Newsletter – March, 2017


Pets 101
What it means to have a pet, what animals make good pets, and what it takes to keep them happy and healthy.

With the help of the Nature Center’s animal residents, we will learn about responsibility, compassion, the work and the joy of having animal companions.

Pre K and K ……..Tuesdays – 14th, 21st, 28th
1st and 2nd …………Wednesdays – 15th, 22nd, 29th
3rd thru 6th ………………Thursdays -16th, 23rd, 30th

Dress for the weather!

COST: $40 members,  $50 non-members……TIME: 3:45pm to 5:00pm

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.

Meet the Animals
Sunday March 12th from 2 to 3:30

Come visit the cabin by the pond and meet the Animals of the Nature Center. Our collection of education animals delights the children that come for the after school program and summer camp, and now it’s time for everyone to get to meet them.
The program is free but donations will gladly be accepted


The Closter Nature Center is proud to offer its annual summer camp program to children ages 4 – 14.  For over 45 years, campers have had an opportunity to explore the Nature Center’s 136 acres of ponds, streams, meadows and forests in a fun and nurturing environment. Our campers hike, dig, wade in the water, and examine nature, all under the supervision of a trained naturalist and an assistant.

The 2016 summer program will begin on June 26th and end on August 31st.  There will be no camp the week of July 3-6. Camp sessions will be either morning or afternoon, Monday through Thursday, between 9 and 4.  Campers can sign up for one or more 4-day weeks. Each weekly program will offer different activities suitable to the age group, children’s interests and the weather.

Campers ages 4 – 6 will meet each day for 2-hours, with weekly fees of $70 for members, $90 for non-members.  Campers ages 7 – 11, and 12- 14 meet for 3-hours each day, with weekly fees of $90 for members, $110 for non-members.

Registration forms will be included in the March Newsletter, or you can pick one up at the cabin by Ruckman Pond. 

QUESTIONS? E-mail, or check the website

Naturalist’s Notes

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 considerably, but they all have a common thread – they really needed a new home. Sometimes it is a simple case of: “I never thought it would live this long and my son is going off to college” or, “The kids have lost interest and my husband is stuck doing all the work”. Other times a conscientious caregiver just becomes unable to continue providing for a beloved pet, and responsibly seeks out the best new home they can find. On occasions (thankfully rare), animals get dropped off with out a call or even a note.  No matter what the circumstances, we do our best to find or give them a good home. Having a pet can be a huge responsibility and requires lots of time and love. Obviously, a horse will require more effort and resources than a goldfish, but both will rely on you just the same. Having a pet is commitment that is easier to make when a person truly understands what it actually takes to care for whatever animal they choose. A large jungle bird that needs its own room in the house, eats $100 worth of macadamia nuts a week, and could live to be 60 years old might not be the best choice for most prospective pet owners, despite the flashy plumage.

The joys of having animal companions can be amazing but those joys don’t come without hard work and daily devotion. If your kids are dying for a pet, but you just don’t have room in your life for yet another responsibility, don’t worry- that’s just one of the reasons the Nature Center animals are here. Kids can get exposed to the many joys of animals, (but you won’t have to go to the pet store every week to buy crickets!).

See you on the trails…Marc Gussen, Naturalist

Sunday, April 2nd, from 5:00 to 7:00….

One of our most popular annual events, the Soup Supper has brought members and friends together for more than 30 years. A great variety of homemade soups and breads is our specialty. You get a bowl and spoon to sample as many soups as you like- plus tasty breads! Arrive by 6:30 for best selection.

Watch for details in March!



March – Meet the Animals of the Closter Nature Center:

3/12, Sunday at 2 PM

April 2nd – Soup Supper, Sunday from 5-7 PM

April 22 – Northern Valley Earth Fair, Saturday from 11-4, at Memorial Field

May 4th – Annual Meeting 7:00 PM , and “Plants of NJ” 7:30

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

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