds of hours of nature programming for children, lectures for adults and a great place to sit and enjoy the day. Some of our projects this year have included building two new bridges, a new website and upgrading to an online registration system. But we can’t do this without your support! Please renew your membership in the envelope provided with your print newsletter, or go to our website at www.closternaturecenter.org  and renew online. 

    And thanks!

     

    After-School Programs“MAMMALS OF THE NATURE CENTER”


    This month’s program will focus on our furry friends. We will be outside as much as possible.

    PK-K  Tuesdays  7th -14th- 21st
    1st-2nd  Wednesdays  8th- 15th -22nd
    3rd-6th  Thursdays  9th -16th  -30th *

    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

    Cute Kid’s Quote: "Dogs are my favorite people."

      -Willow 

    Community Program: SAVE THE HONEY BEES!

    Sunday, November 12th at 3 PM 

    The president of Ramapo College of NJ's Beekeepers Club, Pat Harrison, will be coming to speak on what Honey Beekeeping entails, its importance, and what someone can do to help struggling bee populations. This event will be kid friendly! Pat Harrison is a senior in Environmental Science at Ramapo College and a backyard beekeeper of three years.

     

     

     

    CNC NATURALIST MARC GUSSEN RECEIVES NJ AUDUBON AWARD

          The Nature Center's beloved naturalist Marc Gussen is the recipient of the New Jersey Audubon's Informal Educator of the Year Award.  On Saturday, October 21, Marc, his wife Kimberly and his mother traveled to the 3-day Fall Festival event in Cape May. Marc says he was very honored to be chosen for this award.  "My goal every day is to generate excitement about the Nature Center and our natural surroundings.  Even if kids don't remember everything I say, I know they will remember the fun of being outdoors and being exposed to the wonders surrounding us.  Every minute that I can get them away from an electronic device and into the woods is a huge success."

         The Board of Directors of the Closter Nature Center congratulates Marc on this deserved recognition and thanks him for making the Nature Center the unique place that it is.

    LOOKING AHEAD:  DECEMBER CLASSES AND EVENTS:

    December After-School Classes:

    Rocks + Minerals

    December’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   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

    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
    3rd thru 6th grade 1:00 - 3:30 

    Cost: $20 per day for members, $30 per day for non-members

    TO REGISTER ONLINE:

    go to: https://register.capturepoint.com/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

    ***BERGEN COUNTY AUDUBON ***

     * CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT *

    Coming on December 16th

    Details in next month’s News!

    Winter break classes will be Monday, February 19th -Thursday, February 22nd

    Spring break classes will be Monday, April 9th  -

    Thursday, April 12th 


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  • Naturalist Notes: October, 2017

    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.


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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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