• Naturalist Notes: January, 2019

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

    When winter really sets in, there is no better place than the Closter Nature Center for a quick hike. Considering the ordeal of getting dressed for the cold and snow, it gets hard in the winter to go outside for some exercise, but the benefits are tremendous. To offset our tendency to spend more time inside and less time outside, a few simple tips can help pave the way towards a happy and healthy winter. 

    "There is no such thing as bad weather - only bad clothes." I don't know who to credit this quote to, but that doesn't lessen the power of this nugget of wisdom. Layering up and topping things off with a windproof top can be the difference between a great hike and a shiver-fest. Snow boots may not be the best hiking boots for an all day trip, but for a 45 minute walk along snow covered trails they will be fine.  A warm hat that covers the ears, and some gloves to protect those tender digits and we are ready. 

    The forest in winter is a magical place, and being able to enjoy it while getting some exercise is a special treat. The Nature Center is  open from dawn to dusk, and we encourage you to show up and hit the trails no matter what the weather.

    See you on the trails!

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist

    P.S. Cute Kid’s Quote

    While talking with some kindergartners about habitats, I asked the kids, "What is a pond?"

    One insightful 5 year old scratched his head and said, "It's an inside out island"


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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: June, 2017

    Without Ruckman Pond, the Closter Nature Center would just not be the same. Its proximity to the Nature Center cabin and Ruckman Road make it really stand out visually. Its importance…

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  • Closter Nature Center celebrates reopening of Ruckman Pond

    Closter Nature Center celebrates reopening of Ruckman Pond

    NorthJersey.comJun 12, 2013
    Mayor Sophie Heymann checks out the turtle…

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