Forest Stewardship Project

Operation Multiflora Rose January, 2021

The Closter Nature Center is a magical place loaded with native plants and animals. Unfortunately, we have a problem in our preserve--an invasive species called "Multiflora Rose", a plant that threatens the health of our forest. Over two Saturdays, a group of volunteers attempted to remove as much of the troublesome plant as possible. The rush to remove the plant is due to expectations that the Nature Center will lose ALL of its ash trees to another invasive species, the Emerald Ash Borer opening up the forest canopy and letting the opportunistic Multiflora Rose the sunlight it needs to proliferate.

One group of volunteers worked to clear masses of multi-flora rose and other invasive brambles along the Ruckman Avenue verge opposite the Nature Center pond.

Clearing Ruckman Verge:

One group of volunteers worked to clear masses of multi-flora rose and other invasive brambles along the Ruckman Avenue verge opposite the Nature Center pond.

Forest Stewardship Study

Starting in 2015, the Closter Nature Center (CNC) Board undertook a long-term project to assess and protect the health of its 136-acre site of forested wetlands. Soon after, a forest stewardship study was conducted by New Jersey Audubon for the CNC which has served as a baseline for further study and recommendations of care. Please check here for continuing updates and information. (Note: Most recent information appears first.)

CNC Spring Woods, 2018

Woodland Stewards Worry About Deer Impact

Following is a link to an article in the Northern Valley Press published August, 2019. 

NORTHERN VALLEY AREA, N.J.—While a regional approach to deer population control remains a major theme among Pascack and Northern valley municipalities—save for Saddle River and River Vale now planning fall 2019 bowhunts—managers of several area nature sanctuaries warn that an overpopulation of deer is causing long-term impacts to forests and biodiversity—and they are taking action. 

Woodland Stewards Worry About Deer Impact 

Greenbrook Sanctuary (Autumn 2018)

"It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words."

Following is a link to Palisades Nature Notes, the Autumn, 2018 Newsletter of the Greenbrook Sanctuary, Palisades Nature Association. 

Of note: two photos at the top of the page that starkly illustrate the difference between woods are protected from white-tailed deer with an exclosure or, fence and woods that are not protected. 

Greenbrook Sancturary Newsletter

EAB Monitoring Stations

Look UP! You may notice these green, cylindrical cones hanging from a tree in the Nature Center. These are monitoring traps for the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that is impacting Ash trees in our region. Tracking the path and impact of these beetles is important to understanding the changing nature of our forests. Monitoring invasive species is part of our ongoing Forest Stewardship Project at the Closter Nature Center. These stations were put in place by local volunteer, Todd Bradbury.

EAB Monitoring Station

Assessing Forest Health in Central New Jersey

White-tailed Deer

The Closter Nature Center held its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 at 7pm. in the log cabin by the pond. There was a brief business meeting highlighting our past year followed by a presentation on "The Impacts of Deer and Invasive Species on Forests in Northern-Central New Jersey.

Dr. Jay Kelly from Raritan Valley Community College presented the results of his research on the impacts of overabundant deer and invasive plant species on forests in northern-central NJ. Since 2014, he and his students have studied over 135 forests, primarily in the Raritan Watershed, documenting how tree regeneration and other aspects of forest understories have changed since the mid-Twentieth Century, when deer and invasive plants were much lower in the state. They also studied the effectiveness of different strategies for forest restoration, including exclosures and deer management programs, at improving forest conditions over time. The goals of this research are to provide real-world research opportunities for students, and to provide local communities with information needed to understand these important issues; showing what is happening to our forests, and what can be done to address them.

Link to Study

Here is a link to Professor Kelly's presentation: 

Impacts of Deer and Invasives in Central New Jersey Forests_May 2018

Area of Expertise:  Ecology & Conservation

Jay Kelly, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science, Raritan Valley Community College

Forest Stewardship Study

This project has been ongoing since 2015.

Following is a link to an article which appeared in a local newspaper in 2016: