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Mission, Vision, & hISTORY

Mission

The stewardship of nearly 400 wooded acres for the purposes of conservation, education and recreation.

Vision

A community that feels a strong connection to the natural world and actively partners with us to promote the highest level of biodiversity possible for our natural areas.

History: Celebrating 50+ Years of Environmental Leadership

For over half a century, the Tenafly Nature Center has fostered a wide-reaching understanding and appreciation of nature, through leadership in open-space preservation and education programs focused on nature, science and the environment. Please consider making a donation to support TNC. Help us celebrate our past to preserve our future!

Before Tenafly Nature Center

Here is an article from our Spring 1987 newsletter that will give you a sense of what Tenafly and the surrounding areas were like in the 1930's. 

TNC Timeline


“The investment is small, the dividends are great”

Larry Smith,
1966 TNC Membership Chair


1960s: A Green Island in Tenafly

  • 1961 – Tenafly Nature Center Association formed to develop a “Living Workshop” on 64 acres
  • 1966 – Redfield Building Visitors’ Center completed
  • 1969 – Full-time Naturalist-Director hired with grants from Borough and the Tenafly Board of Education

1970s: The Fight for Lost Brook Preserve

  • 1972 – Borough of Tenafly begins efforts to purchase 274-acre “Palisades Woodland”
  • 1976 – Generous State, Federal, Local and Private groups and Citizens raise $9.35 million to buy Lost Brook Preserve

1980s & 90s: Membership, Facilities & Program Growth

  • 1980s – Endowment Fund begins with 16 subscribers; DeFilippi Bird Watching Shelter & Boardwalk built
  • 1983 – First 5K & 10K “Raccoon Run” through Tenafly
  • 1990s – Pavilion with Fireplace built for outdoor classes; First Art Show & Raffle; First Annual Fund Drive

2000s: Extending TNC’s reach

  • 2005 – With Lost Brook Preserve added to lease, TNC stewards 380 acres
  • 2006 – TNC Education Director works to organize regional Nature Program Co-operative

TNC Today...

  • TNC Programs reach 23,000 people each year through 1,100 on-site and outreach programs
  • TNC employs 2 full-time staff plus 5 part-time and 2-3 seasonal environmental educators
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