• Newsletter — October, 2020

    Newsletter

    All the latest news and events happening at the Closter Nature Center.


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  • Newsletter — September, 2020

    Newsletter

    All the latest news and events happening at the Closter Nature Center.


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  • Newsletter — June, 2020

    Newsletter

    All the latest news and events happening at the Closter Nature Center.


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  • Board Meeting on Zoom

    Newsletter — May, 2020

    Newsletter

    All the latest news and events happening at the Closter Nature Center.


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  • Closure of Closter Parks

    Letter from Closter Mayor Glidden

     


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  • Newsletter — March, 2020

    Newsletter

    All the latest news and events happening at the Closter Nature Center.


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  • NatureCam

    Everyone Poops, June 2020

    Deer Buffet OUTSIDE Native Species Exclosure 4/20

    Lonely Bird 4/22/20

    Tadpoles in Training 4/2/20

    Rocky Raccoon... 2/16/20

    Foxy 2/9/20

    Red Tailed Hawk? You decide. 1/23/20

    Deer Foraging 1/11/20


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  • Jim Oettinger’s Story

    Why I volunteer at the Nature Center

    Oettinger Family 1956-1965

    My parents moved to Carlson Court in 1956, I grew up “in the woods” which is now protected Nature Center land. Directly behind my house is the top portion of the “orange enclosure”   When I say I grew up in the woods….I spent many a full day there, exploring, building tree houses, playing Army, climbing trees,  exploring nature, marveling at the different trees in just different areas of the woods.   There were and still is a small area of gigantic beech trees that lined a trail that is no longer there….Many of the beech trees have fallen, they are all in the Orange enclosure . There were “sticker bushes”, ‘brackleberry batches” that we called “VALLEY OF THE THORNS”, its actually also within the Orange enclosure by the Holly bush….the Holly bush that appeared in the early 80’s which I trekked my kids to stand in front of for a “Christmas card photo”.

     

    When the town put sewers into this side of town, they did construction at the bottom of Carlson Court/Mead Court and the construction created a swampy area that we skated on in the winter and had hockey games on as 10 year olds.. I remember getting a flash drop in the temperature-and “arctic freeze”  that froze the swamp that we skated on, OVERNIGHT, and as we skated on the new ice the day after this arctic blast of two days, we could see the water underneath the ice, the ice was clear as glass……we were able to see a muskrat  swimming under the ice 🙂 We would race him, us on top, it under the ice 🙂  It was quite a sight…This area is just to the south of bottom portion of the "Orange Enclosure"

     

    Oettinger Family 1956-1965

     When my parents moved onto Carlson Court, they were the first house of 5 to be lived in that were all built at the same time.  My siblings took rides on a pony from our house on Carlson Court to Lupardi’s Nursery on Blanch ave.- there was NO Marion Village at the time.  (attached pictures you can see the Greenhouses that are now Rose Court- (It used to be Rose houses- enclosed Rose Farms)

     

    As you can see by the pictures circa 1956-1965, the “woods” were a lot more lush back then.  There were areas that were impassable and the species of trees were also much more abundant….Look at the beautiful White Birch trees which are no longer there, gone for over 35 years.  My mom told me the story of my dad getting lost in the woods when they first moved into the house in 1956, and the only way that he found his way out was he could see the “smoke stack” that was on the Greenhouse in the middle of Marion Village…..Now the forest has been stripped and the number of trees has decreased incredibly. The trees and saplings have died or been eaten by the deer.   Where once we would look out into the “woods” and see nothing but darkness at night, now we see the lights of Reuten Park- off of Ruckman road.  It is sad.  I am hoping that these enclosures will help bring back the forest, and I will help in any possible to make that a reality. 

    The hardest part about volunteering for me has been putting on taking off my newly acquired waterproof boots. I recommend this for anyone that takes up this very enjoyable “volunteer monitor” position as there are some areas that are quite swampy….but the boots solve that issue 🙂 Right now I am “monitoring” the Orange enclosure.  This entails the very easy task of walking in the woods around the enclosure and checking for breaks/breeches in the fence that will allow deer to enter.  When there have been breeches mainly due to fallen branches or small trees falling, I have easily fixed these with snap ties and fasteners that the Nature Center folks have outfitted me with.  There have been a few big breaks and after reporting these to Marc Gussen, they have been repaired with a great work crew that get to enjoy some time together in the woods :). 

    For those that want to know, there were no deer in the woods in the 50s and 60’s and early 70’s. I KNOW this first hand because of the amount of time I spent in the woods. They started to come back in 1975-1977 because I almost fainted when I came upon a doe in the woods. I remember where I was, where she was when we crossed paths.  

    --Jim Oettinger, Winter 2020

     


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  • Newsletter — February, 2020

    All the latest news and events happening at the Closter Nature Center.

    Newsletter


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  • Newsletter — January, 2020

    Newsletter

    All the latest news and events happening at the Closter Nature Center.

    Log Cabin by the Pond

    Newsletter


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  • Newsletter — December, 2019

    >> DECEMBER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES –>

    Christmas Bird Count 

    Get to Know Your Winter Neighbors: The Birds in Your Yard

    On Saturday, December 14th, from 10 AM to 1 PM,

    The Nature Center will host an "Open Porch" for backyard birders –

    an opportunity to drop by the porch of the cabin by the pond and join others in observing and identifying the birds that are common to Closter throughout the winter. 

    These birds are bright bits of outdoor color, energy, and activity, while we stay snug in our homes. Bring binoculars if you have them.  We have some to loan, as well as a chance to look through a powerful telescope as if the bird is sitting on your hand!   Hot beverages will be available to keep you warm.  Stop by and get to know these perky wonders of winter survival.

    END OF YEAR GIVING

    The Closter Nature Center would like to thank the many families and individuals who support our environmental education program through their generous donations.

     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!

    The 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 a donation to the Closter Nature Center in your year-end giving plans.

    You can give either by going online to closternaturecenter.org, 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 stewardship of our 136-acre tract of forested woodlands.

    Thank-You for your support!

     

    ...And Speaking of Giving Thanks:

    The Closter Nature Center will be giving thanks this year to John Moran, of the NY-NJ Trail Conference, for updating and maintaining trail markers on all 3-miles of our marked trails. 

    Get out on the trails and check them out!! 

    Welcome Winter Hike

    Sunday, December 22nd at 3pm

     Come one, come all! Layer up your winter clothes, meet at the cabin, 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 see around the next bend in the trail...

    After-School Program:  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!

    Only 2 weeks this month:

    PreK and K - Tuesdays - 10th and 17th

    1st and 2nd Gr. - Wednesdays - 11th and 18th

    3rd - 6th Gr. - Thursdays - 12th and 19th

    Time: 3:45pm - 5:00pm

    Cost: $30 members, $40 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

     

    HOLIDAY BREAK CLASSES

    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 so successful, we will be doing 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.

    December 23rd, 24th, 26th and 27th

    1st and 2nd grades 9:00 - 11:30am
    3rd thru 6th grades 1:00 - 3:30pm 

    Cost: Members $80 for full session; Non-members $100 for full session

    For SINGLE days: Members $25; Non-members $30

    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

    Deer Exclosure Fence Project - Off and Walking

    The 8-foot vinyl fencing which excludes deer from 3 separate habitats in our Nature Center forest is holding up very well, despite wind storms and a few deer who have been reluctant to accept these detours from their accustomed paths. 

    Frequent monitoring and walking of the fence line is being done by teams of volunteers, (high school through senior adults), who get out as they are able, report back their findings, and make minor repairs.  Another core group of volunteers is prepared to repair any reported major damage. 

    Want some useful exercise in all seasons?  Join our sturdy band of Fence Maintenance volunteers. Register at closternaturecenter.org, under the "Get Involved" tab.

     

    CNC Month By Month:

    December 22nd @ 3pm Welcome Winter Hike 

    December 14th Bergen Audubon Christmas Bird Count 

    January 16th @ 7pm Primitive Tech

    February 9th @ 3pm Winter Hike

    March 15th @ 3pm Meet the Animals of the Nature Center

    April 15th @ 7pm Invasive/Native Plants 

    April 19th Soup Supper

    May Forest Stewardship/Deer Exclosure community update

    May Bird Count

    June Summer Hike

    June 7th Pond Celebration

     

     

     

     


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