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Mission, Vision, & hISTORY


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


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.

Social Justice Statement

Tenafly Nature Center creates equitable and inclusive spaces for people to enjoy, experience, and learn about our environment. We endeavor to make our outdoor spaces safe and welcoming to all visitors and we aspire to create experiences that make our programs accessible to all. We welcome people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, gender and gender identity, nationalities and creeds. Our programs and offerings reflect our surrounding diverse community. We recognize that environmental justice must include Black, Indigenous, People of Color and those who are economically disenfranchised. At the Tenafly Nature Center we strive to hold ourselves - the staff, volunteers, and members - to these principles so that our organization is a safe and inviting space for all to experience nature.

“The investment is small, the dividends are great”

Larry Smith,
1966 TNC Membership Chair

History: Celebrating 60+ Years of Environmental Leadership

For over 60 years, 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

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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