• Naturalist’s Notes: May, 2019

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

    Image result for multiflora roseOne of the many functions of the Closter Nature Center’s Board of Trustees is to manage this amazing parcel of land and do what's best for its inhabitants. Over the last couple of years we have taken this job seriously and are devoted to protecting not just the forest itself, but also maintaining its unique diversity of plant and animal species. After years of collecting data, researching, and analyzing our options we have identified our most pressing problems and are proudly moving forward with solutions.

    The over-population of deer, non-native insects attacking our trees, and invasive plants out-competing our native plants are the three biggest threats to diversity that we face. Among the invasive plants that have the ability to squeeze out their native counterparts is "Diversity enemy # 1": the multiflora rose. This Asian import's ability to completely take over and produce a monoculture is second to none. I love all plants, (including multiflora rose), but it’s ability to take over is why one of our goals in managing our forest is the labor intensive removal of this beautiful but out-of-place plant. If you feel that helping to protect our little gem of a forest is something that you would be willing to devote some time and sweat to, please join us! 

    Visit our website, www.closternaturecenter.org,  for info on how to get involved,and please join us for an upcoming presentation on Forest Stewardship!

    See you on the trails!

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist

     


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  • Newsletter — May, 2019

    >> MAY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES –>

    FOREST STEWARDSHIP:

    Deer Exclusion Fencing Moving Forward

    Volunteer Opportunities!

    WHITE TIES STILL VERY MUCH NEEDED.  We need close to 450 ties (approximately 3 foot x 4 inches of light colored sheeting).  These will be tied at intervals to help the deer be aware of the black vinyl fencing as it goes up.  Scout project?   Please leave bags of ties (bundles of about 20), or sheets that we can tear ourselves, on the porch of the Nature Center cabin.  Shaggy is fine....THANK YOU!

    VOLUNTEERSfor staging materials and on-going fence work:  Our list is growing, but we could always use more help.  Please email Mary Mayer at  marym812@aol.com, or even better, go to closternaturecenter.org, pull down the "Get Involved" tap and click on "Volunteer",  where you can fill out the form and indicate the many ways you might like to get involved.    Thank you!

     

     Introducing Tom Golodik, our new trail maintenance volunteer. Tom is a long-time Closter resident with lots of trail maintenance experience.  He has already been hard at work dealing with some recent blow-downs and stream back-ups.  If you meet Tom on the trails, stop and say hello!

     

    MAY AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS 

    Frogs, Toads and Newts - Amphibians of the Nature Center
    Kids will explore the amazing world of amphibians.

    Pk-K.....Tuesdays - 14th, 21st and 28th

    1st and 2nd.........Wednesdays - 15th, 22nd and 29th

    3rd through 6th...........Thursdays - 16th, 23rd and 30th

    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.

    Cute Kid’s Quote (from Sue K.)

    “Hey look everyone! A turkey vulture!”

    A four year old looked up and said, "It looks like a bird to me!"

     

    SPRING BIRDING EXPERIENCE:

    Saturday, May 4th8:00- 10:00 AM

    Come join the "early birds" at the Nature Center cabin from 8:00 to 10:00 AM Saturday, May 4th, 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. 

     

    Forest Stewardship Presentation by Marc Gussen

    Tuesday, May 14that 7 PM

    At the cabin by Ruckman Pond 

    See Naturalist’s Notes for Details!

    Naturalist’s Notes:

    One of the many functions of the Closter Nature Center’s Board of Trustees is to manage this amazing parcel of land and do what's best for its inhabitants. Over the last couple of years we have taken this job seriously and are devoted to protecting not just the forest itself, but also maintaining its unique diversity of plant and animal species. After years of collecting data, researching, and analyzing our options we have identified our most pressing problems and are proudly moving forward with solutions.

    The over-population of deer, non-native insects attacking our trees, and invasive plants out-competing our native plants are the three biggest threats to diversity that we face. Among the invasive plants that have the ability to squeeze out their native counterparts is "Diversity enemy # 1": the multiflora rose. This Asian import's ability to completely take over and produce a monoculture is second to none. I love all plants, (including multiflora rose), but it’s ability to take over is why one of our goals in managing our forest is the labor intensive removal of this beautiful but out-of-place plant. If you feel that helping to protect our little gem of a forest is something that you would be willing to devote some time and sweat to, please join us!

    Visit our website, www.closternaturecenter.org,  for info on how to get involved,and please join us for an upcoming presentation on Forest Stewardship!

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

     

    Summer is Coming Hike

    Sunday, May 19that 3 PM

    Are you ready for an afternoon to remember?

    We will learn about the plants and animals of the Nature Center. Meet at the cabin, hike into the woods for about 45 minutes, and enjoy the glories of mid-spring before the summer heat sets in. Cost: Free!

     

    Our Thanks go out to the many generous souls, (including Mayor Glidden), who contributed more than 25 homemade soups to our delightful Soup Supper. In addition Closter One, Madeline Petit Paris, Isabella’s, La Promenade and Zendiggi all donated soups, and Balthazar Bakery contributed bread!All were delicious!  By the end of a lovely and sunny afternoon we’d had a warm, delicious and very well attended Soup Supper!

     

    CNC 2019 Summer Program:

    Registration Has Begun! 

    Our 136 acres of ponds, streams, meadows and forest are waiting to be explored by young people in small groups led by a trained naturalist with an assistant. Children will hike, dig, wade in the water, examine nature, discuss the environment and above all, have fun!! For over 45 years, our goal has been to help every child become active and at ease outdoors, to see him/herself as a part of nature and to appreciate the natural world as a source of learning and adventure.

     

    The program runs Monday - Thursday for 9 weeks, beginning June 24thMonday – Wednesday  during the week of July 1st 

     

    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.

    Both morning and afternoon classes are offered each week.

     

    Fees for the 2-hour programs are:

    $80 for members ($100 for non-members)

    Fees for the 3-hour programs are:

    $100 for members ($120 for non-members)

     

    For more information visit our website:

    www.closternaturecenter.org

     

    To register please go to: 

    https://register.communitypass.net/Closter

     

    2019 Closter Nature CenterSummer Volunteer Program

    The Closter Nature Center is currently looking for summer volunteers for the Summer Program. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old and entering 9th grade.  Volunteers must commit to helping out 4 days a week for a minimum of two weeks between June 24th and August 22nd.

    This year the summer program begins on June 24th and runs through August 22nd, 2019. The program runs Monday – Thursday from 8:45 am – 4:15pm.  The week of July 1st the program runs Monday – Wednesday (no program on July 4th)

    In order to be considered for the program, please complete an application that includes a Parental Consent Form, an essay and recommendation. You must submit your applicationvia email to CNCsummer@gmail.com.  Please be mindful that there will be a selection process, as we cannot accept every student who applies to the program.     

     Applications are now available on our website: www.closternaturecenter.org,

    Or you can request one by emailing cncsummer@gmail.com

     

     CNC Month By Month:

    May 4thBird Walk 8-10 AM

    May 14thForest Stewardship presentation by Marc Gussen 7 PM

    May 19thSummer is Coming Hike 3 PM

    June 2ndPond Celebration 1-4 PM

    June 24thSummer Program begins!

     

     


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  • Newsletter — April, 2019

    >> April Events and Activities –>

    THE SOUP SUPPER IS BACK!

    Sunday, April 7th5-7 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 (201) 768-3550.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).

    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 2nd, 9th and 23rd

    1st and 2nd............Wednesdays 3rd, 10th and 24th

    3rd - 6th...........Thursdays 4th, 11th and 25th

    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 15th – Thursday, April 18th 

    Looking for something for the kids to do during the spring break?
    Here is the answer - Bring them to the Nature Center!
    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 upfor 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.

     

    Photo Contest and Exhibition! 

    The 3rd annual Closter Nature Center Photo Exhibition and Contest is on display at the Closter Public Library, 280 High Street, throughout the month of April!

    Please join us as contest winners are announced at a Reception on Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m.  All photos will remain on display until Monday, April 29 and can be picked up starting on April 30.

     ANNUAL CLOSTER TOWN CLEANUP

    SATURDAY, APRIL 6TH

    10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

    The Closter Environmental Commission is conducting its Annual Spring Cleanup Drive on Saturday, April 6th from 10 AM to 2 PM.

    Starting at 10:00 a.m., meet at the historic Lustron House (421 Durie Avenue) or the Closter Nature Center (154 Ruckman Road). Refreshments and supplies will be provided – all you need to bring is yourself! Students, don’t forget to count these hours toward community service.As the weather warms, take this opportunity to spend a beautiful day outside helping your neighbors keep Closter the clean, green borough we all enjoy. Families are encouraged to participate; children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. The members of the Environment Commission look forward to seeing you there! Event details are at the Borough website: www.closternj.us.

     

    RIVERKEEPER PROGRAM AT THE NATURE CENTER

     Monday, April 29that 7 PM

    Captain Hugh Carola, Program Director at Hackensack Riverkeeper since 2001, will present "From High Tor Mountain to Newark Bay: the Hackensack River and its Waterkeeper".Featuring photos taken from the river’s headwaters to Ports Newark and Elizabeth, the presentation will cover the blended natural and cultural histories of our watershed region. Special emphasis will be given to our organizations’ shared mission of protecting, preserving and restoring the unique wildlife habitats we are privileged to oversee.

    ****CNC 2019 Summer Program****

    Registration Has Begun!

    Our 136 acres of ponds, streams, meadows and forest are waiting to be explored by young people in small groups led by a trained naturalist with an assistant. Children will hike, dig, wade in the water, examine nature, discuss the environment and above all, have fun!! For over 45 years, our goal has been to help every child become active and at ease outdoors, to see him/herself as a part of nature and to appreciate the natural world as a source of learning and adventure.

    The program runs Monday - Thursday for 9 weeks, beginning June 24th

    (Monday – Wednesday  during the week of July 1st )

    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.

    Both morning and afternoon classes are offered each week.

    Fees for the 2-hour programs are:

    $80 for members ($100 for non-members)

    Fees for the 3-hour programs are:

    $100 for members ($120 for non-members)

    For more information visit our website:

    www.closternaturecenter.org

    To register please go to: 

    https://register.communitypass.net/Closter

    *** 2019 Closter Nature Center Summer Volunteer Program***

    The Closter Nature Center is currently looking for summer volunteers for the Summer Program. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old and entering 9th grade.  Volunteers must commit to helping out 4 days a week for a minimum of two weeks between June 24th and August 22nd

     This year the summer program begins on June 24th and runs through August 22nd, 2019. The program runs Monday – Thursday from 8:45 am – 4:15pm.  The week of July 1st the program runs Monday – Wednesday (no program on July 4th)

     In order to be considered for the program, please complete an application that includes a Parental Consent Form, an essay and recommendation. You must submit your application by April 1st via email to CNCsummer@gmail.com.  Please be mindful that there will be a selection process, as we cannot accept every student who applies to the program.     

     Applications are now available on our website: www.closternaturecenter.org

    Or you can request one by emailing cncsummer@gmail.com

    FOREST STEWARDSHIP:

    Deer Exclusion Fencing Moving Forward

    Volunteer Opportunities!

    This project has cleared through the Mayor and Council and now the fence installation has gone out for a public bidding process.  We hope this request for bids will be completed by the end of March, with installation in early spring. There are still hurdles, such as installer availability and weather, which may delay this process.

     

    WHITE TIES STILL VERY MUCH NEEDED.  We need close to 450 ties (approximately 3 foot x 4 inches of light colored sheeting).  These will be tied at intervals to help the deer be aware of the black vinyl fencing as it goes up.  Scout project?   Please leave bags of ties (bundles of about 20), or sheets that we can tear ourselves, on the porch of the Nature Center cabin.  Shaggy is fine....THANK YOU!

     

    VOLUNTEERSfor staging materials and on-going fence work:  Our list is growing, but we could always use more help.  Please email Mary Mayer at  marym812@aol.com, or even better, go to closternaturecenter.org, pull down the "Get Involved" tap and click on "Volunteer",  where you can fill out the form and indicate the many ways you might like to get involved.    Thank you!

     

     Introducing Tom Golodik, our new trail maintenance volunteer. Tom is a long-time Closter resident with lots of trail maintenance experience.  He has already been hard at work dealing with some recent blow-downs and stream back-ups.  If you meet Tom on the trails, stop and say hello!

     

    CNC Month By Month: 

    April 6th Closter Clean-Up Day at the cabin, sponsored by the Environmental Commission. 10 AM - 2 PM

    April 7th Soup Supper 5-7 PM

    April 27th Earth Fair (Tenafly)

    April 29th Hackensack River Keeper presentation 7 PM

    May 4th Bird Walk 8-10 AM

    May 14th Annual Meeting /Forest Stewardship presentation by Marc Gussen 7 PM

    May 19th Summer is Coming Hike 3 PM

    June 2nd Pond Celebration 1-4 PM

    What exactly is the Closter Nature Center?

    It is 136 acres of ponds, brooks, meadows and forests in the heart of Closter. It is a series of community happenings: group walks in the woods, evening family programs, and year-round classes for young people. It is individuals hiking, fishing, picnicking, birdwatching, and exploring the natural world. Perhaps most importantly, the Closter Nature Center is an idea in the minds of the people of the community about the kind of place in which they want to live. Tell a friend!


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  • Naturalist Notes: April, 2019

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

     

    Each spring, ponds like our very own Ruckman pond go through an amazing seasonal shift.

    First, the increasing day length and higher sun angle lead to a melting of the ice and a warming of the pond’s water and bottom sediment.

    The shallow nature of ponds lets some of the sun light reach the dark colored bottom and warm it from underneath. This lets the warming sediment begin the yearly rebirth of the pond's phytoplankton, zooplankton and insect life.

    While some of these tiny pond dwellers are out and about during the winter, most are hidden away in the pond’s muddy bottom until conditions are right for them to return. The warmth wakes them up, and then they quickly go to work. The tiny "plant-like" phytoplankton use that sun light combined with nutrients dissolved in the pond water to do the magic of photosynthesis and make much of the food that will feed the rest of the pond’s inhabitants.

    Some of the zooplankton, or "animal-like" microscopic creatures rely on decomposing last year’s bounty, but most await the bloom of phytoplankton and graze like rabbits in a field of clover. The exponential growth of the zooplankton is just one link in the food chain, as they become much-needed sustenance for the waking insect life stirred from long winter’s nap. The pond’s fish, rejuvenated by warming water, get ready for their spring reproduction attempts by feeding heavily on all of this new-found food. Most of this spring activity we miss, not just because it is under water, but because most of the pond’s life is microscopic. They might be small but they are what makes the pond’s glory possible.

    See you on the trails!

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist

     


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  • Best of Bergen

    Best of Bergen 2019 results: Places to Go And Things To Do

    Below are the results for the (201) Best of Bergen 2019 results: Places To Go And Things To Do category.

    Best Nature Center

    J. A. McFaul Environmental Center

    150 Crescent Ave., Wyckoff; 201-891-5571

    Runners-up:
    • Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, Englewood
    • Tenafly Nature Center, Tenafly
    Closter Nature Center, Closter

    NorthJersey.com


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  • Naturalist Notes: March, 2019

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

    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 considerably, but they all have a common thread - they really needed a new home. Sometimes it is a simple case of: "I never thought it would live this long and my son is going off to college" or, "The kids have lost interest and my husband is stuck doing all the work". Other times a conscientious caregiver just becomes unable to continue providing for a beloved pet, and responsibly seeks out the best new home they can find. On occasions (thankfully rare), animals get dropped off with out a call or even a note.  No matter what the circumstances, we do our best to find or give them a good home. Having a pet can be a huge responsibility and require lots of time and love. Obviously, a horse will require more effort and resources than a goldfish, but both will rely on you just the same. Having a pet is commitment that is easier to make when a person truly understands what it actually takes to care for whatever animal they choose. A large jungle bird that needs its own room in the house, eats $100 worth of macadamia nuts a week, and could live to be 60 years old might not be the best choice for most prospective pet owners, despite the flashy plumage. 

    The joys of having animal companions can be amazing but those joys don't come without hard work and daily devotion. If your kids are dying for a pet, but you just don't have room in your life for yet another responsibility, don't worry- that's just one of the reasons the Nature Center animals are here. Kids can get exposed to the many joys of animals, (but you won't have to go to the pet store every week to buy crickets!).

    See you on the trails!

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist

    P.S. Cute Kid’s Quote

    One day with a room filled with 2nd graders, I was talking about how animals don't just talk with sounds, but that many animals can communicate with their bodies.
    I asked them what a dog "says" when it wags its tail? 

    A boy responded with "Ruff! Ruff!"

     


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  • Newsletter — March, 2019

    >> March Events and Activities –>

    - Welcome Spring Hike –

    Sunday, March 24th at 3 PM

    Come one, come all! Layer up your old 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 find around the next bend in the trail...

    MARCH AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS

    Pets, Pets and More Pets!

    This month we will focus on which 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 - 12th 19th and 26th
         1st and 2nd  Wednesdays - 13th  20th and 27th
         3rd thru 5th  Thursdays - 14th  21st and 28th

    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

    Cute Kid’s Quote:

    I was with a room full of first graders talking about how animals communicate and I asked them what a dog is saying when it wags its tail.

    A smiling boy raised his hand and said "Ruff Ruff”

    IT’S HERE! --->>> PHOTO CONTEST AND EXHIBITION:

    March is the month for submitting your Nature Center photos to be included in our 3rd Annual CNC Photography Contest & Exhibition, which 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 Friday, March 29th. For additional information or questions, contact Susan McTigue at msmct4@aol.com or 201-767-0955.

    Volunteer Opportunities at the Closter Nature Center:

    Forest Stewardship (Volunteer)

    Trail Maintainer(s) (Volunteer)

    For more information please go to www.closternaturecenter.org and look under the "Get Involved" section. A great chance to get out and about in Nature!

    March is Membership Renewal Time:

    Watch your “snail mail” for our annual renewal envelope. The money raised when you join or renew your membership in the Closter Nature Center helps to support our many educational programs, as well as everything from worms for our teaching animals to keeping the lights on in our cabin! 

    What exactly is the Closter Nature Center? 

    It is 136 acres of ponds, brooks, meadows and forests in the heart of Closter. It is a series of community happenings: group walks in the woods, evening family programs, and year-round classes for young people. It is individuals hiking, fishing, picnicking, birdwatching, and exploring the natural world. Perhaps most importantly, the Closter Nature Center is an idea in the minds of the people of the community about the kind of place in which they want to live. Tell a friend!

    CNC Month By Month:

    March: 3/24 - Welcome Spring Hike – 3 PM

    March: Photography Exhibition Entries Due Friday, 3/29

    April: Photography Exhibition!

    April: Saturday, 4/6 Spring Clean-up 10am 

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

    April: 4/27 Earth Fair 

    4/29 - Annual Meeting – 7 PM

    June:  6/2, from 1-4 PM - Pond Celebration


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  • Naturalist Notes: February, 2019

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

    For many years now we have offered programs for kids during school vacations. These programs started due to the number of calls I would get prior to (and during) vacations asking if we have anything for kids to do while they are out of school. 

    We started to offer school break programs regularly and they have been a part of our pledge to offer affordable environmental education to our community. The programs we offer include our summer nature program, our after-school program and the school break program.

    All of the classes I teach have a few simple goals: (1) to get kids excited about science and nature; (2) to get kids outside, learning and exploring the natural world; and (3) to help close the widening gap between our modern world and the natural world. I don't expect that every child who comes through will end up working in zoo or becoming a botanist, just as we don't expect every kid that learns to play a musical instrument to end up in Carnegie Hall. It's about exposure, a well-rounded education and upbringing. 

    We will continue to offer opportunities for the children of our community to embrace the natural world in fun, exciting, and engaging ways. This month we are offering both our after-school science programs and the winter break program: two great ways to get kids outside and learning!

    See you on the trails!

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist

    P.S. Cute Kid’s Quote

    One day with a room filled with 2nd graders, I was talking about how animals don't just talk with sounds, but that many animals can communicate with their bodies.
    I asked them what a dog "says" when it wags its tail? 

    A boy responded with "Ruff! Ruff!"

     


    Continue reading
  • Newsletter — February, 2019

    >> February Events and Activities –>

    CLOSTER NATURE CENTER ADULT PROGRAM: “PRIMITIVE TECHNOLOGY”

    Wednesday, February 20th, 7 to 8:30 PM

    Presented by Marc Gussen

    Come learn the skills of the ancients. This program for adults and teens covers the history of primitive technology from the first stone tools on up. Skills covered include fire-making by friction, cordage, flint-knapping and a host of other lost arts. Light refreshments will be served.

    The program is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted!

    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 5th, 12th and 26th

    1st and 2nd Grades   Feb 6th, 13th and 27th

    3rd - 6th Grades   Feb 7th, 14th and 28th

    Members $40, Non-members $50

    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

     

    February Break Program
    Tuesday February 19th - Friday February 22nd

    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 it 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 but 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: Full Session: $60 members, $ 80. 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 KID’S QUOTE:

    One day with a room filled with 2nd graders, I was talking about how animals don't just talk with sounds, but that many animals can communicate with their bodies.
    I asked them what a dog "says" when it wags its tail? 

    A boy responded with "Ruff! Ruff!"

    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 Friday, March 29th. For additional information or questions, contact Susan McTigue at msmct4@aol.com or 201-767-0955.

     

    Volunteer Opportunities at the Closter Nature Center:

    Forest Stewardship (Volunteer)

    Trail Maintainer(s) (Volunteer)

    For more information please go to www.closternaturecenter.org and look under the "Get Involved" section. A great chance to get out and about in Nature!

    CNC Month By Month:

    February:  2/20 - Primitive Technology Presentation, Part 1 - 7 PM

    March: 3/24 - Welcome Spring Hike – 3 PM

    March: Photography Exhibition Entries Due 

    April: Photography Exhibition!

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

    April: 4/29 - Annual Meeting – 7 PM

    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 — January, 2019

    >> January Events and Activities –>

    FULL MOON HIKE

    Sunday, January 20th, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM

    Are you ready for a night to remember? Meet at the cabin for an evening hike, with the first full moon of 2019 lighting our way! We’ll hike for about ½ hour, then come to the fire ring for a cozy campfire. There will be marshmallows!

    January After-School Classes

    * * Winter Wonderland * *

    This month we will explore the magic of winter!

    **Why does it get so cold in January?

    How do the animals survive?**

    **What is snow? Come find out!

    Dress for the weather - we will spend time outside each day.

    PK- K  Tuesdays  8th   15th   22nd

    1st and 2nd grade   Wednesday  9th   16th   23rd 

    3rd through 6th grade  Thursdays  10th   17th   24th

    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

    Closter Nature Center Help Wanted!

    Volunteer and Staff Opportunities at the Closter Nature Center:

    Land Use Committee Chairperson (Volunteer)

    Trail Maintainer(s) (Volunteer)

    Part time administrative assistant (Paid)

    For more information please go to www.closternaturecenter.org and look under the "Get Involved" section.

    NEVER TOO LATE FOR 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, or by sending a check to Closter Nature Center, 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!

    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 Friday, March 29th. 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:

    January: 1/20 - Full Moon Winter Hike 6:30 to 8:30 PM

    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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  • 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: December, 2018

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

    December is here and the days just keep getting shorter. The phenomenon of long days in the summer and shorter ones in the winter is one that we learn to live with, but it’s the real calendar for the comings, goings, and doings of Nature.

    While quite a few organisms base their seasonal cycles of sprouting, flowering, hibernation and mating on temperature, many can’t trust the vagaries of temperature, and use day length as a much more reliable indicator of what is in store for them or their progeny. Snowstorms in October and 65 degree days in January are very real possibilities, and could easily trick plants and animals into thinking that the seasons are farther along than they really are; sometimes with deadly results. Snapping out of dormancy too soon, when there are still months of winter left could be catastrophic!

    Once we get into January and bitter weather is really upon us, keep your chin up: it might be cold and wintry, but the days will just keep getting longer!

    See you on the trails,

    Marc Gussen, Naturalist

     

     


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