Calendar of Events

Come Out to Play, Discover, Learn!

To ensure your attendance, register in advance. Online registration closes 24 hours prior to an event. Some events may be canceled if minimum registration is not met. If online registration is closed and you would like to register by email OR drop in and pay upon arrival, please contact so we know you're coming.

Unless noted otherwise, all programs meet at Schiff's Nature Center, 339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, NJ 07945.

New programs are added all the time. Check back regularly!

June 2, 2017 (Friday) 9-10:30 pm
Star gazing with the Morris Museum Astronomical Society
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Bring a picnic blanket and a late night snack to enjoy a quiet summer evening with Schiff and Joe Molnar from the Morris Museum Astronomical Society for a night of star gazing! We will meet at the nature center and walk as a group to the great meadow for a tour of the summer sky and gazing through a telescope. Member fee is $8. Non member fee is $10. If online registration is closed and you would like to register by email, please contact lauren@schiffnaturepreserve so we know you're coming.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 06/01/17
June 3, 2017 (Saturday) 6:45 pm
8th Annual Environmental Film Festival
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

The 8th annual Environmental Film Festival will include two short films and one feature film as well as a question and answer period with the feature film director, Jared Flesher. Jared is an award-winning reporter, photojournalist, and documentary filmmaker. He has directed three documentary films that have screened at film festivals around the world: The Farmer and the Horse, Sourlands, and Field Biologist. Jared is also the director of the documentary web series The Creature Show.

The feature film, Field Biologist, is the story of 22-year-old Tyler Christensen, a talented but underemployed high school graduate from New Jersey still trying to figure out what to do with his life. Tyler's great love is being outside, chasing birds, and studying wildlife. One day he decides to drop everything and travel to Costa Rica to start doing his own conservation-oriented research on birds in the tropics. Tyler's adventure takes him from the cloud forests of Monteverde to the mangrove swamps of the Nicoya Peninsula, culminating in a plan to try to help save the highly endangered mangrove hummingbird. The film presents the major challenges facing biodiversity on Earth-climate change and habitat destruction chief among them-while also raising some fundamental questions: What makes someone a scientist? How important is a formal education? What risks are worth taking? What should you do with your life?

The two short independent films of the night are Brilliant Darkness and Trees. Brilliant Darkness; was directed and written by Emily V. Driscoll. This beautiful film explores the importance of darkness, and the erosion of it, through the study and preservation of firefly habitats in Japan and the U.S. The second film; Trees, is a comic animated warning about the devastating effects of clear cutting by director Randy Wakerlin.

The films will be shown in Schiff's Woodbadge Lodge, which is transformed into a woodland theater each year for this special event. Festival attendees may choose to walk from the Nature Center at 339 Pleasant Valley Road in Mendham along marked trails to the theater location, which is a gentle two-mile, or 20-minute, hike or take one of two complementary hay rides leaving from the Nature Center starting at 6 pm and again at 6:30pm. Starting at 6 pm filmgoers are invited to join us for light dinner fare, enjoyed al fresco on our picnic tables available for a (suggested) donation. Movie snacks & drinks will also be available at movie time. For those who might like additional conversation and community, coffee, and dessert will be enjoyed by the firepit at the conclusion of the evening.

This event has been generously sponsored by the following organizations and businesses; The Willow School of Gladstone, Mammoth Tree of Long Valley, Jockey Hollow Dentistry of Mendham, Mikula Web Solutions, Headquarters Financial Group of Morristown, Shoprite of Chester, Sunrise Milk of Clinton, Cheech's Own Coffee Company of Somerville, and Black River Roaster of Whitehouse.

Films are family friendly, but the content is geared for ages 12 and up. Tickets are $15 each, a family pack of four tickets for $50, and a student rate of $10. Space is limited and advance registration is required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
June 4, 2017 (Sunday) 9-11 am
Yoga Hike
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join yoga instructor and Schiff naturalist, Lauren Theis for an easy hike and gentle yoga session, suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners. We will begin with a meditation and centering session indoors, then bundle up to enjoy a beautiful hike through the landscapes of Schiff Nature Preserve, enjoying the detoxifying quality of being present in nature. Yogis should bring their own mat (or a blanket/towel if you don't have one). Member fee is $15. Non member fee is $20. Drop ins permitted.
Contact: 973-543-6004
June 8, 2017 (Thursday) 8:30-10 pm
Moths: The Silent Majority
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join Schiff and Blaine Rothauser for a fun night discovering the beautiful and seldom appreciated world of moths! With over 2,000 species of moths in New Jersey, one can be kept pretty entertained during sleepless nights attracting, keying, and trying to get a peek into the secret lives of this silent majority! Join us in appreciating the beauty and splendor of Moths! Member fee is $20. Non member fee is $25. If online registration is closed and you would like to register by email, please contact lauren@schiffnaturepreserve so we know you're coming.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 06/07/17
June 10, 2017 (Saturday) 10:30 am- 12 pm
Hawks & Eagles & Falcons- Oh my!
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join us for an educational program focusing on diurnal (daytime) raptors brought to us by The Raptor Trust. Learn about the raptor's special adaptations and hunting abilities as well as a few success stories in the ongoing effort to conserve birds of prey. 25% of Raptor Trust books sales will benefit Schiff. Ages 1st grade and up. Seating is limited. Advance Registration is required. Members fee is $8. Non members fee is $12. If online registration is closed and you would like to register by email OR drop in and pay upon arrival, please contact lauren@schiffnaturepreserve so we know you're coming.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 06/09/17
June 11, 2017 (Sunday) 8-10 am
Sunday Morning Fitness Hike
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join us for a brisk 5- mile hike over varied terrain across Schiff nature Preserve. Hikers meet at McVickers Brook parking lot at 239 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham. Vaccinated dogs on leashes are welcome. Free for Schiff members. Non- member pay $10 per person. Drop ins permitted.
Contact: 973-543-6004
June 11, 2017 (Sunday) 2-4 pm
Gentle Hike for Adults
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Come out and join our Schiff Naturalist as we explore Schiff's trails on this gentle 3 mile guided hike. Ages 18+. Free for members. Non members pay $10.00. Drop ins permitted.
Contact: 973-543-6004
June 12, 2017 (Monday) 10-11 am
Tree Time for Tykes: Frogs
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join Schiff naturalist at the Nature Center before entering the preserve on a hike. The forest and ponds are alive with the reawakening of the frogs and toads. Utilizing observation, songs, stories, and a craft; we will learn about these amphibians of our environment. Ages 2-4 with an adult. Members pay $10 per adult/child pair. Non members pay $15 per adult/child pair.
Contact: 973-543-6004
June 18, 2017 (Sunday) 10 - 12 pm
Plen Aire with Lena Shiffman
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Learn the basics of plein air in this beginner friendly workshop! Students will be guided through their work from beginning to end as they learn about creating thumbnail sketches, developing a strong composition, and various techniques to help refine their piece throughout the day. Beginners to intermediate painters welcome.
Member fee is $35. Non member fee is $40. Pre-registration is required by June 15th.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 06/17/17
June 24, 2017 (Saturday) 10- 12 pm
Foraging Workshop & Walk with Author, Ellen Zachos
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Jois us at the Nature Center for a lecture with Ellen Zachos; a garden writer and photographer, and lectures at flower shows, botanic gardens, and for garden clubs around the world. She is the author of seven books including Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat and The Wildcrafted Cocktail. Ellen is a regular contributor to several of the Edible magazines, and a Senior Regional Advisor at Garden Compass, a plant identification app. She also works with RemyUSA, teaching foraging mixology workshops across the US for The Botanist Gin. A former Broadway performer (cast of Les Miz), Ellen is a Harvard graduate and earned multiple certificates in horticulture and ethnobotany at the New York Botanic Garden. She taught at the NYBG for many years, and also worked there as Coordinator of the Gardening Department in Continuing Ed, before moving to Santa Fe, NM in the summer of 2014. Ellen will share her expertise with us and then lead a hike on the preserve noting edible plants along the way. Ages 16+ please. Seating is limited. Advance Registration is required. Member fee is $25. Non member fee is $30.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 06/23/17
June 26, 2017 (Monday) 7:00 pm
Environmental Book Club
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Mary Roach, "America's funniest science writer" (Washington Post) returns to explore the irresistibly strange universe of life without gravity in this New York Times bestseller, Packing for Mars: the Curious Science of Life. Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can't walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it's possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. Join us as we explore this NY Times best seller. The book club is free for members.
Contact: 973-543-6004
July 1, 2017 (Saturday) 9:30- 12 am.
Star Gazing with Morris Museum Astronomical Society
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Bring a picnic blanket and a late night snack to enjoy a quiet summer evening with Schiff and Joe Molnar from the Morris Museum Astronomical Society for a night of star gazing! We will meet at the nature center and walk as a group to the great meadow for a tour of the summer sky and gazing through a telescope. Member fee is $8. Non-member fee is $12. Pre- registration closes on June 30. Others may email laura@schiffnaturepreserve.org and pay at the door.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 06/30/17
July 6, 2017 (Thursday) 6-7:30 pm
Traditional Experience
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

An overall view of traditional native wilderness skills. Topics include a time line of North America, food gathering and hunting developments, transportation, shelter variations, and native flute music. This is a very open and flexible program which can include a fire by friction demonstration among other special woodcraft skills. Online registration open until 7/5/17. Others interested in attending may email lauren@schiffnaturepreserve and pay at the door.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/05/17
July 8, 2017 (Saturday) 10 - 11 am
Master Gardener Speaker Series: Paradise Gardens for Pollinators and Wildlife
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

As we focus on issues to improve the environment, the concept of a Pollinator Garden is gaining more interest. Ethereal butterflies and song birds have always been a beautiful addition to a flower garden. By growing the right plants, we can attract butterflies and birds and encourage them to propagate themselves, as well as plants, and flourish within our gardens. Member fee is $8. Non member fee is $12. Registration open until 7/5/17. If online registration is closed and you would like to register by email, please contact lauren@schiffnaturepreserve so we know you're coming.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/05/17
July 9, 2017 (Sunday) 9-11 am
Yoga Hike
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join Schiff Nature Preserve for an easy hike and gentle yoga session, suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners. We will begin with a meditation and centering session indoors, then enjoy a beautiful hike through the landscapes of Schiff Nature Preserve, enjoying the detoxifying quality of being present in nature. Yogis should bring their own mat (or a blanket/towel if you don't have one). Member fee is $15. Non-member fee is $20. Drop ins welcome.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/07/17
July 13, 2017 (Thursday) 6-7:30 pm
Fire by Friction
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Students will be learning both Bow Drill as well as the Hand Drill of the desert Southwest. Botanical materials that have proven successful will be discussed, along with form and technique. Our focus will be to get students experienced in hands on practice. Member fee is $10. Non member fee is $25. On line registration is open until 7/12/17. Others interested in attending are to email lauren@schiffnaturepreserve.org and pay at the door.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/12/17
July 20, 2017 (Thursday) 6-7:30 pm
Introduction to Tracking and Sign
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

This fun field excursion takes us into the field following both animal and human tracks. Track patterns will be discussed as well as signs of passing wildlife. This course will introduce students to the fascinating art of discovering and following tracks and sign. Member fee is $10. Non member fee is $25. On line registration is open until 7/19/17. Others interested in attending are to email lauren@schiffnaturepreserve.org and pay at the door.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/19/17
July 23, 2017 (Sunday) 2-4 pm
Make a Natural Tie Dye
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Reminisce of summer camp days with Schiff, join Off the Grid for this fun workshop! Using natural elements like indigo and marigolds, we will create dye vats together and create beautiful tie dye pieces to wear or for your home. Bring a piece of white clothing/cloth from home to dye and we will provide some items to dye and bring home as well. Member fee is $10. Non-member fee is $15. Online registration is open until 7/22/17. Others interested in attending are to email lauren@schiffnaturepreserve.org and pay at the door.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/22/17
September 11, 2017 (Monday) 7:00 pm
Environmental Book Club
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

In Wild Things, Wild Places, Jane Alexander movingly, with a clear eye and a knowing, keen grasp of the issues and on what is being done in conservation and the worlds of science to help the planet's most endangered species to stay alive and thrive, writes of her steady and fervent immersion into the worlds of wildlife conservation, of her coming to know the scientists throughout the world--to her, the prophets in the wilderness--who are steeped in this work, of her travels with them--and on her own--to the most remote and forbidding areas of the world as they try to save many species, including ourselves. Come be inspired. The book club is free to members.
Contact: 973-543-6004
September 24, 2017 (Sunday) 9-11 am
Volunteer Day at Schiff
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Please join Schiff members, staff, and volunteers as we embark on an outdoor land steward project to improve the Schiff Natural Land Trust. Our volunteer work days are great for teens, adults, church groups, service groups, scout troops, or anyone else looking to earn community service or environmental karma credits! Come lend a hand with trail maintenance, fence repair, invasive species removal, native plant garden maintenance, and home repair. Wear weather appropriate clothes, sturdy work boots, and yard gloves. We will provide water, snacks, and insight into the importance of the preservation work we do here at Schiff. Ages 15+, please. Schiff membership is encouraged, but not required. Please register in advance so that we know you are coming! If you have questions, please emailinfo@schiffnaturepreserve.org
Contact: 973-543-6004
October 16, 2017 (Monday) 7:00 pm
Environmental Book Club
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world. Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren's remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom's labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done "with both the heart and the hands"; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work. Join us for conversation. The book club is free to members.
Contact: 973-543-6004
October 22, 2017 (Sunday) 9-11 am
Volunteer Day at Schiff
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Please join Schiff members, staff, and volunteers as we embark on an outdoor land steward project to improve the Schiff Natural Land Trust. Our volunteer work days are great for teens, adults, church groups, service groups, scout troops, or anyone else looking to earn community service or environmental karma credits! Come lend a hand with trail maintenance, fence repair, invasive species removal, native plant garden maintenance, and home repair. Wear weather appropriate clothes, sturdy work boots, and yard gloves. We will provide water, snacks, and insight into the importance of the preservation work we do here at Schiff. Ages 15+, please. Schiff membership is encouraged, but not required. Please register in advance so that we know you are coming! If you have questions, please emailinfo@schiffnaturepreserve.org
Contact: 973-543-6004
November 19, 2017 (Sunday) 9-11 am
Volunteer Day at Schiff
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Please join Schiff members, staff, and volunteers as we embark on an outdoor land steward project to improve the Schiff Natural Land Trust. Our volunteer work days are great for teens, adults, church groups, service groups, scout troops, or anyone else looking to earn community service or environmental karma credits! Come lend a hand with trail maintenance, fence repair, invasive species removal, native plant garden maintenance, and home repair. Wear weather appropriate clothes, sturdy work boots, and yard gloves. We will provide water, snacks, and insight into the importance of the preservation work we do here at Schiff. Ages 15+, please. Schiff membership is encouraged, but not required. Please register in advance so that we know you are coming! If you have questions, please emailinfo@schiffnaturepreserve.org
Contact: 973-543-6004

Please check the calendar frequently, as new events are often added!

ALL PROGRAMS REQUIRE PRE-REGISTRATION PRIOR TO THE DAY OF THE EVENT.

TO PRE-REGISTER FOR FREE PROGRAMS
Register using our online forms, if available, call 973-543-6004 or email info@schiffnaturepreserve.org.

TO PRE-REGISTER FOR FEE PROGRAMS
You may pay online for programs by clicking the Register Online button in the individual calendar entries, or send payment to 339 Pleasant Valley Road Mendham, NJ 07945. Include participant's name, phone number and the name of the event for which you are registering.

Space will not be guaranteed until full payment is received.

Refunds or credits are provided if we are notified of your cancellation seven days or more prior to the start of the program.