December 2016 Newsletter


December After-School Classes:

“Rocks and Minerals”
This month’s after school program will focus on the amazing world of rocks, minerals and crystals.
We will be making our own edible crystals – Rock Candy.
This is definitely one of the kids all time favorites.
Dress for the weather, we will be going outside as much as possible.

PK-K – Tuesdays – 6th 13th 20th
1st and 2nd grades – Wednesdays – 7th 14th 21st
3rd-6th grades – Thursdays – 8th 15th 22nd
Cost: $30. members, $40. non-members. Time: 3:45 to 5:00

TO REGISTER FOR CLASSES: 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

Holiday Break Nature Classes!
December 26th – 29th
Looking for something for the kids to do during the holiday 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

Cost: $20 per day for members, $30 per day for non-members
To register call Marc at (201) 750-2778

Bergen County Christmas Bird Count
Saturday, December 17th, 9AM to 2PM
All Skill Levels Welcome

For the second year, the Closter Nature Center is going to participate in Bergen County Audubon’s Annual Christmas Bird Count. 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 lots of 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 with warm drinks available through out the day.
A few extra binoculars are available at the Nature Center. If you would like to add to the Closter count by sending in sightings from your own yard on that day, you can email results (or questions) to: Mary Mayer at

Welcome Winter Night Hike
Saturday December 17th, 6:30 -8

Are you ready for a night to remember? We will learn about the nocturnal animals of the Nature Center,
Meet at the cabin, hike into the darkness for about 1/2 hour,
then meet at the fire ring for a cozy campfire!
The program is free, but donations will be welcome!

Naturalist’s Notes:
Outside activities are breeze to pull off with the mild and relatively rain-less summer and fall we’ve just experienced, but with winter around the corner, getting outside takes a little more planning and effort. When most people think of winter outdoor pursuits, skiing is one of the first things to come to mind. While skiing is definitely a favorite of many, an expensive gear-intensive hobby that requires long days is not for everyone. Although not as exhilarating as zooming down a mountain, winter hiking is without a doubt one of the reasons that I cherish the colder months of the year. Breathing the cold winter air while briskly trekking through the leafless snow-covered forest has its own magic, that can’t be compared with any other outdoor activity. An hour or two is all the time you really need, there is no expensive equipment, and places to pull this off abound. If you are not aware of the “quickie” hiking options we have at our finger tips, you will be amazed to know that within a couple miles of Closter there are quite a few wonderful places to hike! Our 136- acre paradise is one that I highly recommend, but some of the others that I frequent include the Demarest Nature Center, The Boy Scout Camp, Rockleigh Woods,
and Emerson woods. Layer up, bring a snack and some water, and don’t let winter keep you inside.


The trail around Ruckman Pond has a new name: “The Mayer Loop Trail”. The trail was renamed to recognize the many DECADES of work done by Mary Mayer for the Closter Nature Center. Mary has served as President, pioneered the push to get “hands-on” nature experiences into local schools, and volunteered for endless events benefitting the local community. On the trails, Mary along with her husband Gay, have cut and carried, trimmed, and just this week spearheaded the construction of a replacement bridge at the head of the Orange Trail. Walk the loop today!

January, 2017

The Closter Nature Center is sponsoring its first photography show and contest during the month of January, 2017. 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. Harvey & Dot of Westwood has offered a 20% discount to anyone using their photo printing services for this exhibition. Owner Barbara DeGraw can be reached at or 201-497-8151.

All entries must be received at the Library by Wednesday, December 28. For additional information or questions, contact Susan McTigue at or 201-767-0955.

SHOP AND SUPPORT THE CNC THROUGH AmazonSmile Visit, log in using your existing account and simply designate us, “ Closter Nature Center Association,” as your charitable organization. Amazon donates .5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the Closter Nature Center.
Thank you for your support!


December 17th – Christmas Bird Count, 9-2,
Welcome Winter Night Hike, 6:30 to 8

December 26-29…Holiday Break Nature Classes

December 3rd… Crafts Fair at the Lindgren School, 11-4
The CNC will be represented at this delightful event

January – Closter Nature Center Photo Exhibition and Competition
February – Winter Wonderland Hike
March – Meet the Animals of the Closter Nature Center
April 2nd – Soup Supper
May – Plants of NJ
June 3rd – Pond Celebration (June 10th rain date)

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