RIDGEFIELD: Natural attractions

IMG_9891   Ridgefield, in the northern part of the Meadowlands District, has several nifty attractions, from the restored wetlands of the Skeetkill Creek Marsh to the Monk Parakeets that nest under the highway bridge over the train tracks on Railroad Avenue.
  But there's also the Ridgefield Nature Center, a beautiful wooded natural area comprising 5.4 acres off Shaler Boulevard by Ray Avenue.

   The property was the source of the spring for the Great Bear Spring Water Co. from 1920 to 1975, at which point the land was sold to the Borough of Ridgefield.

   Since then, the borough has been restoring the site, planting well-labeled native trees and plants and curtailing the invasive species. Those are labeled, too — so you'll know what to look out for in your own backyard and elsewhere.

    Click "Continue reading…" immediately below for more information on the Ridgefield Nature Center.

  The bad news is that the nature center is open only once a week, from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. 

   The good news is that it offers all sorts of attractions, and that it is open to group tours on weekdays and Sundays. (Call 201-943-5215, x353, and leave a message for the borough's environmental commission.)IMG_9901

   As for the attractions, we saw more than a dozen kinglets flitting from tree to tree on a recent visit, as well as a black-and-white warbler on a tree in the spring-fed pond just to the left of the entrance.

   We also marveled at the nature center's funky fungi, from the batch on the right  to the turkey tail mushrooms on the left below.

  The nature center is also just a nice place to recharge your batteries. It offers a secluded bench on the hill to your right, as well as plenty of peace and quiet.

   Another nice birding spot is directly across from the nature center IMG_9905 entrance on Shaler Boulevard — the Ridgefield Community Garden — which attracts all sorts of birds as well as the local green thumbs.

   One main reason for the nature center's success — the dedication of Karen and Bruce Riede and the rest of the borough's environmental commission, who lead the volunteer effort to keep Ridgefield's open spaces looking natural and clean.


15 thoughts on “RIDGEFIELD: Natural attractions

  1. Don Torino

    The Ridgefield preserve is a great little gem in the middle of suburbia . We can’t thank Mr. and Mrs. Riede enough for working so hard to preserve and care for this great little wilderness , The Riede’s are amazing people who have changed the world starting in our own backyard, they are true heroe!s

  2. Michele Trapp

    Thank you so much for introducing my children to the Nature Center in Ridgefield. In this day and age, too many kids are in the house playing video games and watching t.v., and now thanks to the Riede’s and the entire Environmental Commission and volunteers, our children have a place outdoors that they can go to and see firsthand all they’ve learned about in their school books. GREAT JOB!

  3. Felix Wawra

    Ridgefield has a few great places where one can reconnect with nature and truly see how it thrives amid all of humanities hustle and bustle. Thank you Karen and Bruce and the Ridgefield Environmental Commission for continuing on improving our quality of life!!! Keep up the great work!!

  4. Chris Long

    The Ridgefiled preserve sounds and looks like an awesome place to visit.
    I live just south of Chattanooga, TN in northwestern Georgia and we have loads of natural attractions here as well. Places like the Chattanooga Nature Center, the Lula Lake Land Trust, Cloudland Canyon State Park, the Tennessee River Gorge, and so much more!
    All nature lovers should spend a little time in Chattanooga at least once in their lives.
    But enough about our southern paradise…Long live the Ridgefield preserve!

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