Happy Earth Day

This Saturday, April 22nd, is Earth Day, a day dedicated to celebrating our extraordinary planet and re-committing ourselves to being stewards of its health. At The Nature Place, we think that every day is Earth Day, but we’re happy to show our home a little extra love on this occasion. We hope that you too can give thanks to our Earth this Saturday, in whatever way speaks to you!

One celebration of interest: The Hungry Hollow Co-op’s Earth Day Celebration. Stop by any time from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm for children’s activities, nature walks, and for education on the environment, pipeline issues, water protection. We’ll be there!

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Maple Sugaring at The Nature Place

On a particularly frigid March 4th we tapped maple trees during two sugaring programs. While the cold kept the usual hordes at bay, many brave maple fans came out to learn all about how to tap trees, collect and boil sap, and to enjoy thick, sweet syrup over crushed ice, accompanied by a dill pickle.

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Mini Pig

John from Outragehisss Pets really wowed us this weekend at our annual winter animal program. Hamlet the mini pig was especially cute.

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Open Houses, Programs, & Camp Fairs

The full list of our ‘off-season’ happenings:

Open Houses

Attending an open house is the best way to learn about The Nature Place Day Camp. You’ll meet us (Ed, Scott, Daniel, Ayla, Shaina, Elaine, and others), get a tour of our camp grounds, see a narrated slide show of summer activities, and come away from your visit with a fuller understanding of what we do and why we do it. All open houses are between 1 and 4 pm (except on March 4th, which is Noon – 2 pm), and take place at the Green Meadow Waldorf School – 307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977.

Our autumn open house will take place on Sunday, November 20th. Because it’s fall, besides learning about camp, families will also get to press apples into apple cider!

Savoring fresh-pressed cider

Savoring fresh-pressed cider

Open houses in 2017:

Saturday, January 21st
Sunday, February 5th
Saturday, February 18th
Saturday, March 4th
Sunday, March 19th
Saturday, April 8th
Sunday, April 23rd
Saturday, May 13th


Public Programs

Attending one of our winter/spring programs is a great way for new or inquiring camp families to experience some of what we do at The Nature Place, as well as an opportunity for returning campers to come say ‘Hi!’ to friends and enjoy a sweet taste of summer camp during the off-season.

 

Winter Tales with Chuck Stead
Saturday, January 21st. Noon – 1 pm. Open house afterward from 1 – 4 pm.

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Every Friday at camp master storyteller Chuck Stead spins funny, poignant, outrageous and true stories of his childhood and growing up in the nearby Ramapo Mountains. When the weather turns cold and winter has really set in, Chuck tells us his Winter Tales – stories that sparkle and glimmer like the snow and ice of January.

 

Outragehisss Pets
Saturday, February 18th. Noon – 1 pm. Open house afterward from 1 – 4 pm.

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Each Tuesday and Thursday of our summer camp season Outragehisss Pets brings a menagerie of wild animals to camp for us to learn about, see up close, and even touch or hold. Some animals are soft (chinchillas), some fluffy (fennec foxes), rough (armadillos), scaly (snakes), spiky (hedgehogs), but all are outrageous! Join us on Saturday, February 18th for our annual winter animal program.

 

Maple Sugaring
Saturday, March 4th.

This program happens twice, once from 11 am – Noon, and then again, from 2 – 3 pm. Our Open House this day is between programs, from Noon – 2 pm.

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Mighty maple syrup, that amber aristocrat of all sweets, is a large part of what we call the ‘three M’ time of year – March, Maple, and Mud. Join The Nature Place for our most popular public program (it’s so nice, we do it twice), in the morning beginning at 11 am or in the afternoon, starting at 2 pm.

We’ll learn all about maples trees, discovering what it takes to turn sap into syrup. We’ll then go outside to tap a maple tree, taste the sap that drips out, see it boiling over a fire, and then, conclude our event with the sweet taste of thickened maple syrup over crushed ice, accompanied, of course, by a dill pickle. Participants in this program will take home spouts for tapping as well as clear instructions for making your own maple syrup at home, from your very own tree.

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Wild Edibles with Paul Tappenden
Sunday, April 23rd. Noon – 1 pm. Open house afterwards from 1 – 4 pm.

Paul

Wild food forager Paul Tappenden leads us on a vernal adventure into our environs to discover what’s growing wild and edible in our area. We’ll learn plant names, properties, tastes, uses in cooking, and get an overall feel for a number of plants. Early spring should yield a bounty of tender flora. Join us for a fun, investigative feast from the earth.


Camp Fairs

We attend a total of 11 camp fairs in New York City (Manhattan and Brooklyn) between December and April. A camp fair is basically us bringing a slice of our open house to you, in your neighborhood. We will be at our Nature Place table, speaking to inquiring families about camp and answering questions. You’ll know it’s us by the large earth art city-stump, wooden photo trifold, and general vibe de nature.

All camp fairs run between Noon and 3 pm. 

Saturday, December 10th – Upper East Side
St. Jean Baptiste High School, 173 E 75th St, New York, NY 10021

Sunday, December 11th – Upper West Side
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024

Saturday, January 28th – Upper East Side
St. Jean Baptiste High School, 173 E 75th St, New York, NY 10021

Sunday, January 29th – Upper West Side
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024

Saturday, February 4th – Park Slope, BK
Berkeley Carroll School, 181 Lincoln Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Saturday, February 11th – Tribeca
Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007

Sunday, February 12th – Cobble Hill, BK
Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, 185 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Sunday, March 5th – Park Slope, BK
Berkeley Carroll School, 181 Lincoln Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Sunday, March 12th – Cobble Hill, BK
Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, 185 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Saturday, April 1st – Upper East Side
St. Jean Baptiste High School, 173 E 75th St, New York, NY 10021

Sunday, April 2nd – Upper West Side
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024

Autumn Open House – Sunday, November 20th

Our autumn open house will take place on Sunday, November 20th, between 1 and 4 pm. Families interested in learning more about The Nature Place can visit us any time during those hours for a tour of camp, a slide show of summers past, and because it’s fall, a chance to press apples into apple cider!

Savoring fresh-pressed cider

Savoring fresh-pressed cider

Hungry Hollow Family Music Festival & Green Meadow Waldorf School Fall Fair

Nothing puts us right smack into the heart of the season like an autumn festival – and over the next few weeks there are two different events that will ease you out of summer and land you square in the lap of fall – The Hungry Hollow Music Festival and Green Meadow Waldorf School’s annual Fall Fair.

 

Saturday, September 24th, 10 am – 6 pm. 

The Hungry Hollow Family Music Festival brings great music, organic food, and fun activities for children to our campus on Saturday, September 24th, from 10 am until 6 pm. Located at the Fellowship Community – 241 Hungry Hollow Road in Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977, Nature Place friends and families are invited to join in for a day of listening and dancing to good music – the Chapin Sisters, John McDowell and Mama Tongue, Walking Shapes, and more.

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Saturday, October 1st, 10 am – 5 pm

The smell of hay from the wagon ride mixes with the sweet tang of apple cider, newly fallen leaves of gold, orange, and red dapple the ground in front of you, music is heard louder as you turn the corner, and on every side you pass vendors tending beautiful booths and selling handmade crafts, toys, and clothing. With a pang, you realize it must have been early morning when you last ate….and then a waft of smoke from the grill drifts past your nose, and you notice the bounty of other good-looking, organic food besides…crises averted, lunch will be had. Walking toward the grill you pass pumpkins being carved into jack-o-lanterns, a puppet show for young children, cider pressing (that’s us! Stop by and say hi), candle-dipping, treasure hunts, and innumerable other games, tricks, and activities for children and adults alike.

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Open House & Spring Peeper Hunt

Join us this Saturday, May 7th, for our camp open house between 1 and 4 pm. We’ll take you on a tour through the garden, past the pond, and around much of our campus (although not the full 200 acres!). We’ll also show you a slide show of photographs from past summers, hopefully answer all of your camp questions, and you’ll come away from visiting us with a good feeling for how and why we do things at The Nature Place.

Peeper

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can join us this same evening, Saturday, May 7th, at 7:30 pm, for our annual spring peeper hunt. We’ll meet in front of the lower school building at Green Meadow Waldorf School, 307 Hungry Hollow Road in Chestnut Ridge, NY.

Hunting spring peepers successfully takes a keen ear, a sharp eye, stealth, and above all, patience. We’ll tromp through the small swamp behind the farm on a search for these tiny sirens of spring. The male frogs emit a loud ‘pee-eep! pee-eep!’, which allows us to echo-locate our targets, carefully treading over hillocks and sunken logs until we are close enough to shine a flashlight on the spring peeper. If we’re lucky, after a minute or two, the frog will start singing again, and we’ll see his vocal sack bulge out as he peeps, like a bubble blown from froggy bubblegum.

This event is in the dark, in a swamp! Please attend in high rubber boots, clothes you don’t mind getting swampy, and a sense of adventure. Flashlights are a must. This program will be easier for children ages six and older. Attending with younger children is OK, but you might decide to stay along the edge of the swamp.

Wild Edible Walk & Open House

Join The Nature Place this Sunday, April 17th, from Noon – 1 pm, as we’re led through the ripening woods on a wild edible walk, guided by wild food forager Paul Tappenden. We’ll learn to identify a variety of edible spring plants growing wild throughout our Nature Place campus, in what’s predicted to be perfect, 70 degree spring weather.

Stick around afterward for our open house to learn more about camp! Our open house runs between 1 and 4 pm. If you’re unable to attend the wild edibles program before hand you can just stop by anytime between 1 and 4 pm to take a tour of camp, see a slideshow from summers past, and get your camp questions answered.

Our Wild Edible Walk and open house will both meet at 307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977.

Paul Tappenden holding up a burdock leaf

Paul Tappenden holding up a burdock leaf

 

 

Open House this Saturday, April 2nd

Join The Nature Place for our open house this Saturday, April 2nd, any time between 1 and 4 pm. We’ll show you around camp, answer any questions you have about this coming summer, and provide you with an overall picture of what, how, and why we do what we do!

Daffodils, blue bells, and hyacinths are popping up all over our campus, we hope you’ll show up too!

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Maple Sugaring & Open House This Saturday, March 5th

Join The Nature Place for our annual maple sugaring program, it’s surely our sweetest event!

This program is happening twice on Saturday, once from 11 am – Noon, and then again from 2 – 3 pm.

We’ll learn all about maple sugaring, tap trees, boil sap over a fire, and taste syrup over crushed ice, accompanied by a dill pickle! Participants will take home their own spouts and simple, clear instructions for making your own maple syrup at home.

Between programs you can learn more about The Nature Place Day Camp during our open house, any time between Noon and 2 pm.

138044 CLIFFSIDE PARK, NJ MAPLE SUGARING DEMONSTARTION 2-25-15 Ed and Daniel Bieber of The Nature Place Day Camp demonstrated maple sugaring at the Cliffside Park Public Library on Feb. 25, 2015. KRYSTI SABINS/FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

138044 CLIFFSIDE PARK, NJ MAPLE SUGARING DEMONSTARTION 2-25-15 Ed and Daniel Bieber of The Nature Place Day Camp demonstrated maple sugaring at the Cliffside Park Public Library on Feb. 25, 2015. KRYSTI SABINS/FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER