• Newsletter — December, 2018

    >>December Events and Activities –>

    END OF YEAR 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/donate-now 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 136-acre tract of forested woodlands. Thank-You for your support!

    December After-School Classes:

    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!

    Pk-K   Tuesdays   4th - 11th - 18th 
    1st and 2nd  Wednesdays  5th - 12th - 19th
    3rd thru 6th  Thursdays  6th - 13th - 20th

    Cost: $40 members, $50 non-members

    Time: 3:45 - 5:00 PM

    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... Three days of Nature exploration and animal fun here at the Closter Nature Center!

    Our Break programs have been so successful, we are going to do 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.

    Wednesday December 26th through Friday the 28th

    1st and 2nd grade 9:00 - 11:30 AM
    3rd thru 6th grade 1:00 - 3:30 PM

    Cost: Full Session: $60.00 members, $ 80.00 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 Kids Quote

    After I used the word “photosynthesis” during a 1st grade botany class,

    a young girl’s hand shot up. I called on her, and she happily shared with the class that her aunt’s name is Cynthia.

    SPIDERS!

    Thursday, December 13th at 7 PM

     A Presentation by Emil Fiore

    Ever since he was seven years old, Emil Fiore has been fascinated by spiders and their webs. Join us to find out more about our local spiders and their webs! Admission by donation; light refreshments will be served.

    Bergen County Christmas Bird Count 

    Saturday, December 15th, 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 fourth 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.

    RECOGNIZING OUR SUMMER VOLUNTEERS!

    The summer may be over, and the cold weather has arrived.  The trails which were filled with children all summer are now covered with snow. We look back at another successful summer program and wish to recognize the many volunteers who helped out all summer long.  This year we had two groups of volunteers, one group helped Marc with the summer program and the other group worked tirelessly throughout the Nature Center maintaining the trails.  

    The Board of Trustees wishes to thank all the volunteers who worked tirelessly ensuring that all the children gained an appreciation of the outdoors and learned about the environment; Zach Weiss, Marin Moore, Christina Ricciutti, Derin Ayas, Tanner Marshall, Luke Brakiovich, Olivia Greco, Sophia Clarke, Christian Brueck, Julie Ricciutti, Sienna Fenu, Ashley Kennedy, James Greco, Jay Woolf, Reese Wilson, Shauna McLean, Sophia Ashbahian and Sarah Keppler.  We also wish to thank the Trail Crew led by Liam McGrath who worked each day keeping the trails clear and safe; Rhett Matthews, Kevin Tong, Cole Veras and Joseph Matera. 

    The Board also greatly appreciates the generosity of Adri Lindgren who made the facilities of the Lindgren School and Camp available to Marc and our volunteers for a wonderfully relaxing pool party.  We also need to thank Closter #1 for their continued support and generosity helping to nourish our hungry volunteers.  

    OUR THANKS TO CHIPOTLE IN CLOSTER PLAZA!

    On October 21st, CHIPOTLE sponsored a delicious fundraiser for the Closter Nature Center, donating a percentage of their receipts to the CNC. It was a great success! Many thanks to the team at Chipotle for recognizing and generously supporting our nature center!

    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 Wednesday, March 28th. 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:

    December 13:  12/13 at 7 PM -  “Spiders!” with Emil Fiore

    December: 12/15, 11 AM -2 PM - Christmas Bird Count

    December:   Wednesday, 12/26 - Friday, 12/28

    Holiday Break Classes 

    January: 1/20 - Full Moon Winter Hike

    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.


    Continue reading
  • Naturalist Notes: November, 2018

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

         The first time I started a fire with two sticks and a small pile of tinder it changed my life. My interest in the skills of our ancestors started when I was a small boy. I had learned that there were people who lived in the forest, speared fish, ate berries and lived in houses made of bark, and my quest to learn the skills that made primitive life possible began. Archeologists have evidence to show that the ancient art of making fire by friction can be traced back 20,000 years. The species of plants used and the actual techniques varied around the world but the basics were the same- two pieces of wood were vigorously rubbed or spun against each other producing heat and a fine powder of pulverized wood called char. Once this char reaches 450 degrees Fahrenheit it can start to smolder and turn in to a small glowing coal. This coal can be coaxed into flame by placing it on a pile of dry fibrous tinder like bark, leaves or grass, and carefully blowing on it to feed the fire-to-be the oxygen it needs. I have gone through these steps and created fire hundreds of times during the many years I spent honing this skill, and while demonstrating the art of fire making.

    It never gets old for me, and each time I see that coal burst into flame it unites me with my ancient ancestors in a profound and unique way that can't be described.

    See you on the trails,

    Marc

    *If the primitive technology of the past is something that interests you feel free to attend our adult program for November.

     


    Continue reading
  • Newsletter — November, 2018

    >>November Events and Activities –>

    Hello Autumn Hike

    Sunday, November 4th, at 3 PM

    Come visit the Nature Center and join us for a hike along our trails. Enjoy our woods as colors peak in mid - Autumn!  Meet at the cabin by Ruckman Pond...

    November After-School Classes

    Survival Skills 

    This month we will try our hand at some primitive technology, learning about how Native Americans used nature to survive and thrive. Dress for all conditions, as did the people who lived here not so long ago!

    PK- K –Tuesdays- 6th -13th and 27th

    1st and 2nd -Wednesdays -7th -14th and 28th

    3rd through 6th –Thursdays- 8th -15th and 29th

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

    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 ADULT PROGRAM

    “PRIMITIVE TECHONLOGY”

    Thursday, November 15th, 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!

    400 White 'Flags' in Our Forest...Help from Your Home?

    While the dates for installing our deer exclusion fencing are uncertain - hopefully November - one thing is for sure:  we are going to need an abundance of large white ties to mark the black vinyl fence at frequent intervals, to increase its visibility until the deer get used to its presence and don't run into it.  As many as 400 white, or very light colored ties, may be needed.  The size can be variable, but generally 3 inches by 3 feet long.  Shaggy, torn ties are fine!  Can you donate some bundles of 20 such ties?  More?  Or, bring sheets to the N. Ctr. porch table for others to tear up?  It would be a great way to help out with this BIG project.   Thank You!

    Also, if you are able to help carry materials into the sites for actual installation, please e-mail Mary Mayer at marym812@aol.com.

    Clothes Recycling Bins

    MANY THANKS to all of our supporters who were concerned that the collection bins at the Stop & Shop in Closter had disappeared! 
    Apparently the bins are being repaired and refurbished and will soon be back in place. Just a reminder that the used clothing bins are maintained by Carecycle, a recycling company, and help to financially support our Closter Nature Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. So keep filling up those bags! 

    CNC Month By Month:

    November: Sunday, November 4th, at 3 PM – Hello Autumn  Hike

    November: Thursday, November 15th, at 7 PM- “Native Technology” presented by Marc Gussen

    December: Holiday Break Classes: Wednesday, 12/26 - Friday, 12/28

    March: Photography Exhibition! 

    END OF YEAR 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 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!

    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.


    Continue reading
  • Naturalist Notes: October, 2018

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

    Every season has its own special basket of gifts from nature, but in my mind fall takes the cake. With the coming of cool nights and ample rain, the fungi of the forest start to fruit and make their reproductive structures: Mushrooms! October is typically the highlight of the mushroom hunter’s year, as conditions can be perfect for this vital stage in the life cycle of fungi. Apple trees make apples loaded with seeds so that they can insure the future of their species, and the rest of the plant world works pretty much the same way. Fungi are similar - just with different structures and a few special twists. When it is time for fungi to reproduce there are a couple different strategies, but the one that concerns me the most is one that produces mushrooms. Forest fungi can live in many different ways - some are parasites of trees, some are decomposers, and some have a relationship with plants that benefits both parties; but no matter how they make their living, they all need to reproduce. When it is time for fungi to complete their life cycle the "fruit" is the mushroom, and the "seeds" are spores. The variety of shapes, sizes and colors that mushrooms can come in is astounding. Some are conspicuous and common, but many are tiny and difficult to identify.  Mushroom hunting is a great way to spend a couple of hours wandering through the woods - and if you put in your time, and learn to identify some of our common delicious edible mushrooms, you will be in for one of natures tastiest gifts.

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


    Continue reading
  • Newsletter — October, 2018

    >>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.

    Pre-K and K - Tuesdays - 9th - 16th – 23rd

    1st and 2nd Gr. - Wednesdays - 10th - 17th - 24th

    3rd through 6th Gr. - Thursdays - 11th - 18th - 25th

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

    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. 

    BATS, BATS, BATS!

    Go Batty with NJ's own "Bat man" Joseph D'Angeli

    One of Our Most Popular Programs!

    Sunday, October 7th at 2 PM

    At the cabin by the Pond

    Throughout the world, bats have been misunderstood and persecuted, causing a serious decline in bat population. The program "BATS, BATS, BATS!" was established to bring this matter to the public's attention with a LECTURE, SLIDE PRESENTATION & LIVE BATS! Find out why bats are now being protected because of their vital role in virtually every environment on earth: for example, their importance in insect maintenance and rainforest regeneration. Join Mr. D'Angeli in dispelling the many myths of these most important nocturnal creatures.

    Cost: Suggested Donation of $5 for non members and $3 for members

    Light refreshments will be served

     

    Fundraiser Planned:

    A TASTY FUNDRAISER AT CHIPOTLE

    Sunday, October 21st from 4 – 8 PM

    Closter Plaza's Chipotle Mexican Grill is partnering with the Closter Nature Center for a fundraiser on Sunday, October 21, from 4 - 8 P.M.  Event flyers will be circulated soon.  We urge everyone to plan their family's late lunch or Sunday dinner at Chipotle and save the home cooking for another day! In order to benefit from the 30% donation by Chipotle, each customer must show a flyer OR simply mention to the cashier that you've come to support the Nature Center.  Why not plan a fall festival or pre-Halloween party around this date and leave the cooking to Chipotle!  Please mark your calendars and spread the word to friends and neighbors.

    Forest Stewardship Update

    Feeling Strong?  Got Some Extra Energy?

    Our Forest Stewardship Program could use lots of energetic volunteers to carry in the fencing materials as we prepare to have the 3 areas of deer exclusion fencing installed.  The dates are not yet firm, but likely to be the end of October or early in November.  Materials vary from heavy, to medium, to light but awkward.  Carry distance: 200-300 yards.  As always, many hands make for lighter work! If interested, (of course, subject to your availability when the dates are fixed), please e-mail Mary Mayer at marym812@aol.com.  Ask a friend if they'd like to join you!  We expect the work would be a full day, but people could sign up for a morning or afternoon shift, once the date/s are clear.

    And Thank You!

    CNC Calendar:

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

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

    Sunday, October 21st,  4-8 PM – Chipotle Fundraiser (details above)

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

    Holiday Break Classes: Wednesday, 12/26 -  Friday,  12/28

     

    .


    Continue reading
  • Naturalist Notes: September, 2018

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

    Another round of summer programs is in the books, and it is time to look back and reflect on the last 9 weeks. First off, being the front man of the Nature Center, I too often end up getting more credit than I deserve. It is all too easy for people to associate our successes with me, but in reality there are quite a few people that help to make them possible. It all starts with The Closter Nature Center Board of Trustees. Without this group of local and devoted nature lovers none of this would happen. There is lots of work for the board to do: a combination of addressing day-to-day issues to keep our grounds and programs going strong, but also looking to the future, insuring that we can continue to be a natural history education and outdoor recreation asset for our community. 

    I would like to thank one board member in particular for her years of service and commitment to the Nature Center’s Summer Program. Year after year, Leslie Brunell starts work on the program in the winter, and doesn't stop until after it is all over. In addition, the other shining stars that make our programs so great are our teen-aged volunteers. Most of them have been coming here since they were 4 or 5, and apparently can't get enough of my corny jokes. These kids come day after day and take a great sense of pride in the fact that they are not only helping the Nature Center, but getting a chance to spread their love for nature and animals with visitors and summer program kids. This year my "helpers" not only assisted in making this summer the best ever- even with the highest attendance rates and the most rain- but also, the amount of trail work they tackled and completed was unprecedented! I would like to thank everyone that helped to make this possible, including all of the program attendees and the parents that drove them, for letting me have the best job on earth! 

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


    Continue reading
  • 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

     

    .


    Continue reading
  • 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


    Continue reading
  • 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


    Continue reading
  • Naturalist Notes: May, 2018

    >> NATURALIST NOTES: May, 2018

    Last May while out walking the trails with my then 5 year old, Willow, we came across one of the Nature Center’s many low-lying areas. What made this one special is that the forest floor in this particular spot is plastered with small yellow flowers. Willow was quickly mesmerized by the fact that what at first glance appeared to be a yellow painted meadow was actually acres of tiny yellow flowers. Her excitement quickly grew as we ran home to tell her mother about what she enthusiastically titled -  "The million field of flowers". Those flowers lasted only a couple of weeks but during the height of their glory we made several trips to visit them. Now that another spring is here we are waiting patiently for their return. If the suspense is tearing you apart, stop worrying. By the time you read this they will be here, and I'm sure Willow will be more than happy to direct you to "The million field of flowers".

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


    Continue reading
  • 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


    Continue reading
  • 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

     


    Continue reading