• 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


    “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.


    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.


    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)


    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:


    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!


    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: 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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  • Newsletter — June, 2017




    Come join us in the parade!

    This Memorial Day, the CNC will have a float.

    Meet in the parking lot at…

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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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  • Naturalist Notes: January, 2017

    Of all of the interactions between kids and nature that warm the heart and illustrate the importance of the natural world…

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  • Newsletter – February, 2017


    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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  • Newsletter – January, 2017



    Winter Wonderland
    We will bring in the New Year with the magic of winter!
    This month’s program will focus on snow: what it is, where it comes from, and…

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  • December 2016 Newsletter


    December After-School Classes:

    “Rocks and Minerals”
    This month’s after school program will focus on the amazing world of rocks, minerals and crystals.
    We will be making our own…

    No Fields Found.

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  • November 2016 Newsletter

    NOVEMBER, 2016

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


    “Dogs and Their Wild Relatives”

    This month’s after school science program…

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