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The Nature Program Cooperative

The Nature Program Cooperative
Click here for the NPC website.

Did you know there are over a dozen places and organizations in Bergen County alone that provide quality nature programs? Recently, they created the NPC – a pooling of knowledge and resources designed to offer the people of our region greater opportunities to explore and enjoy the County’s natural side.

Current Nature Program Cooperative partners include:

Throughout the year, different partners of the Co-op 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, when Tenafly Nature Center hosts an event, members of all other groups pay the TNC member rate. Non-members are also welcome to attend. All events will be advertised in each group’s newsletter.

Upcoming NPC programs: click here for more information.

  • Birding for Beginners Class
    Hosted by Bergen County Audubon in partnership with the NJ Meadowlands Commission
    March 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10:00 am - 12 pm
  • Stream Invertebrates in Greenbrook Sanctuary Hosted by Greenbrook Sanctuary  March 28
  • Sky Creatures: Stories in the Sky
    Hosted by Meadowlands Environment Center
    Friday, April 16
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 - 9 pm

  • Survival in the Wild
    Hosted/Presented by Flat Rock Brook Nature Center
    Sunday, April 18
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1:30–3:30 pm.
  • Guided Paddle Through the Sawmill Marsh

    Hosted by Hackensack Riverkeeper
    Saturday, April 24
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 am

  • “Shad Bake” at Mrs. Kearney’s tavern
    Hosted/Presented by Palisades Interstate Park
    Saturday, May 1
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 am – 3 pm

  • Marsh Meander
    Hosted by Meadowlands Environment Center
    Saturday, May 15
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 - 2:30 pm

The Princess and the Frog from Leapfrog

My family is a big fan of Leapfrog products we currently have the Click-start, Leapster2, and Tag systems. So I was a little disappointed with a recent purchase we made of Disney's Princess and the Frog for the Leapster.

I had reviewed the online trailer and thought it would be a good addition with both math and spelling games.
The game has the characters and sounds from The Princess and the Frog. But it lacks originality and seems like a recycled version of other Leapster games. One big detractor is that the sound clips are often repeated back to back. It seems as though Leapfrog rushed to get this product out in time for Mardi Gras and ride the wave of the movies popularity.
In doing so they created a product that is similar to other Disney games and left this consumer feeling a little ripped off. As a parent I have come to expect games from leapfrog that help my child to master concepts in a fun, novel way. This one misses the mark.

The Magic of a Snow Day

The Magic of a Snow Day

This past week we received our first major snowfall of the winter.
Schools and many workplaces were closed.
Ah! The snow day, even as an adult I can remember the feeling of anticipation that school might be closed. A feeling eclipsed only by that of Christmas or a birthday.
So It was truly a gift to be able to experience my daughters first snow day. As she woke I gently whispered schools closed. Her thin slits for eyes grew wide and a smile spread across her face. Then she dashed to the window to look outside. The pool is buried, she said. The snow had drifted up to the wall that surrounds the pool in our building's courtyard.

We had pancakes for breakfast (something usually reserved for Sundays.) And watched the weather report. During the morning I had some conference calls and work to complete. (courtesy of technology, many parents don't get snow days anymore)

Venture Out

After a late lunch enough was enough, it was time to get outside and enjoy the magic of the snow.
Our Courtyard and parking lot had been transformed into a white windswept tundra. We trudged along to our car stopping along the way to make some snowballs and snow angels.
The car was also transformed as well. The snow covered windows blocked out most of the light. Once the heat got kicking it was a warm and cozy snow cave.

Onto the sledding
We drove up to a park along Husdon Terrace. This is a local favorite spot for sledding. The bowel shaped park offers a wide variety of sledding profiles from short and steep to long gradual slopes to everything in between. The perimeter of the hills were dotted with snowman and other snow sculptures.
We made a number of runs down each of the hills, had a snowball fight, and then proceeded to make a snow fort and then some more sledding.

One of my favorite memories that day was when we lied on our backs looking up at the falling snow. We followed the flakes from as high as we could see all the way down to the ground. And on a few occasions, right onto our faces. There is something about falling snow that quiets everything down, including the soul. It is a peacefulness that I have only experienced while it is snowing.
I am grateful that I was able to share this day with the best person I could imagine. While the snow transformed our town into a winter wonderland, for a few hours it transformed this 40 year old back into a kid.