Newsletter — December, 2018

>>December Events and Activities –>


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 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: 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: 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.


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.


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.  


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!


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 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


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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