• Naturalist Notes: November, 2018

    >> Naturalist Notes & Musings:

         The first time I started a fire with two sticks and a small pile of tinder it changed my life. My interest in the skills of our ancestors started when I was a small boy. I had learned that there were people who lived in the forest, speared fish, ate berries and lived in houses made of bark, and my quest to learn the skills that made primitive life possible began. Archeologists have evidence to show that the ancient art of making fire by friction can be traced back 20,000 years. The species of plants used and the actual techniques varied around the world but the basics were the same- two pieces of wood were vigorously rubbed or spun against each other producing heat and a fine powder of pulverized wood called char. Once this char reaches 450 degrees Fahrenheit it can start to smolder and turn in to a small glowing coal. This coal can be coaxed into flame by placing it on a pile of dry fibrous tinder like bark, leaves or grass, and carefully blowing on it to feed the fire-to-be the oxygen it needs. I have gone through these steps and created fire hundreds of times during the many years I spent honing this skill, and while demonstrating the art of fire making.

    It never gets old for me, and each time I see that coal burst into flame it unites me with my ancient ancestors in a profound and unique way that can't be described.

    See you on the trails,


    *If the primitive technology of the past is something that interests you feel free to attend our adult program for November.


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  • Newsletter — November, 2018

    >>November Events and Activities –>

    Hello Autumn Hike

    Sunday, November 4th, at 3 PM

    Come visit the Nature Center and join us for a hike along our trails. Enjoy our woods as colors peak in mid - Autumn!  Meet at the cabin by Ruckman Pond...

    November After-School Classes

    Survival Skills 

    This month we will try our hand at some primitive technology, learning about how Native Americans used nature to survive and thrive. Dress for all conditions, as did the people who lived here not so long ago!

    PK- K –Tuesdays- 6th -13th and 27th

    1st and 2nd -Wednesdays -7th -14th and 28th

    3rd through 6th –Thursdays- 8th -15th and 29th

    Cost: $40 members, $50 non-members
    Time: 3:45 - 5:00 PM 

    To register online please go to:

    https://register.communitypass.net/Closter 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.



    Thursday, November 15th, 7 to 8:30 PM

    Presented by Marc Gussen

    Come learn the skills of the ancients. This program for adults and teens covers the history of primitive technology from the first stone tools on up. Skills covered include fire making by friction, cordage, flint-knapping and a host of other lost arts. Light refreshments will be served.

    The program is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted!

    400 White 'Flags' in Our Forest...Help from Your Home?

    While the dates for installing our deer exclusion fencing are uncertain - hopefully November - one thing is for sure:  we are going to need an abundance of large white ties to mark the black vinyl fence at frequent intervals, to increase its visibility until the deer get used to its presence and don't run into it.  As many as 400 white, or very light colored ties, may be needed.  The size can be variable, but generally 3 inches by 3 feet long.  Shaggy, torn ties are fine!  Can you donate some bundles of 20 such ties?  More?  Or, bring sheets to the N. Ctr. porch table for others to tear up?  It would be a great way to help out with this BIG project.   Thank You!

    Also, if you are able to help carry materials into the sites for actual installation, please e-mail Mary Mayer at marym812@aol.com.

    Clothes Recycling Bins

    MANY THANKS to all of our supporters who were concerned that the collection bins at the Stop & Shop in Closter had disappeared! 
    Apparently the bins are being repaired and refurbished and will soon be back in place. Just a reminder that the used clothing bins are maintained by Carecycle, a recycling company, and help to financially support our Closter Nature Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. So keep filling up those bags! 

    CNC Month By Month:

    November: Sunday, November 4th, at 3 PM – Hello Autumn  Hike

    November: Thursday, November 15th, at 7 PM- “Native Technology” presented by Marc Gussen

    December: Holiday Break Classes: Wednesday, 12/26 - Friday, 12/28

    March: Photography Exhibition! 


    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 closternaturecenter.org, 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!


    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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