• Naturalist Notes: September, 2017

    September is here and the kids are back in school. While children learn many things both academic and social in school, the relatively new subject of Environmental Education is the one we at the Nature Center are most concerned with.  By learning about natural systems, the field of ecology, and society’s impact on nature, they will be able to appreciate nature and make decisions with the good of our planet in mind.

    A lot of what we teach here is the science behind nature, and also how to go outside and have fun! Armed with a knowledge of our world and a love for its’ wonders, kids will be able to enjoy and preserve our ecosystems for the future. Our programs are designed to accent the state science curriculums for children from Kindergarten through 8th grade. They are based on what kids are supposed to learn, but with a good bit of extra natural history and eco-awareness. We hope to provide these to our local schools for years to come.

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

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  • Newsletter — September, 2017



    September After-School Programs

    “Reptiles and Amphibians”

    This month’s after-school program will explore the world of reptiles and amphibians.

    This program will be both inside and outside so please dress for the weather.

    PK and Kindergarten - Tuesdays - 12th - 19th - 26th

    1st and 2nd grade - Wednesdays - 13th - 20th - 27th

    3rd through 6th grade - Thursdays -14th - 21st - 28th

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


    OR, call Marc : at (201) 750-2778 to reserve a place in class. Then, bring to the first class a check, (preferably not cash), for the proper amount, made out to the Closter Nature Center.


    Sunday, October 1st  FROM 12-4

    On Sunday, October 1st, State Line Lookout in Alpine, in the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey, will host a special nature event called “Hawks Over the Hudson.” To be held rain or shine from 12 to 4 PM, the program will feature live birds of prey, presented by the Delaware Valley Raptor Center at 1 and 2:30 PM. Between the programs, visitors will have a chance to see the animals up close, chat with the presenters, and to enjoy activities and exhibits presented by some of the member organizations of the Nature Program Cooperative. The program is free and open to all, with no advanced registration required to attend.  State Line Lookout is accessible via its own exit on the northbound Palisades Interstate Parkway about 2 miles north of Exit 2 (a well-marked U-turn is available for southbound travelers).

    The presentation will be held under a tent, but if weather permits, visitors will also be able to stop by an ongoing “hawk watch” only a few yards beyond the parking area — and over 500 feet above the Hudson River. There they can try their luck at spotting wild “raptors” — hawks, eagles, and falcons—as they migrate south. Throughout the fall, volunteer observers congregate at the lookout point to identify the passing raptors, part of a continent-wide study conducted by the Hawk Migration Association of North America. All through September and October and into early November, the State Line hawk watch welcomes visitors who want to learn more about these magnificent animals. While an occasional eagle will glide by the lookout at eye-level, visitors will also learn how experienced observers use a combination of clues like silhouettes and flight patterns to identify even those animals that pass hundreds of feet overhead. (Visitors to the hawk watch are encouraged to bring binoculars with them if they can.)


    The 2017 Summer Program was our most successful summer in the past 10 years.  150 children enjoyed exploring our trails, streams and ponds with Naturalist Marc and an amazing group of volunteers. The children learned about the environment, the local ecosystem and the many special animals who call our center home, including a special summer resident named “Soupy.”  Children came from 26 different towns in Bergen County.  In addition to the Northern Valley and Pascack Valley towns in New Jersey, children also came from Bergenfield, Cresskill, Dumont, Englewood, Fairlawn, New Milford, Fairlawn, Teaneck, Woodcliff Lake and Wyckoff.  Children also came from the Rockland County towns of Nanuet, Nyack, Palisades and Piermont.  We even had a returning camper from Bradford, Mass.

    The Board of Trustees wishes to thank all the volunteers who worked tirelessly most of the summer ensuring that all the children enjoyed themselves.  Jason Tong,  Marin Moore, Zachary Weiss, Sophie Clarke, Derin Ayas, Olivia Grecco, Tanner Marshall, Sienna Fenu, Wally Chang, Luke Brajkovic, Ashley Kennedy, Sarah Keppler and Shauna McLean.  These hard working, dedicated volunteers ensured that each child was safe and happy.

    Many thanks also to musician Steve Kelman, for visiting our summer program and playing for the kids.

    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 wish to thank Closter #1 for their continued support and generosity.  A special thanks goes out to the Haworth Library for the donation of Eclipse Viewing glasses for the children who participated the week of August 21.  They all enjoyed a safe and spectacular view from canoes on the pond.

    We look forward to another wonderful summer next year.  In the mean time we hope to see our campers back on the trails this fall.



    All forested areas of northern NJ are under pressure from two main sources:

    1) invasive plant and animal species, and 2) a warming climate to which forest species must adapt, if they can.  Forests all go through natural evolution or shifts in dominant species.  It is not our goal to prevent natural change, but rather to help our forest cope with these pressures. We can do this by increasing the diversity of native trees and herbaceous plants, and by restricting the presence of invasive plant and animal species, either by removal or some fencing.
        Alert:  the Emerald Ash Borer is now as close as Bogota!  This means that the White Ash trees that occupy a small but significant part of our forest are unlikely to survive more than another 5-10 years at most.   An important step in reducing the impact of the loss of these Ash trees is to plant other native trees nearby that can be ready to take over some of the newly opened spaces.  Volunteers are needed to help us locate and tag all our Ash trees.  If, with a little training, you'd like to help, e-mail Mary Mayer at marym812@aol.com, or Beth Ravit at bravit@envsci.rutgers.edu.

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  • Naturalist Notes: June, 2017

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

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  • Newsletter — June, 2017




    Come join us in the parade!

    This Memorial Day, the CNC will have a float.

    Meet in the parking lot at…

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  • Naturalist Notes: May, 2017

    The Nature center is home to a quite a few education animals. From Captain Crunch the snapping turtle to Broccoli the bullfrog, these animals are put to…

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  • Newsletter – May, 2017

    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, Chez Madeline,…

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  • Closter Nature Center celebrates reopening of Ruckman Pond

    Closter Nature Center celebrates reopening of Ruckman Pond

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

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  • Closter to Host Northern Valley Earth Fair

    Closter to host Northern Valley Earth Fair on Earth Day

    NorthJersey.comApr 17, 2017
    CLOSTER — The annual Northern…

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  • Naturalist Notes: April, 2017

    The Winter of 2017 was pretty mild, but it ended with some serious snow. Everyone knows that “April showers bring May flowers”, but March snow-melt is just…

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  • Naturalist Notes: March, 2017

    Many of the animals that we love and care for here at the Nature Center were once brought here as unwanted pets. Their stories vary…

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