Flat Rock Brook Nature Association exists to provide a refuge for spending time outdoors in nature in our community. The current COVID-19 pandemic demands that we make difficult choices about the current use of our forested trails and public spaces. It’s especially challenging when we’ve been seeing higher numbers of hikers than ever during the past few weeks.
Yet, the most important thing to us is the health of our community. With the recent significant increase in visitation, we have decided that adequate social distancing is a concern, so we have made the very tough choice to temporarily close our entire property to the public. We are obligated to do our part to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Public parks in Englewood have already been forced to make this decision, and we’re following their precedent.
We really look forward to the day that we can invite you back to our preserve.
Flat Rock Brook has received a matching pledge of $20,000 from generous donors to help us continue operating our nature preserve during this great time of concern for all. If you are in a postion to help, please give as generously as you can. Every dollar you donate doubles (up to $20,000) until May 31, 2020. It will assist us in keeping our trails open and caring for our wildlife. We really appreciate any help you can provide.
Our nature center and playground are closed, but our trails are currently open. All of our education programs have been suspended. Our annual gala has been postponed, which is our our largest fundraising event of the year.
Yet, visitor numbers over the past few weeks have already shown a significant increase. We are seeing unprecedented numbers of visitors seeking refuge on our trails. People are spending much needed family time outdoors, engaging in physical activity and destressing from the seriousness of the world around them.
We are so proud of our role in the community and the incredibly postiive impact Flat Rock Brook is having on the lives of so many.
That's why we are asking you to consider helping us by making a contribution today.
We wish you and yours good health.
Through generous donations and grants we have restored our Quarry Pond Patio, which was in need of repair and removal of an adjacent sensory garden overrun with invasive species. It is located through the back entrance of our nature center building with a beautiful view of our pond. The new space includes an extended blue stone patio with an overhead retractable awning. There is an expanded seating area including cedar benches with planters, a new memorial bench, and a picnic table for visitors to enjoy breakfast or lunch while viewing Quarry Pond and its wildlife. Little explorers will stay shaded during the heat of summer outdoor education programs as will hikers and other visitors to our preserve. The patio is easily accessed from our parking lot and meets ADA requirements.
The result is a beautiful and welcoming area for all to enjoy. It’s already grown popular as a meeting space for field trips, a lunch spot for volunteer groups, a relaxing stop for hikers and even a stage for a bluegrass band. We look forward to many years of enjoyment by our educational programming participants, various groups and individual hikers.
Flat Rock Brook wishes to recognize The Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund, Cynthia Sumner, George & Carolyn Milne and The Oram Family for their very generous donations to this project. We thank everyone that made a contribution to make this restoration possible.
We’d also like to recognize our land manager, Brian Dedeian and his assistant Shaeer Baksh for their expert skills in building our new cedar benches and volunteer John Blakely for his time and craftsmanship in constructing our new memorial bench.
The county of Bergen awarded Flat Rock Brook a $14,000 Community Development Block Grant to support our education program, "Adaptations for all Occasions". This curriculum will be delivered in Englewood Public Schools and onsite at Flat Rock Brook for students in grades K-5. Our program is designed to supplement learning about animal adaptations that is being taught in science classes. Our lessons meet the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. Students will experience real-world connections to animal habitats and adaptations. Studies confirm that experiential education that engages students in hands-on learning results in stronger retention rates and improved academic outcomes. We thank the county for this generous grant that will enable us to bring together children's wonder of nature and environmental education.