Lake Tappan

Bergen SWAN 2016 Events


Due to unpredictable weather, among other reasons, we have had to cancel our September  "Pollinator Garden in the Park" talk and will be rescheduling it to a date in 2017.  Please stay tuned for further details.  (If anyone is interested in helping us to keep our garden beautiful, please contact us - there's lots of work to do!)

Help the Bees, Trees, Flowers, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds!


ATTENTION: Volunteers Needed; Bergen SWAN is Hiring a Part-timer -
See the 'Get Involved' page! 


Fundraising Sale Continues Online:

You can virtually shop online on our Resources page  for scores of decorative and functional items.  View our extensive lists of housewares, art, handcrafts, supplies, lamps, linens, appliances and office supplies, all on sale to benefit our environmental education work. The lists contain specs, descriptions, and photographs of a wide variety of wonderful and affordable items.  We will accept all reasonable offers!

Click here to go to the item lists, return often for new items and updates. 

Start your search online and then come to our impromptu SWAN "store" to make your purchases.  If you see something you would like to purchase, just call us at 201-866-1877 or email us at  bergenswan@sprynet.com, subject "Online Sale", for more information about the item(s) and to arrange payment and pick-up.

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Our 2015 Landscaping for the Watershed workshops and pollinator garden project turned out to be very successful. Among all the pollinators seen in the garden, hummingbirds and monarch butterflies have been visiting! And though 2015  has come and gone, our work goes on. We continue efforts to safeguard open space. The plantings at  the Emerson Woods stream restoration project need tending and monitoring. We are conducting an inventory of green infrastructure and open space opportunities in Hillsdale and Westwood 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 ---

Click here to read two poems for Mark, on what would have been his 54th birthday, September 30, 2014...

Mark B at photo nature walk       

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.... 


 Bergen SWAN 2016 Events


Calling All Weed Pullers & Ragpickers...

Help Yank out the Invasive Plants!

Emerson Woods Weed Pull is Set for Saturday, July 30, 10am to 1pm

Our stream restoration site along the Heck's Ditch in Emerson Woods Preserve has become host to some aggressive invasive plants - stilt grass, garlic mustard, pachysandra - and we need to get them in check so as to give the native plantings installed along the banks in 2013 a fighting chance.

We'll supply gloves and bags and refreshments if you can give us an hour or two of your time and labor.  We need only about 15 people total throughout the day.  Please volunteer!

 See our Happenings page for the flyer .  


Some Enchanted Evening...something may be singing...

Come out Next Tuesday, July 19, to Celebrate the summer on our 'Night Walk by Lantern Light' at Old Tappan Reservoir...

This is a leaderless and leisurely walk, just for time to spend listening to and learning from the critters and each other. SWAN's two new summer interns - John Adriance and Hina Oryu - will tell us about some common nocturnal animals out and about at this time of year.  Participation is limited to the first 25 people to register.  Bring a dim lantern for yourself and a short favorite passage about the full moon to share with others.

Admission is a minimum $5 donation to SWAN. 

We will post further details shortly on our Happenings page. 


 Spring Clean-up Fundraising Sale...

 2nd Weekend in June!

Please stop by 6/10, 6/11, and 6/12 at SWAN Central - 141 Demarest Avenue, corner of Westdale Avenue in Hillsdale - and make your purchase of a beautiful and/or useful item to benefit our educational and advocacy work.   We will have something for everyone: decorative items, housewares, linens, clothing, jewelry, books, photo equipment, appliances...some great items deeply discounted, some free. The sale hours are Friday, 3-7pm; Saturday/Sunday, 10am-6pm.


 Bergen SWAN 2015 Events 


Saturday:10/17/15...

Nature Lover's Fall Fundraiser!

Go to the HAPPENINGS page for our colorful event flyer! 

Attention: Lovers of Art, Crafs, Cool Stuff, Local Healthy Food, and Natural Cosmetic Products - Attend our Annual Fundraising Sale Next Week!

The first 50 people to make a purchase of $50 or more at our sale will be given a free packet of milkweed seeds...favorite of treasured monarch butterflies.

Media Sponsor: Pascack Valley Community Life

Local Sponsors: Bergen County Camera, Westwood; The B-Hive Organic Salon, Hillsdale; Old Hook Farm, Emerson; REJUVENATE Sanctuary, Westwood; Wild Birds Unlimited, Paramus.

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On Saturday, OCTOBER 17, Bergen SWAN will host a high end fall sale inside the Community Center in downtown Westwood, NJ. Tablers will showcase their own or others' lovely creations with a nature theme - art works, handmade goods, decorative items, ornaments, unusual wearables, nature books, locavore artisinal foods, eco services.

Proceeds will benefit our work, and tablers will get to keep the profits from their sales.  Some of the funds will go toward our continuing pollinator garden education campaign.  In May 2015, we planted two small pollinator beds in Girl Scout Park, Westwood, and we hope to construct an information kiosk at the site.  We are also working toward creating a rustic memorial arbor for SWAN Founder/Co-Director Mark G. Becker.  And we want to continue our program of naturalist guided walks and paddles in the watershed woods.

Email: bergenswanrsvp@gmail.com, Subject: Fall Sale!

Phone: 201-666-1877.


Landscaping for the Watershed:

Planting for Pollinators, Wildlife, and Streams - Parts 2 & 3

Part 2: MAY 14, 7PM, Westwood Library
Part 3: MAY 17, 2PM, Garden Site in Westwood 

Our sucessfull April 14th workshop program continues with two more garden workshops focusing more on putting our words into action. The points covered during Part 1 will be translated into how-to techniques in Part 2 and put into practice during the Part 3 hands on planting.  We will install a lovely pollinator garden in a streamside pocket park in Westwood. Both Parts 2 & 3 will be taught by Bill Kolvek, an instructor at New York Botanical Gardens, and owner of of Bill Kolvek Perennials, a nursery that features native plants.

The program is sponsored by Bergen SWAN and underwritten by PSE&G. Cost is $10 per participant per workshop, and pre-registration is required.

Go to the Happenings  page for the event flyer with more information on registering.  


 RESCHEDULED / NEW DATE ANNOUNCED!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015,

7:30 pm–9:30 pm

Landscaping for the Watershed:
Planting for Pollinators, Wildlife, and Streams

Featuring Carolyn Summers, author of Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East, this part one of three workshops will center on using native plants in your garden to benefit wildlife and our watershed.

An intermission will feature refreshments and information tables.  For the 2nd part of the program, Ms. Summers will show slides of inspirational ecologically beneficial gardens. The event will close with a two-way Q & A session with a panel of four local botanists, naturalists, and watershed experts.

The program is sponsored by Bergen SWAN, the Nature Program Cooperative, PSE&G, the Bergen-Passaic Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey, and United Water New Jersey, which is hosting the program at its Haworth Water Treatment Plant on Lakeshore Drive. Cost is $10 per participant, and pre-registration is required.

Go to the Happenings  page for the event flyer and more information on registering. 


On Sunday, February 8, 2015, 8:30 am – Noon

Bergen SWAN will have a table set up at the Nathan Barnert Memorial Temple's 15th Annual Mitzvah Mall

Annually, the congregation at Barnert Temple raises money and awareness for ten carefully selected grassroots organizations close to home and around the world.

There will be something for everyone:  interactive charity exhibits for children and adults; adult education with Rabbi Elyse Frishman, 9 – 10:30 am; a pancake breakfast and raffle.

Go to our Happenings page to see the event flyer with a list of all ten organizations. Or, for more information and to donate online, go to www.barnerttemple.org/MitzvahMall.


 Bergen SWAN 2014 Events 


Don't Miss our Unique Upcoming SWAN Fundraiser:

Sunday, December 7, 2014 

 Click here to go to our event flyer: Happenings.

Hackensack River StoryNight: 

Join us on Sunday, December 7 for a warming night of learning and exploration as we tell each other river stories by lantern light, at the stunning historic Demarest Railroad Station on the Tenakill Brook.  We will be festively decorating the station for the occassion.

The evening will start with a tribute to SWAN's Co-Director, Mark G. Becker, who was a huge fan of reading and listening to stories.  

Then hear Watershed Educator Nancy Slowik's Watershed Moments slide presentation, about our 2014 adventures on the trail and out on the water.  This will be followed by tea and dessert, a silent auction, and a sale of winter seasonal goods.  

The night will cap off with a story circle led by playwright Will MacAdams, in which participants will relate a brief experience involving being on or near a waterway in the Hackensack River Watershed.  

Our story theme will be: Going by the Water: Experiences by Local Streams, Brooks, Lakes, Ponds & Rivers.

Story telling participants will include watershed advocates Lori Charkey, Barton Knight, Nancy Slowik, Bill Sheehan, and Hugh Carola.  Up to 15 guests will have the opportunity to tell their tales, based on whoever is first to sign up at registration.  

Admission to StoryNight is a minimum donation of $25 per person, but please contact us if this is a hardship and you need to pay on a sliding scale.  To register, call us at 201-666-1877, or write us at bergenswan@sprynet.com, subject "StoryNight Registration." 

Payment can be made by:

  • Check, deliverd no later than 12/1/14 to the following address:  P.O. Box 217, Westwood, NJ 07675

OR

  • PayPal - See the Donate button to the right.  Note: Please add an additional $2 per ticket to cover what PayPal charges us per transaction. 

Register early as space is limited to the first 40 participants! 


Earlier in the day on  Sunday, December 7  come and join the Emerson Woods Clean Up and Invasive Pull

Invasive plants, many non-native, has become a very real problem everywhere. Persisently pulling and monitoring is the only way to control them without use of chemicals, which is especially important to avoid within watershed lands. It will start at the Emerson Woods Stream Restoration Project site, which SWAN spearheaded, on Main St. in Emerson.

You must register with Annabelle Bower at ambassador@hackensackriverkeeper.org to join in.   Go to SWAN's Happenings page to see the flyer for more information.


An Afternoon Paddle on Lake Tappan Reservoir  -- is on Sunday, September 7th. Come with us as we look for migrating hawks and shorebirds, and the wildflowers' last show of the summer. 

See Happenings for the flyer and more information, or email us at bergenswanrsvp@gmail.com.


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 bergenswanrsvp@gmail.com.

Participation is limited to 30 boats and entry is first -come first-served, so don't hesitate! Sign up now!!


 IMPORTANTPlease note that this Sunday's walk is fully booked!  We are now taking names for a waiting list.   Please email bergenswanrsvp@gmail.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)

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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!

New Jersey votes YES for a stable source of funding for OPEN SPACE!

On November 4, 2014, voters in our state had the chance to support a measure to create a stable source of funding for NJ State Green Acres, and about 64% voted for it!.  For more info on the issue, go to the Happenings page.


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.


New Feature!   

Events Hosted by Other Groups...


"OFF the Rails, Rivers & Pipelines /        ON with Renewable Energy" Forum

Sunday September 20, 2015   from 3 to 5 pm.

Come join the grassroots groups 350NJ and the Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains at their free public forum. 

The event will provide facts that will empower individuals and groups to convince policymakers that we need to stop shipping highly explosive Bakken crude oil through our communities in favor of a swift transition to clean, safe, renewable energy. 

There's an amazing lineup of experts and community activists joining the panel discussion!

Go to our Happenings page for the flyer and more information.


IMPORTANT UPDATE:

HILLSDALE MAYOR & COUNCIL SANCTION OPEN SPACE APPLICATION FOR 12 ACRE TANDY WOODS:

Working with Bergen SWAN and the Open Space Institute, the Hillsdale Mayor and Council is now supporting an application to preserve the Tandy Woods wetlands from development, seeking funding from Bergen County's Open Space Trust Fund and possibly from NJ State Green Acres.

We hope this process will go forward without issue, resulting in the Tandy Woods being spared as a beautiful preserve that will benefit our local watershed, and be saved in SWAN Co-Director Mark Becker's honor. 

Write Letters of Encouragement To:

Mayor Max Arnowitz & Council
Borough of Hillsdale
380 Hillsdale Avenue
Hillsdale, NJ 07642
marnowitz@hillsdalenj.org

Pascack Valley Community Life
pvcommunitylife@northjersey.com

Pascack Press at   pascackpress@thepressgroup.net


Join Us Today in Protest!

Monday, July 6, 2015,

5:00 pm Vigil in Bergenfield 

Join the Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains and 350N at a vigil to remember the oil train derailment and explosion that devastated the small town of Lac Megantic two years ago.

We'll carry signs representing the New Jersey towns and cities along the CSX oil train rail lines calling for a ban on unsafe oil trains, and demanding clean, safe renewable energy instead. The Bergenfield vigil is one of nearly 100 events across North America where people are organizing to stop the dangerous transport of crude by rail through our communities.

Each day, in our towns surrounding the Oradell Reservoir -prime drinking water resource for 750,000 residents - up to 30 freight trains run by CSX lumber past, carrying highly dangerous cargo - toxic, volatile crude oil coming east from North Dakota.  

We know from the accident that occured in February of this year in West Virginia that oil train crashes along rivers are a horror with endless public health and welfare consequences.  

See this NY TImes article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/us/west-virginia-train-derailment-dumps-oil-into-river.html?_r=0  

Other recent oil train crashes have happened in Quebec, Virginia, Alabama, and North Dakota.  With public funds dwindling and infrastructure crumbling, such accidents are a terrifying prospect.

Please help Bergen SWAN, Hackensack Riverkeeper, Pascack Sustainability, the Sierra Club, and other local environmentally concerned partners to urge our political leaders to place an outright ban on unsafe oil trains traversing our communities. Join the call for far greater and more stringent safeguards for all equipment involved in this industry.

For further information, write to CoaltiontoBanUnsafeOilTrains@gmail.com and go to http://explosive-crude-by-rail.org/.


   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. 


 

Make your tax-deductible donations to Bergen SWAN using your PayPal or credit card account by clicking here...

 
Your personal checks are also graciously accepted and will result in the full value of your donation going to Bergen SWAN.

Welcome to Bergen SWAN…riveres

From our beginnings in 1988, Bergen SWAN has been aggressively pursuing the preservation of the watershed buffer forests around our drinking water reservoirs.  To date, we have helped protect from development over 3,300 acres of woods and wetlands, and over 300 acres of golf courses. 

The narrow, protective, forest buffers around our reservoirs represent some of the only unbroken stretches of woods in an intensely populated, increasingly urban area. These watershed buffers are a critical link to sound watershed management for the Upper Hackensack, helping to maintain safe drinking water quality for nearly 1 million Bergen and Hudson County residents in New Jersey and in Rockland County, New York.

Watershed buffers... 

  • Filter and slow runoff, absorbing pollutants
  • Control erosion
  • Mitigate flooding
  • Provide habitat for wildlife
  • Provide a sanctuary for hiking and passive recreation

While we continue to fight for the permanent protection of the last remaining open spaces in our region, we are increasingly turning our focus to developing stewardship and educational programs that ensure the long-term sustainability of our watershed.   These programs include:

  • Encouraging good streamkeeping by residents living alongside waterways
  • Installation of stormwater controls such as rain gardens
  • Phasing out the use of high phosphorus fertilizers
  • Promoting non-toxic, environmentally sound practices in public places and golf courses

Bergen SWAN is now on Facebook!  Click HERE to join our Facebook community.


The Nature Program Cooperative
  
Did you know... that there are over a dozen places and organizations in northeastern New Jersey that provide quality nature programs? Recently, several of them banded together to create the Nature Program Cooperative (NPC) – a pooling of knowledge and resources designed to offer the people of our region greater opportunities to explore and enjoy the region’s natural side.

How it works… Throughout the year, each of the different partners of the Co-op (listed on the right side of this page) will host an outdoor activity or indoor educational program at a nature center or other appropriate location to which all group members are invited. When applicable, member discounts will apply to all Co-op partner members and supporters. For example, if  Tenafly Nature Center hosts an event, members of all other NPC groups pay the TNC member rate. (Non-members are also welcome to attend the event, but must pay the non-member rate.)  All NPC events are advertised in each partner group’s newsletter.

For a list of upcoming NPC programs, please visit the NPC site at:

http://www.natureprogram.org/

npc map