The Tenafly Nature Center welcomes libraries, senior groups, garden clubs, and other organizations and meetups.
Day Trip Program Topics
We can design programs to match your interests. Please contact the Education Director
to discuss topics that may not appear below.
Apple Cidering: 1-1.5 hours
Investigate plant parts, their uses, and s
imple machines by using an old-fashioned screw press to make and sample fresh apple cider. In the process, they learn about the history of the cider making from colonial times to the present.
Creatures of the Night: Do you know if you are nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular? Join educators from the Tenafly Nature Center and find out! Through live animal demonstrations, participants will learn about local species that inhabit the dark. From owls to opossums, learn about the amazing adaptations creatures posses to roam the nighttime landscape.
Endangered NJ: 1-2 hours
Learn about the major factors that threaten animals with endangerment and extinction worldwide. Through use of artifacts and live animals, participants will learn the status of select native New Jersey fauna. Activities are designed to raise awareness of New Jersey’s over 60 endangered species, and inspire participants to practice how they can help prevent threats to local wildlife.
Forest Ecology: 1-3 hours
Explore the local forest to learn about relationships between non-living and living factors. By “reading the landscape”, participants uncover some of the differences between deciduous and coniferous forests through field-testing forest plots, studying the flora and fauna, and making field observations. Extended programs can include topics such as succession and stratification, plant life cycles, classification and tree identification using a dichotomous key. Discover the cultural and natural history of plants, particularly trees, as we examine a tree’s life stages, following its growth from seed to maturity, finally, to decomposition.
Geology of the Palisades: 1-2 hours
Discover how the Palisades were formed, where its rocks and fossils come from, and the history they reveal. Learn and practice identifying common NJ rocks found at TNC and how geology factors into our lives. We will discuss examples of erosion and deposition caused by the forces of nature and will reinforce concepts of glaciation, soil formation and landforms.
Group Challenges: 1-2 hours
Through problem-solving challenges and group work, this program will help your group recognize their strengths and practice their listening skills. Usingphysical and mental abilities, participants will learn how to communicate effectively and cultivate cooperative skills.
Heavenly Herps: 1-2 hours
“Herps” (reptiles and amphibians) are among the most under-appreciated and misunderstood species of the Animal Kingdom. An introduction to live snakes, frogs, salamanders and turtles highlights the characteristics that distinguish these
Invertebrate Safari: 1-2 hours
Examine live insects in an introduction to the vast array of insect life, and learn where to find insects outside and how to identify them. By observing life stages and adaptations, participants will learn to identify different insects in a variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Extended programs include such topics as how people depend on insects and how our attempts to control insect populations affect the environment.
Map & Compass: 2-4 hours
Learn the parts of a compass and how to find your way. Extended programs include instruction in orienteering, reading different kinds of maps and wayfinding techniques. Participants will use their new-found skills to follow pre-set courses to find "natural treasures" hidden outdoors.
Maple Sugaring: 1 hour
Learn about the history of maple sugaring in North America by observing our tapped Sugar Maple trees. (We encourage sap tasting, if enough has been collected.) We demonstrate both Native American and colonial syrup-making techniques outdoors. We challenge participants to distinguish between corn syrup and 100% maple syrup by taste alone. Only offered in late February through early March.
Oogling Owls: 1-1.5 hours
Learn the adaptations these nocturnal predators use to thrive at night. Participants will learn about the status of NJ’s owls and discuss the pros and cons of human interaction with these powerful and efficient predators.
Outdoor Survival: 1.5-2 hours
If you were lost in the woods, would you know what to do? Learn to prepare for survival outdoors using the “rules of three”. Through cooperation and communication, participants will exercise group skills to construct a survival shelter. Extended programs include instruction and practice in applying map and compass skills and a demonstration of how to set and start a campfire.
Pond Ecology: 1-3 hours
Using a variety of tools (dip nets, magnifiers, etc.), discover aquatic ecosystems and food chains by participating in hands-on pond exploration. Participants will study diversity, adaptations and interrelationships among the organisms found in the water, and discuss how human activity impacts aquatic habitats. Extended programs include water testing and a comparison of different kinds of freshwater habitats.
Rapp’n with Raptors: 1-1.5 hours
Observe live raptors up close and learn about their behavior, physiology, adaptations, ecological importance and natural history. Hands-on artifacts and demonstrations will display the grace and power of these predators.
Seasonal Discovery: 1-3 hours
Explore the wonders each season brings to the forest. On a walk along the trails, observe and record temperature, weather, and wind direction. Learn how the flora and fauna adapt to the changes of the season through observation and discussion.
If your group has visited us recently and you would like to let us know what you thought, please send us a program evaluation.
Your response will assist us in providing all groups with high quality programming in the future.