Bergen SWAN 2014 Events
Go to our Happenings page for information about the next event and a schedule of all events planned for this year.
Enjoy the Summer!
Our June 22nd Lake DeForest paddle turned out to be a wonderful time with beautiful weather! And, though summer has "icumen in" and everyone is looking forward to vacation, our work goes on. We continue efforts to safeguard open space in Hillsdale, New Milford, and Montvale. The plantings at the Emerson Woods stream restoration project need tending and monitoring. We continue to inventory green infrastructure and open space opportunities that will benefit stormwater management. We are also re-organizing our headquarters and operations. If you would like to help please go to our Get Involved page and contact us!
--- To Our Supporters ---
It is with deep sadness that we inform the Bergen SWAN community
of the sudden, tragic death of Mark Becker on February 26, 2014.
Since the start of Bergen SWAN in 1988, Mark has tirelessly worked for
protection of our watershed and other natural areas, and the amount of his personal time, money, and
energy spent for the benefit of all is incalculable. And for those of us who
had the pleasure of working with him, his intelligence, generosity, and good
humor makes this really a greater loss than we can say.
The tremendous outpouring of love and support from the community, many dear friends, family members, colleagues and students has
provided great comfort at this difficult time.
PAST SWAN EVENTS....
Sunday, June 22, 2:00-4:00 PM - Afternoon Paddle on Lake DeForest
Join us on the first Sunday of summer in our first exploration of the Lake DeForest Reservoir! SWAN's Watershed Educator and Naturalist Nancy Slowik will guide us on this northern-most reservoir in our watershed.
Go to the Happenings page for the flyer and more information on registering. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participation is limited to 30 boats and entry is first -come first-served, so don't hesitate! Sign up now!!
IMPORTANT: Please note that this Sunday's walk is fully booked! We are now taking names for a waiting list. Please email email@example.com to be added to this list and we will contact you if there is an opening. Thank you!
Sunday, June 8, 6:00-8:00 PM - Memorial Walk for Mark Becker at Lake Tappan Reservoir
If last year's nature walk at Lake Tappan was any indication, this walk will be excellent - yellow warblers, cedar waxwing, and Baltimore orioles were among the birds we saw, and an evening walk a great time to observe them. This was one of Mark's favorite trails to walk, especially at evening.
Go to the Happenings page for the flyer and more information on registering.
Thursday, May 8, 10:00 AM, - Tree planting in Pascack Brook County Park in Westwood (sponsored by the Bergen County Parks Dept. and Bergen County Environmental Council)
A Memorial Service and Celebration of the Life of Mark G. Becker
We invite you to join us at the IBM/Dolce Conference Center in Palisades, New York on Sunday, March 23rd, from 12:00 to 3:00 PM.
For more information and to register to attend, go to the Eventbrite invitation page here.
A Spring Nature Walk in Old Tappan Woods with Watershed Educator Nancy Slowik on April 27th!
Old Tappan Woods is one of the largest watershed woods along the Upper Hackensack, and is marked by a wide diversity of wetland habitats.
Please sign up in advance by emailing us at bergenswanRSVP@gmail.com.
Those who pre-register prior to April 26 (original deadline extended) can pay $7 per person using the Donate button on this Home page. Or, register at the walk for $10 per person.
-------------- Some Good News! --------------
Bergen County Blue Acres Ballot Question Passes with over 64% of the Vote!
Voters approved the measure to allow existing funds from the Bergen County Open Space, Recreation, Farmland & Historic Preservation Trust Fund to also be used for "Blue Acres" projects, which help resolve the increased flooding problem in our watershed in the most environmentally wise manner - by restoring more flood plain.
Click here to read all about it in an article in the Record.
The Emerson Woods Stream Restoration Project Makes Great Strides!
Phase one of the stream restoration project in Emerson Woods - to repair years of erosion damage that has been making the channel widen annually and become a safety and water quality hazard - has been completed. This phase included the installation of a stormseptor (a large concrete box that captures floatables and sediments), as well as the grading the banks of the stream, and the creation of a series of rock terraces to slow the movement of the water through the channel.
Princeton Hydro performed the project’s engineering design and River Logic carried out the field work. Conservation Resources, Inc. provided on-site oversight, while the Borough of Emerson and Bergen SWAN provided additional logistical guidance.
On Wednesday, July 24, 2013, the partner organizations gave their first explanatory talk and tour of the work-in-progress to a contingent of representatives from the Emerson Council, Environmental Commission, and Shade Tree Commission.
Phase two, involving the planting of hundreds of plants, shrubs, and trees, has also been completed.
A public commemoration for the project took place early fall. A Princeton Hydro blog that follows the stages of the project will be available via our website shorty.
Now comes the job of tending all the new, vulnerable plantings.
We will be posting additional information and photos about the project shortly.
PRESERVE DePIERO'S FARM
Go to our Happenings page for the latest flyer
Learn more about the development plans...
Anyone who is interested in joining a coalition of environmental & civic groups to urge Montvale officials to insist on a sensible, sustainable development of the DePiero's property, or wants to volunteer, please contact Lori Charkey at Bergen SWAN, or see the website: www.thinkoutsideofthebox.org.
Read the editorial written by Bergen SWAN Co-directors published in the Bergen Record, calling for a more modest development. Click Here. Please COMMENT on our article.
Events Hosted by Other Groups...
DePiero’s Farm Planning Board Meeting
For Preliminary and Final Site Plan Approval for the Shoppes at DePiero’s
Montvale Boro Hall, 12 Mercedes Drive, Montvale, NJ; Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
This could be the last time you could speak up for more sensible development!!
Go to our Happenings page for the latest flyer.
SIGHT & SOUND CAPTURE in Atkins Glen ~A Guided Nature Walk~
October 6, 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Join us for a walk through this wonderful glen in Park Ridge. There are many things to see and hear due to it's unique microclimate, and the Bear Brook runs right through it, eventually emptying into the Woodcliff Lake Reservoir.
This walk is underwritten with grants from PSE&G and Norcross Wildlife Foundation. Pre-registration is required and admission is $15 per person.
Please see the flyer on our Happenings page.
Paddle the Reservoir!
September 8, 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Register Early for our Paddle with Expert Naturalist Nancy Slowik!
Through the generous support of PSEG and Norcross Wildlife foundations, Bergen SWAN has acquired our own small fleet kayaks and a boat trailer to add to our existing trio of rental canoes. On September 8, we plan to offer all of our rental boats for a tour Woodcliff Lake Reservoir and its environs.
Please join our Watershed Educator, Nancy Slowik, on this maiden voyage of our new rental fleet – our first exploration of this neck of the watershed.
Participation is limited to 20 boats, so register early. Fees are $20/person to rent a canoe or kayak, or $30 to bring your own boat. We hope to see you there!
Nature Hike Around
Old Tappan Reservoir...
A Guided Walk with Nancy Slowik
SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 2013, 6-8PM
An illuminating, two-hour, up-close evening nature hike around the sparkling Old Tappan Reservoir.
We will discover and observe late spring flora and fauna, listening for newly arrived birds and insects. This walk continues for a good couple of miles, so bring your comfortable footwear. We hope to end the day by witnessing a stunning sunset over the lake.
See our color flyer on Happenings.
Make your reservations ASAP as the walk is one week from this Sunday!
Paddle Through Old Hook -
Oradell Reservoir to the Pascack Brook
Guided by Naturalist Nancy Slowik
Sunday, May 26, 2013 6:00 - 8:00pm
And we have two canoes we can loan out - first come, first served (pre-registration and entry fees still necessary).
Some great bird sightings from a pre-paddle excursion include Great Egret, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Mallard, Black Duck, Ruddy Duck, Wood Duck, Mourning Dove, Yellow Warbler, Tree and Barn Swallows, American Robin, Scarlet Tanager, Red-winged Blackbird, Song Sparrows....
It's always a great time exploring reservoir and brook by canoe - and there are still some spaces available, so pre-register right away!
Further details are on our Happenings page. Call if interested @ 201-666-1877. Limit 20 boats, pre-registration required.
"A Cycle of Seasons"
A 25th Anniversary Celebration
for Bergen SWAN!
A two-part event to help us continue our two and a half decades of watershed protection work in the reservoir district of the Hackensack River and beyond.
WATERSHED BENEFIT SALE
Sunday, March 3, 2013
11:00 AM - 4:00PM
Park Ridge Rail Road Station, Park Avenue, Park Ridge (opposite Cyclesport)
Featuring gifts for every season, arranged by the seasons - new and gently used decorative & functional items: art, crafts, natural herbal products, homemade foods, house wares, garments, jewelry, books, a new Old Town canoe, and much more!
See our event flyer on the Happenings page!
And in our Gallery are photos of some of the items for sale...go take a look!
WATERSHED NATURE TALK
BY NANCY SLOWIK
Sunday, March 10, 2013
12:30 - 2:00PM, $10.00 per person
Blauvelt Art Museum, 705 Kinderkamack Road, Oradell
(uphill, next to Blauvelt mansion)
Bergen SWAN's Watershed Educator will highlight the flora and fauna encountered on five SWAN guided field trips and pre-trip scouting events that occurred in 2012. Join us for a memorable year of nature exploration, filled with surprises.
Click the "Donate" button on this webpage on the right to make your payments.
Once you pre-register, your name will be placed on our registration list, which will allow you admission at the door.
Call or write for further information: 201-666-1877 firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: "Cycle of Seasons")
A Winter Walk in Emerson Woods
Tuesday, January 1, 2013; 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Join us in this very special opportunity right around the corner to spend an enjoyable afternoon learning from naturalist Nancy Slowik in Emerson Woods.
More details for the event can be found on our Happenings page
From the Reservoir to the Marsh -
A Guided Paddle on and North of Lake Tappan
September 9th, 3 pm to 6 pm
Bergen SWAN and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) invite the public to a fascinating late afternoon through early evening paddle on the rarely accessed Lake Tappan Reservoir in Old Tappan and the mysterious "40 Foot Hole" and "Spatterdock Marsh" sections of the Hackensack River north over the border in Rockland County. SWAN's Watershed Educator, Nancy Slowik, will guide participants on a meandering adventure through widely differing habitats. EMS of Paramus will provide kayak rentals and conduct a safety and paddle technique talk at the start of the outing.
Participation in the paddle is limited to 20 boats, on a first-come, first served, pre-registration basis. With advance arrangements through Bergen SWAN, kayak rentals (15 total), paddles, and PFDs will be available for pick-up the day prior from EMS. Participants may opt to bring their own boats and equipment. Entry fees are $30 per one-person kayak rental, $40 per tandem kayak, and $20 for those who bring their own boats ($10 additional for an extra passenger). Refreshments and informational handouts will be provided for the entry fee. All proceeds will benefit Bergen SWAN, a watershed protection group for the Upper Hackensack River Watershed.
To pre-register, get full instructions and directions, pre-arrange a kayak rental, or find out more, call 201-666-1877 or email email@example.com, subject Spatterdock Marsh. Advance payment for the event is due by September 7, and may be made via PayPal (see the website, http://www.bergenswan.org//) or by check payable to Bergen SWAN (mail to: P.O. Box 217, Westwood, NJ, 07675).
More details for the event can be found on our Happenings page.
The Paddle on and North of Lake Tappan is made possible through the cooperation and generosity of United Water New Jersey.
Wildflower and Nature Photography Walk in the Old Tappan Woods!
Co-Sponsored by Bergen County Camera
June 24, 2012
3:00 - 6:00 pm
Join Naturalist Nancy Slowik and Nature Photographer Charles Dexter for an exploratory walk along a winding section of the Hackensack. With the help of these two extraordinary guides, learn to identify early summer flora growing on and near the riverbank and then how to create better photographic portraits of both plants and waterways.
Class size is limited to the first 20 registrants, so call or write early to sign-up! A fee of $35 per person entitles participants to the guided walks, educational handouts, personalized photography advice, and refreshments.
Bergen County Camera (Westwood location), will provide each participant in the June 24 event with one FREE 8 x 12 print of their favorite photo taken that afternoon.
See our Happenings page for more details!
Co-Director Mark Becker to Speak at "Smart Solutions to Sustainable Water Conference"
Bergen Community College,
Moses Technology Center
400 Paramus Road, Paramus
June 13, 2012
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Co-sponsored by Bergen Community College and The Record, the conference will feature Mark along with four other environmental speakers. Mark will talk about Upper Hackensack River Watershed protection and restoring our flood plains. Other presenters will discuss water conservation, and stormwater and wastewater management. The program is free to attend and open to the public.
See more details on our Happenings page...
NJ Goes Native!
An Educational Celebration of Native Plants: Next Week at State Line Lookout on the Palisades, Alpine
May 12, 2012
10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Native plant fun for one and all! Nature walks, native plant talks, crafts, workshops, and demonstrations, plus a native plant sale! Free admission, free parking - how can you lose?!
As part of the Nature Program Cooperative (NPC) of northern NJ (http://www.njpalisades.org/), Bergen SWAN has worked with our partner organizations to make this an exciting, informative, and fun time for children and adults.
Go to our Happenings page for the event flyer and see the NPC website for more information.
Bergen SWAN Combined Nature Tour/Nature Art Workshop for Young Folks Wows the Crowd!
SWAN teamed up with a local naturalist and local artist to host a very special nature walk and art event for children ages 8 - 12.
The event began with a guided tour of the 100+ acre Emerson Woods led by naturalist Nancy Slowik, who brought walkers' attention to the remarkable signs of early spring in a wetland forest.
Following the walk, participants climbed aboard the Fun Art Bus, a mobile eco-art studio, received personal art instruction from Laurie Rivlin Caspert of YouGottaHaveArt (http://www.yougottahaveart.org), and learned how to create an original artwork inspired by their favorite plant or other feature observed during their walk. There are new budding Georgia O'Keeffe's and Pablo Picasso's in our watershed!
Bergen SWAN 2011 Events
Pre-winter Walks through the Emerson Woods a Great Success!
Bergen SWAN and Naturalist Nancy Slowik TeamUp to Explore New Territory
We originally planned to host just one guided tour through Emerson Woods with naturalist Nancy Slowik on December 4th, but when the waiting list grew to over 25 people we arranged to host a second walk on December 18th. The second walk was also filled to capacity! To see pictures from the walks, go to our flickr site at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bergenswan . You can also read about the December 4th walk at the NJ Urban Forester Blog: http://njurbanforest.com/. Keep checking this site for additional walks this spring!
Bergen SWAN Explores the Spatterdock Marsh!
On Sunday, May 22, twenty canoes and kayaks set out to explore the Sapatterdock Marsh in West Nyack, NY. The tour was led by Naturalist Nancy Slowik and UWNJ Watershed Manager Ray Cywinski. For over two hours, the group paddled thoughout the marsh and up into the river, learning about the plants and animals in the region and the ecology of this unique natural area. For more details go to Happenings.
Go to our Picasa site for more pictures.
The Bergen Record has published a special Earth Day article on the history of open space preservation in New Jersey.
Click here to read "How the Green Movement Shaped New Jersey."
Sunday, April 17 - 2:00 PM
Greening Your Yard! - Short Films, Talk and Demonstraions
"Greening Your Yard with Water-Saving Tools & Techniques," will be the topic of a FREE educational program for local residents and landscape professionals interested in learning the best practices for a healthy, green and water-wise yard. The program will be held on Sunday April 17, 2011 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Westwood Public Library, 49 Park Avenue, Westwood, New Jersey. It is coordinated by Bergen SWAN and Pascack Sustainability Group, a non-profit dedicated to promoting sustainable practices in the Pascack Valley. Please visit our Happenings page for full details!
Palisades Virtuosi Presents
"H2O - Water in all its Forms"
March 26, 2011
The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, 113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ
7:15: Pre-Concert Talk; 8:00: Concert
Please join us for a very special evening of water- related music. Palisades Virtuosi will perform a concert of classical pieces ranging from Handel's Water Music to a newly commissioned work by David Sampson called Undercurrents Redux.
Tickets are $20 general admission and $15 for students & seniors. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Bergen SWAN.
If you run a local business, please contact SWAN if you would like to take out a program ad.
For more about the event and Palisades Virtuosi, visit their website:
For further information, call: 201-488-4983
Hackensack River StoryNight Art Exhibit Continues at the Haworth Municipal Library!
"Watershed Art" Exhibit - Now through October 30, 2010 Closing Reception - Saturday, October 30, 12-2 PM
The water and watersheds we take for granted are the theme of a current art show at Haworth Municipal Library. Originally displayed at StoryNight, the exhibit celebrates in painting and photography the waterways and woodlands of the Hackensack River Watershed in New York and New Jersey.
Portions of proceeds from art sales will benefit both Bergen SWAN and Haworth Municipal Library. More details can be found on our Happenings page!
For further information, contact Celine Ennis at 201-387-8879 or Barton Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: Haworth Art Show).
Clarkstown Environmental Summit
Clarkstown High School South,
31 Demarest Mill Road,
West Nyack, NY
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Bergen SWAN will be hosting a table at the event and giving a presentation from 1:30 - 2:15 on how installing rain barrels and rain gardens around your home can help improve the quality and quantity of our water resources. For more information, visit the Environmental Summit website at:
StoryNight Told Quite a Tale!
Thanks to all our friends and voluneteers for helping to make our 10/1/10 Hackensack River StoryNight an unforgettable event! Over 50 people came out to listen to tales of life along the Hackensack River, to hear river-inspired music, and see works of art in many media depicting local waterways. We will be posting a few photos from the event soon.
Please take some time over the month of October to stop by the Haworth Municipal Library to see an expanded version of the art show that debuted at StoryNight. We will bring you news soon of a closing party for the show - currently in the works and tentatively scheduled for Saturday, 10/30/10. Library hours and directions there can be found at: http://haworth.bccls.org/Directions.htm.
River lovers take note - we are working on launching a new section of the SWAN website devoted to your interesting adventures along and observations of the streams in our watershed. We hope to post stories, poems, voice recordings, art, video clips, photos, and even your recommended walks and canoe trips. Please contact us if you have an idea for a contribution to this project!
Friday, October 1, 2010, 8:00 PM -
Hackensack River StoryNight! - A Celebration of the River in Words & Art -
Save the date for this very special evening at the lovely Church of the Holy Communion in Norwood, where you can listen to leading river advocates tell stories about their experiences living, working, and adventuring along the Hackensack and its tributaries. The event is designed to be participatory, with opportunities for audience members to tell their own river story. The night will also feature an exhibit and sale of river-inspired art (painting, mixed media, photography) and river-related music. Please attend this fundraising celebration of our 22nd year working to preserve the watershed! Check our Happenings page for more details.
Bergen SWAN completes deal to preserve 11 acres of watershed buffer in River Vale near Lake Tappan!
Unbelievably, SWAN began advocating for the preservation of this parcel over 21 years ago. Persistence does pay. By consistently opposing development plans, successfully challenging land use regulation permits and building support for the purchase of these lands we have finally seen this dream come true. Through our application to the NJDEP Green Acres program Bergen SWAN was able to provide $850,000 to the funding package. We would like to offer a sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to bringing this long, long effort to a successful conclusion.
Click here for a link to the report on the acquisition in the Bergen Record.
Watershed-friendly Landcare Workshop Draws over 60 participants!
Our June 18th event drew a capacity crowd of over 60 participants. Attendees at the session enjoyed talks by noted experts in the field of streamside landscaping, non-toxic lawn care and using native plants in our ornamental landscapes. Thanks again to all our co-sponsors, United Water NJ, R & S Landscaping, Pascack Valley Sustainability Group and NJ Landscape Contractors Association. Pictures from the event can be seen by clicking HERE!
This workshop is envisioned as the first in a series of educational programs on maintaining our homes and landscapes in a more environmentally sensitive fashion. Check our website regularly for announcements of upcoming events.
Planting in the Park Yields
Seeds of Success!
Thanks to the efforts of over 80 volunteers, our Planting in the Park on May 15 and 16 was a real triumph!
With the cooperative perseverance of the organizers and volunteers of all stripes, all our planning, analyzing, digging, lugging, hauling, wheelbarrowing, shoveling, staking, tying, raking, seeding, feeding, and bucket brigade watering resulted in a lovely new circle of 60 new trees and 75 new shrubs around the pond at Pascack Brook County Park in Westwood. These buffer of plantings will help to enhance the pond's water quality, beautify the scenery, and increase wildlife diversity.
In case you missed them, links to stories in the Record & Community Life covering our event are listed below:
Community Life Article
An array of photos of our event can be found at our Picasa site:
Planting in the Park Photos
Please send us any photos that you took during that weekend and we will select the best of them to add to the posting and share with others.
We look forward to working with all of you in the coming months as we begin to develop plans for Planting in the Park II, which will add more shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses to the banks of the pond. Stay in touch to learn about our development of and involvement in other new restoration projects throughout the watershed.
Bergen SWAN & Hackensack Riverkeeper Join Forces to Defend Watershed
Protection Act -
3,300 Acres of Water Company Land Now Protected by NJDEP Easements!
In settlement of our ten year inquiry into violations of the Watershed Protection Act, United Water NJ (UWNJ) will place a permanent conservation easement on over 3,300 acres of their watershed properties and contribute $1,000,000 to the NJ Green Acres program for future purchase of watershed protective open space in Bergen County. A joint press release by UWNJ, Riverkeeper, and Bergen SWAN can be found at our Happenings page. A link to a story in the Record appears below. More details to follow...
Bergen Record WPA Settlement...