The Flat Rock Brook Trail Guides have been the foundation of our educational programs since 1974.

The Flat Rock Brook building, viewed from Quarry Pond was completed in 1980.

Backyard Habitat

The Backyard Habitat for Wildlife was constructed in 1992 by members of the Garden Club of Englewood to highlight the benefits of native plant species.
It is currently undergoing renovation and has been renamed the Native Habitat for Wildlife.


In 2001 a playground was added to the picnic area on Jones Road for the enjoyment of visitors.


In 2012 Flat Rock Brook opened a permanent exhibit "A Walk in the Woods" at the Nature Center to enhance our visitors outdoor experience.





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A Timeline History of Flat Rock Brook

Read the full history of the Flat Rock Brook Watershed by Dustin Griffin, historian and former trustee of Flat Rock Brook.

1850 Most of the land in what later became the city of Englewood still held in large farms, long, narrow tracts extending from the Overpeck Creek to the Hudson River (so as to include hay meadow, farmland, and woodland), belonging for generations to old settler families (Van Nostrands, Van Brunts, Westervelts, Lydeckers, and Vanderbecks).
1859 The Northern Railroad reaches Englewood. Large-scale logging on the western slope of the Palisades to provide railroad ties.
1876 A pond (later known as Macfadden's Pond), is created by damming the Flat Rock Brook, first appears on a map. On an 1880 map it is marked as "Vanderbeck's Millpond," evidently the site of a sawmill.
1891 Palisade Railroad proposes construction of north-south light rail line through Flat Rock Brook land to Palisade Avenue and beyond, and begins buying land.
1893 William O. Allison buys large tract of land (including what is now Allison Woods Park) from Garrett Lydecker.
1900 The Englewood Crushed Stone Co. (later the Prentice Co.), headquartered in Englewood, leases land and operates the quarry off Jones Road for production of crushed stone. Quarrying operations continue until about 1925.
1924 At his death William O. Allison leaves undeveloped woodland (including what is now the "Allison Woods Park" portion of Flat Rock Brook) in the hands of a trust.

Paterno Construction Co. begins buying and selling land in what is now Flat Rock Brook Nature Center in preparation for residential development. Lays out grid of streets and constructs Van Nostrand Ave. from Jones Rd. through to Summit St. Sells quarry site to City of Englewood for proposed firehouse, school, and playground. Project collapses when stock market crashes in October 1929, but property remains in the hands of dozens of individual buyers and (when buyers failed to pay property taxes) the city seizes the land.

1953 Allison trustees attempt to sell "Allison Woods" for residential development. Plan rejected by state courts. Court decision reaffirmed in 1956 and 1957.
1964 New Jersey voters approve the first "Green Acres" bond issue, for public acquisition and preservation of undeveloped land.
1966 South Woodland St. resident Campbell Norsgaard, naturalist and noted nature photographer, urges that Flat Rock Brook "woods" be protected from development. "Green Lands for Englewood" association formed, to build support for plans to acquire undeveloped land in Englewood. City of Englewood applies for and receives state funds.
1968 Englewood voters approve city bond issue to acquire open land. City begins buying property at what is now the Nature Center. Land acquisition continues until 1976. In 1969 Englewood Conservation Commission is established to recommend policies and programs for public use of newly acquired land.
1973 Englewood Nature Association, independent nonprofit organization, founded. First executive director hired.
1974 Englewood Nature Association is renamed the Flat Rock Brook Nature Association. Leases newly-acquired land from the city for 25 years. Trail Guide program for school children begins.
1975 Allison Woods Park trustees again seek approval to sell land for residential development. Petition rejected by court in 1977.
1980 Nature Center building opens.
1988 Flat Rock Brook Nature Association named trustee of the 75-acre Allison Woods Park. First education director appointed.
1989 Quarry boardwalk trail constructed. First full-time ranger/land manager hired.
1992 "Backyard Habitat for Wildlife" native plant gardens constructed by volunteers from the Garden Club of Englewood with funding from the Garden Club of America.
1993 Flat Rock Brook celebrates its 20th Anniversary.. Priscilla McKenna is honored with the presentation of the fitst Campbell Norsgaard Award.
1998 Flat Rock Brook celebrates its 25th anniversary. Marie Karanfilian honored with second Campbell Norsgaard award. Flat Rock Brook Gardeners group organized.
1999 Lease on land from City of Englewood is renewed for another 25 years.
2001 Nature Playground constructed at Jones Road picnic area.
2003 Flat Rock Brook celebrates its 30th Anniversary. At the 30th Anniversary gala, Carolyn Stenzel was honored with the third Campbell Norsgaard Award.
2012 Flat Rock Brook opens its new interpretive exhibit "A Walk in the Woods"in memory of long time trustee Sam Gold. "A Walk in the Woods focuses on the habitats found at Flat Rock Brook. Flat Rock Brook also began the complete renovation of its gardens including the Backyard Habitat (now the Native Habitat) and the Boardwalk Trail. The restoration of Quarry Pond was completed.
2013 Flat Rock Brook celebrates its 40th Anniversary. Aparty to celebrate the milestone event was held at the Englewood Field Club on May 9th. The following awards were presented: Campbell Norsgaard Award to Louise Pitkin, the President's Award to Phyllis and Norman Dain, Community Leaders Awards to Frank and Valarie Huttle, and outstanding corporate supporter to NVE Bank.
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