Member Feature: Flat Rock Brook Nature Center

Flat Rock Brook Nature Center overlooks Quarry Pond

 

Flat Rock Brook Nature Center in Englewood, NJ is a 150-acre nature preserve with 3.6 miles of hiking trails that meander through a variety of habitats including forest, wetlands and meadow. Tucked away in suburban New Jersey, just minutes from the George Washington Bridge, this natural oasis offers residents of Bergen County and beyond a relaxing space to take in the wonders of nature. 

Flat Rock Brook Nature Association was established in 1973 after a group of concerned citizens worked to preserve open space in their city. Much of the land that is now Flat Rock Brook was slated for a doomed residential development in the late 1920’s, but was later preserved by the City of Englewood after citizens fought to save the forested area. Flat Rock Brook was founded in 1973 and soon leased these lands, providing the community with open space, recreation opportunities and environmental education programming.

 

Educational programs are offered year-round for groups and the public

 

Today, many people know Flat Rock Brook through participation in educational programs. Flat Rock Brook began its environmental education program in 1974 through volunteers known as Trail Guides. These guides led school groups through the preserve to study nature and encourage children to protect it. Today, this education program has grown to welcome thousands of students each year for field trips. Some of the founding Trail Guides are still teaching field trips today! Other programmatic offerings include summer camp, offsite lessons and public programming. One of the most popular offerings is the Birds of Prey program that features some of the five non-releasable raptors housed at Flat Rock Brook.

 

Josephine, a great horned owl, at a Birds of Prey program in Jersey City, NJ

 

Flat Rock Brook stewards the land in an effort to protect the space for native plants and animals, and to teach students the importance of habitat protection. With land management projects such as invasive species pulls and monitoring of forest growth inside of deer exclosures—Flat Rock Brook strives to practice strong land stewardship and act as an example for the community. Many of these projects run with the help of volunteers, all of whom work to keep the forest at Flat Rock Brook healthy.

 

Part of the deer exclosure at Flat Rock Brook

 

Flat Rock Brook’s trails are open 365 days a year and are free to visit. Public programs are listed on the calendar for those wishing to join naturalists for educational events. You can also learn more by following Flat Rock Brook Nature Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

 

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