Newsletter — December, 2017



***** A Gift From the Forest *****

Looking for that perfect gift for your special somebody? 

How about a legacy of wooded bliss! A place to walk in the woods! 

Click --> HERE <-- to purchase the gift of membership in the Closter Nature Center TODAY


After-School Programs:

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 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   5th - 12th - 19th 
1st and 2nd  Wednesdays  6th - 13th - 20th
3rd thru 6th  Thursdays  7th - 14th - 21st

Cost: $40 members, $50 non-members

Time: 3:45pm - 5:00pm


Go to , and you will be taken to our online registration and payment system.  

If you would prefer to register in person, call Marc Gussen at (201) 750-2778, fill out a registration form and bring the form along with payment in full (check or cash) to the first class. 

You can pick up a registration form at the Log Cabin, 154 Ruckman Road, Closter, NJ 07624. Or, you can download a copy here:



Holiday Break Classes:

Tuesday, December 26th through Friday, December 29th

Need something fun and educational for the kids to do 

during the holiday break?

We have the answer: four days of Nature exploration and animal fun here at the Closter Nature Center.  Our Break programs have been such a success, we are going to run them again. Depending on your schedule you can sign up for one, two, three, or all the days.

We will try to spend time outside each day, so please dress for the weather.

Tuesday, December 26th through Friday, December 29th

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

Cost: $80 full session, Members; $100 full session NON-members

             $25 per day for members, $30 per day for non-members


Link takes you to CommunityPass, our online registration and payment system. If you would prefer to register in person, call Marc Gussen at (201) 750-2778, fill out a registration form and bring the form along with payment in full (check or cash) to the first class. 


Bergen County Christmas Bird Count
Saturday, December 16th, 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 third 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.

Hardy Volunteers Needed for Tree Survey 

Ever wanted to learn more about the trees in our Nature Center? We are looking for a few volunteers willing to participate in a workshop followed by a tree survey in the woods.   The workshop will be held on Saturday, January 13th from 1:30 to 3:30 PM, at the Cabin. There may be an additional time scheduled on Saturday, January 20th, starting at 1:30 PM.

This is an opportunity to learn how to identify ash trees and also, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle killing these trees in our area. EABs are a small, green beetle that targets Ash trees, a tree common to our Nature Center. The Emerald Ash Borer is virtually unstoppable and has already been identified in Rockleigh, Hillsdale and Paramus. 

In the central section of the Nature Center, between the White and Red Trails, almost 20 % of the trees are Green Ash. After learning to identify ash trees, participants will be divided into at least 2 teams and assigned a section of the Nature Center to mark all the ash trees they can be sure of.  These ash trees will then be located on a GPS database so that it will be easier to return and check on each tree in the future.  By clearly identifying where ash trees are grouped or single, we can better anticipate how the canopy will change as they almost inevitably die off, and we can better plan for locating replacement trees.  There will certainly be additional opportunities for volunteers to assist in this identification and survey work but we especially need hardy souls willing to learn and then hike through the cold woods on Saturday, Jan. 13th, with their best observation skills at work.  Please e-mail Mary Mayer ( if you plan to attend...or if you have questions.



December 16th – Christmas Bird Count, 11 AM -2 PM,  

December 26-29…Holiday Break Nature Classes

January 28th Welcome Winter Night Hike, with bonfire! 

6:30 to 8 PM

February 11th at 2 PM “Meet the Animals of the CNC”

February 19-22—Winter Break Classes

March “Last Chance Winter Hike” March 18th at 2 PM

Native Plant Society of NJ...Date and time TBA

April 9th – 12th Spring Break Classes

April 15th Soup Supper 5-7 PM

April 22th Earth Day

May – Annual Meeting 

June 3rd - Pond Celebration (June 10th rain date)

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