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montage of events

2020 Special Events at the Environmental Education Center
The following annual events are conducted at the Environmental Education Center. The EEC is located at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge. For directions, please click here. For additional information, please call the EEC at 908 722-1200 Ext.5002

Nature Through A Child’s Eye    
This annual children's environmental art exhibit features Somerset County kindergartners through sixth graders who have expressed their love of our natural world, our environment, and our Earth through their artwork.
FREE 
Tuesday, January 7 – Sunday, February 2, 2020    
9:00am-4:30pm except Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

“Birds of a Feather”
February 8 - March 15, except Lincoln’s Birthday and Presidents’ Day
“The skies are emptying out. The number of birds in the United States and Canada have fallen
by 29 percent since 1970. This year, scientists reported there are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago”, according to Carl Zimmer of the NY times. As a way to bring attention to this blight Ridge High School’s AP Studio Art class studied and explored the relationships of structure, pattern, and form of birds for large-scale drawings and paintings. Students from National Art Honors Society and Social Skills Club collaborated on larger than life size sculptures. Their observations rendered dynamic compositions both in twist of scale and bold quality of mark making. The students pushed the concept of “Birds” in a unique format, experimenting with materials to yield a truly remarkable exhibit!
A reception will be held on Wednesday, February 12 from 6pm to 8pm. Snow date: February 13, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Free
9am - 5pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5002

Maple Sugaring
Maple sugaring is a tradition in the Northeast that began centuries ago with the Native Americans and colonists. People of all ages are invited to see this tradition brought to life at the Environmental Education Center (EEC). You will see how trees are tapped, view sap-collecting methods past and present, and see the boiling process that produces delicious New Jersey maple syrup. This 90-minute program is conducted at our Sugar Shack, a ½-mile hike from the EEC. Please arrive at the EEC 20-30 minutes before the program start time and dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Boots are recommended as the trails can be wet, muddy, and/or covered by snow. Organized groups (such as schools) may schedule weekday demonstrations by calling the EEC at 908 722-1200, ext. 5002.
Suggested donation: $1 per person
February 22, 23, 29
March 1, 7, 8, 14, 15
Saturdays - 10:00am, Noon, and 2:00pm
Sundays - Noon and 2:00pm

Bernards Township Community Art Show - CANCELED
March 21 - April 19, except Good Friday and Easter
Bernards Township is partnering with the Environmental Education Center to host their 9th annual non-juried art show, “Inspired by Nature”. Bernards Township residents age 16 and older will showcase their artwork in a variety of mediums.  Artist registration takes place in January and February, visit www.bernards.org for more information. 
An opening reception will be held on March 21 at 10am.
Free
9am - 5pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5002

Butterfly Gardening with Native Plants   - Postponed
March 29
Come learn which native plants help to support butterflies! Whether you garden in sun or shade, there are many native plants that will attract butterflies to your garden. Author Jane Hurwitz, from the North American Butterfly Association will be presenting on butterfly gardening at home, a gardening method used to protect the entire life cycle of butterflies. This talk explores the relationship that butterflies have with specific native plants and suggests easy steps to protect these relationships in order to enhance our local ecosystems, as well as your own garden.
Adult
Free
1pm - 2pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5002

Macro Photography Postponed
April 18
Camera Naturalists Photography Club will host a dual part photography seminar at the EEC. The first part will feature an outstanding Macro Photography program presented by Roman Kurywczak, an accomplished macro photographer, and leader of “Roamin’ with Roman” tours. The program will begin with a presentation on macro photography followed by a hands-on opportunity to try out the new skills you learned. Participants will be given tips, suggestions, and an understanding of how to overcome some of the most common obstacles pertaining to macro photography. There will also be a demonstration of photo stacking to boost participants confidence with all aspects of macro photography, regardless of skill level. The second part will provide participants a hands on opportunity to take macro photos with their own equipment. This session will take place inside the Environmental Education Center and may continue outside, if weather permits. Please bring your own camera, macro (or 50-200mm range) lens, flash, and tripod.  For more information about the workshop please contact dross@scparks.org.
Fee: $20 per person
9:30am - 12pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext.5002

Project E.A.R.T.H – Swamp Search!  CANCELED
April 26
Join us for an exciting scavenger hunt on the Environmental Education Center trails to learn about the importance of the Great Swamp as an ecological and recreational resource. Learn interesting facts about the Great Swamp and its inhabitants. This event is for friends, families, scouts or other groups to get outside and travel our trails to find answers to our scavenger hunt questions. This program will educate and entertain visitors of all ages. Please call the EEC for scavenger hunt status in case of inclement weather.
Free
12pm - 4:30pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5002

Rizzo’s Wildlife World  CANCELED
April 26
As the grand finale to our “Project E.A.R.T.H. – Swamp Search!” Rizzo’s Wildlife World will show off their collection of reptiles, mammals, and insects, as well as a ten foot long Burmese Python! This fun and lively presentation will offer everyone in attendance an opportunity to learn fun facts about each animal and best of all, attendees will be able to interact or touch the majority of the animals that are presented! The program will be held rain or shine. 
Free
3:45pm - 4:30pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5002

“TRANSFORMATIONS OF NATURE, NATURAL AND MANMADE;
CHANGES IN AGRICULTURE AND A CLOSE LOOK AT METAMORPHOSIS”

This year the Ridge High School ceramics students will be collaborating with the RHS Advanced Placement Science classes to examine the idea of “transformations” by combining art and science in one exhibition. The exhibit will feature an integration of educational posters focused on transforming farmland away from the traditional Agribusiness model to a more environmentally-integrated and sustainable approach. While the work of the ceramics classes will be showcasing nature’s amazing transformations specifically within the context of the stages of metamorphosis of insects and reptiles. The resulting exhibit will be a combination of informative posters displays and a mix of handmade tiles, vases, and “think big” sculptures set up on pedestals.
A reception will be held on Tuesday, May 5 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm 
FREE
Saturday, May 2 through Sunday, May 31, 2020
9:00am-5:00pm; closed Memorial Day 

Adult County Caper
August 22
The Adult County Caper is a one day game that takes adults on an interactive tour of Somerset County parks and facilities. Challenge your mental and physical capabilities while completing fun tasks throughout the day. This is an exciting event for those who crave adventure in their own backyard. Registration begins May 13.
Fee: $20 per team. Non-refundable
8am - 4pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5002

Family County Caper     
August 23
The Family County Caper is a one day game that takes families and friends on an interactive tour of Somerset County parks and facilities. It is designed to encourage everyone to explore, learn, and protect our parks and other natural areas. This special event is open to everyone with a yearning to discover all Somerset County has to offer. Registration begins May 13.
Fee: $20 per team. Non-refundable
8am - 4pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5002

The Lord Stirling 1770s Festival
October 4
Travel back in time as exhibitors and militias recreate colonial life on the site of Lord Stirling's Manor. Enjoy an educational and exciting day in the 1770's.
Suggested donation: $5 per person
11:30am – 4:30pm

Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5002

By the Light of the Moon
October 9        Rain Date October 10
Guided by moonlight, adventurers will explore the Great Swamp at night. Naturalists will be positioned along a pre-determined route to discuss various nocturnal animals and present nighttime activities.
All ages
Suggested donation: $5 per person
6:30pm - 8pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge 
908 722-1200 ext. 5002

Live Animal Show
Sunday, October 18
All ages are welcome tojoin us for a wild afternoon of fun with a live animal show where you will meet some of nature’s coolest creatures. Pre-registration not required.
Suggested donation: $5 per person
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge 
908 722-1200 (ext. 5002)

43rd Festival of Trees
December 4 – 29
(closed December 24 & 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday)
December is the time to visit the Environmental Education Center and get into the holiday spirit. The Festival of Trees is an indoor exhibit of decorated trees by various community groups and individuals. Come and enjoy live holiday music on select Saturdays and Sundays. Snowflake Café on all Saturdays and Sundays.
Is open: 9:00am – 4:00pm.
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge 
908 722-1200 (ext. 5002)

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Rider and her horse

2020 Special Events at Lord Stirling Stable
The following events are held at Lord Stirling Stable. The Stable is located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge. For directions, please click here. For additional information, please call the Stable at 908 722-1200, ext. 5010.  

Dressage Show (Friends of Lord Stirling Stable)  CANCELED
April 19
This show is open to Lord Stirling Stable riders and private horses/riders. Equestrians may enter to ride their choice of dressage tests. Ribbons awarded. Please visit the Friends' website (www.flss.org) for more information.
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

Private Horse Hunter Pace (co-sponsored by Friends of Lord Stirling Stable) CANCELED
April 26
Open to private horse owners. The 6-8 mile marked course includes 30+ jumps, all with ample room to bypass for riders who prefer to stay on the flat. Ribbons will be awarded in Junior, Open, Senior, Hilltopper, and Family divisions.
Fee: $35 per Junior rider (under 18 years of age), $40 per Adult
Teams depart between 9am – 1pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

37th Annual Family Fun Day (co-sponsored by the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable)
May 17  
Games on horseback are the centerpiece of this fun-filled day at Lord Stirling Stable, but that's not all we've got! Pony rides and hayrides make horses accessible to everyone; local vendors offer their specialties for sale; and child-friendly arcade games ensure that everyone is a winner. The Friends have food and beverages available for purchase, so bring the kids, bring your appetite, and enjoy a day on the farm.
10am – 3pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

Spring Adult Horse Show (Friends of Lord Stirling Stable)
June 13
This event is open to students of the stable. Class levels range from beginners through advanced jumping. The Adult Drill Team performs at 1pm. The public is welcome; admission and parking are free. Ribbons awarded.
8:30am
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

Spring Junior Horse Show
June 14
This event is open to students of the stable. Classes range from beginner through advanced jumping. The Junior Drill Team performs at 1pm. The public is welcome; admission and parking are free. Ribbons awarded.
8:30am
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

Private Horse Hunter Pace (Co-sponsored by Friends of Lord Stirling Stable) 
September 13
Open to private horse owners. The 6-8 mile marked course includes 30+ jumps, all with ample room to bypass for riders who prefer to stay on the flat. Ribbons will be awarded in Junior, Open, Senior, Hilltopper, and Family divisions.
Fee: $35 per Junior rider (under 18 years of age), $40 per Adult
Teams depart between 9am – 1pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

Fall Festival (Friends of Lord Stirling Stable)
October 17; Rain date October 24
The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable offer themed hayrides, pony rides, and other child-friendly activities at the 4th Annual Fall Festival. For additional information please visit their website, www.flss.org.
5pm – 8pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

Holiday Horse Shows
December 5-6
Cheer for Lord Stirling Stable’s students as they showcase the horsemanship skills that they have been working on in lessons. On Saturday, enjoy a special presentation by the Adult Performing Drill team at 1PM. On Sunday, Junior riders will showcase their skills and the Junior Drill Team will perform at 1PM. Ribbons awarded. The public is welcome; admission and parking are free
9am
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

Holiday Festival (Friends of Lord Stirling Stable)
December 5-6
Take a hayride to see Santa Claus, ride a pony, decorate ornaments, and enjoy many other activities. Find that perfect gift at the Silent Auction, which benefits the School Horse Retirement Fund. Fees vary; admission, and parking free.
10am – 3pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

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Leonard J. Buck Garden

2020 Special Events at Leonard J. Buck Garden
The following events are conducted at Leonard J. Buck Garden. Buck Garden is located at Layton Road in Far Hills. For directions, please click here. For additional information, please call Buck Garden at 908 722-1200 ext. 5011.

Art and Photography Exhibit 
February 18 – March 20
This exhibit will feature photographs, paintings, and drawings showcasing the four seasons at Leonard J. Buck Garden. See the garden’s many faces through the works of talented artists and photographers. This exhibit will be held at the Leonard J. Buck Garden Visitor Center.
Suggested Donation
10am – 4pm Monday – Friday only
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677 908 722-1200 ext. 5621

Pruning Workshop CANCELED
Saturday, March 28
Is that shrub in your backyard getting too big? Do you want to prune it yourself, but need some guidance? Then join the Buck Garden staff to learn basic pruning techniques used in the Garden. Proper pruning tools will be discussed. There will be an outdoor presentation, weather permitting. So please dress appropriately for outdoor activities. Pre-registration required.
Fee: $15
10:00am – 11:30am
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 722-1200 ext. 5621

Hummingbirds CANCELED
April 16
Found only in the Americas, throughout the centuries, hummingbirds have captivated all who have watched them dance and hover through the air. This program begins with an investigation of the common attributes of the over 320 distinct species of hummingbird and then delves more deeply into the life and habits of Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the only hummingbird native to New Jersey. In addition, the program explains how to use plants and feeders to attract the Ruby-throated hummingbird to backyards. Weather permitting we will take a short walk in the garden; bring your binoculars.
Fee: $15
10:00am – 11:30am
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 722-1200 ext. 5621

Spring Plant Sale and Earth Day Celebration    CANCELED 
April 25 & 26
Enhance your garden with some spectacular new plant treasures, and help us celebrate Earth Day. Weekend highlights include a plant sale featuring many choice selections of perennials, ferns, and woody plants, and hypertufa planting troughs. There will be inspiring garden lectures, and guided tours of this magnificent naturalistic rock garden. This event is co-sponsored with the Watnong Chapter North American Rock Garden Society. 
Suggested Donation
Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday Noon – 5pm
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234‑2677 908 722-1200 ext. 5621

Woodland Walks          
May           
Sunday afternoons in April and May (except holiday weekends)                                                     
Brighten your spring with a captivating and informative tour of the Leonard J. Buck Garden. Enjoy the magnificent drifts of native wildflowers and spring perennials blooming throughout the garden, as well as azaleas, dogwoods, and many colorful flowering shrubs and trees.  Discover the great variety of plants growing among the rock formations and woodlands, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Tours will be held on April 5, 19,  26 and May 3, 10, and 17.
Please no organized groups.
Fee: $7 per person
2pm
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 722-1200 ext. 5621

Honey Bees: One of our Favorite Pollinators
May 7
Do you know how a bee finds its way home? Join apiarist John Garretson and learn interesting facts about bees. Topics include a bee’s life span, their jobs in the colony, who rules the hive, honey production and more. This educational and fun program is geared toward everyone who wants to know and learn the latest buzz on bees. Emphasis on honey bees.
Fee: $15
1pm – 2pm
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677 908 722-1200 ext.5621

Flower & Landscape Garden Photography Workshop
Saturday, June 6
This Flower & Landscape Photography Class is offered to beginner and intermediate photography enthusiasts by professional photographer Brien Szabo of Nature Images, Inc. This class will involve technical instruction in the Buck Garden Visitor Center, followed by outdoor photography of plant close-ups and landscape scenes. The workshop is designed for both digital and film photographers. Pre-registration is required; space is limited.
Fee: $35
9am -11:30am
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 722-1200 ext. 5621

The Magical Mysterious Monarch
August 27
For years, scientists wondered about the wanderings of monarch butterflies. Large numbers of monarchs are seen during the summer and early fall in the northern regions of the United States, and then great swarms are seen flying south. But until the 1970s, no one knew where they went during the winter. Join Cynthia Hedin, Somerset County Master Gardener, to learn about the discovery of the monarch’s winter destination, and about the magical life cycle of the monarch.
Fee: $15 per person
10am – 11:30am
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 722-1200 ext.5621

Art in the Garden - Watercolors in the Garden
September 18          Rain Date:  September 25                                                     
Artist Donna Souren will lead a one-day class at Leonard J. Buck Garden to capture the garden’s beauty in watercolor. Students will be guided in choosing a location when painting outdoors, paint application, mixing colors, composition, and how to create a finished watercolor painting. Basic drawing skills are recommended. Call for art supply list and bring your lunch. Ms. Souren attended the Maryland Institute College of Fine Arts, and keeps busy with classes at the Center for Contemporary.Art. Donna has received vast number of accomplishments, credits and awards for her work. Pre-registration; space is limited
Fee: $40
10am – 3pm
Leonard J. Buck Garden
908 722-1200 ext. 5621

Make a Hypertufa Mini-Trough
October 9
Hypertufa is a handmade material which resembles “tufa,” a rugged volcanic rock used to make planting troughs. These containers are especially suited for small rock garden plants. You will learn how to make your own hypertufa mini-trough and receive instructions for curing it at home. Wear work clothes as the process can be messy. Workshop fee includes the cost of supplies. Pre-registration is required. Enrollment is limited to 10 participants.
Fee: $45
10am – 11:30am
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677

Flower & Landscape Photography – Autumnal Brilliance
Saturday, October 24
While each season in Buck Garden has its own special qualities, none are quite as spectacular as the colors of the trees and shrubs in the fall.  Lecture and field session will cover the use of light, composition, landscape photography, close-ups, and how to find the right picture.  The workshop will be taught by Nature Photographer Brien Szabo. The class is designed for all levels of digital and film photographers. Pre-registration is required.
Fee:  $35 per person
9am – 11:30am
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677 908 722-1200 ext.5621

Thankful Lights - Floating Luminaries at Leonard J. Buck Garden
November 13
Borrowed from a traditional Japanese ceremony, floating a candle on water is thought to awaken the spirit of nature within us all. You will create your own lantern and decorate it with a personalized message, attach it to your illuminated float, and release it on Buck Garden’s Lower Pond. Come see and experience how magical the floating lights are as they drift on the water into the night. Materials will be supplied. Pre-registration is required.
Fee: $15 per person
5pm - 6:30pm
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677 908 722-1200 ext.5621

tour of the Perennial Garden

2020 Special Events at Colonial Park Gardens
The following programs/events will be held in the Colonial Park Gardens in Franklin Township or in the Park Commission Headquarters in Bridgewater. For additional information or to register for programs that have a fee, please visit www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908 722-1200 ext. 5721.  Individuals with a hearing and/or speech impairment, please call the NJ Relay Service at 711. All programs are rain or shine, unless otherwise noted. If you have individualized needs due to a disability, please call the Therapeutic Recreation Department at 908 526-5650 after you have registered for a program and we will be happy to arrange reasonable modifications. Three weeks notice is required to ensure that the appropriate modifications can be provided.

HOUSEPLANTS: HOW TO CHOOSE AND GROW THEM SUCCESSFULLY
Saturday, January 25 from 10am to 12pm    $20 per person (Limit: 30 people)
Pre-registration and payment is required by January 22.
The Somerset County Park Commission Horticulture Supervisor, Shauna Moore will present a demonstration on “Houseplants: How to Choose and Grow Them Successfully.” There will be a PowerPoint presentation on the basics of houseplant selection, care, and maintenance. Following the presentation, there will be a demonstration on repotting, watering, fertilizing, and propagation of some of the most popular houseplants. The program will be held in the Park Commission Headquarters at North Branch Park located at 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater. Please meet at the reception area.

Inspirations for the Grand Redesign of the Perennial Garden at Colonial PaRK
Saturday, February 8 from 10 to 11:30am    Free
Pre-registration is required by February 6.
In this informative lecture, Landscape Designer Susan Cohan, FAPLD, the Principal and Design Director of Susan Cohan Gardens, will share her design inspiration, process, and goals for Colonial Park’s newly redesigned and currently being renovated Perennial Garden. Please join us as we get an early look at our beautiful new Perennial Garden, and as we anticipate watching it unfold in our cherished Colonial Park. The program will be held in the Park Commission Headquarters at North Branch Park located at 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater. Please meet at the reception area.

Beyond the Potted Palm: Victorians and Their Houseplants
Saturday, February 15 from 10 to 11:30am    $15 per person
Pre-registration and payment is required by February 12.
The Victorian Era was also Great Britain’s Golden Age of Plant Exploration.  It was a time for a growing interest in natural history and a public obsession with "collecting" plants. The variety of houseplants available for purchase burgeoned during Queen Victoria's reign, and ever since, both the Brits and Americans have been in love with them. Not only can houseplants compliment and enhance any room's decor, but NASA studies confirm their ability to remove indoor air pollution. Learn about the plants that populated Victorian parlors, how to care for them, and the simple ways to bring a Victorian touch to “plantscaping” your home. Garden writer and historian Lesley Parness brings us this illustrated lecture. The program will be held in the Park Commission Headquarters at North Branch Park located at 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater. Please meet at the reception area.

FOREST BATHING CANCELED
Saturday, May 9 and Saturday, November 7 from 12 to 2pm    $25 per person (Limit: 12 people)
Pre-registration and payment is required by May 7 and November 5.
The Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, which translates as "forest bathing” is intended to help foster a connection with nature that feeds the mind, body, and spirit. Join yoga instructor Megan Soucy for a forest bathing experience at Colonial Park Gardens. The experience will include an easy, slow hike through the gardens and arboretum. It will also include meditation and centering sessions, intended to encourage the nurturing qualities of being present within nature. Participants are encouraged to bring a small blanket or towel to sit on, water, and suitable shoes for walking. Please meet at the entrance of the Colonial Park Rose Garden, Parking Lot A. 

SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP CANCELED
Sunday, May 24 and Sunday September 27 from 10am to Noon    $20 per person (Limit: 12 people)
Pre-registration and payment is required by May 21 and September 24.
They say the best camera for the job is the one you have with you. These days that camera is your smartphone! Photographer Joy Yagid will lead this hands-on workshop where participants will learn the best tips and tricks to get the most out of smartphone photography in nature. Joy will individually guide participants in identifying photo opportunities, and share how to edit these photos directly on their smartphones. Please meet in the Colonial Park Gardens Horticulture Building, Parking Lot A.

GUIDED TOURS OF THE RUDOLF W. VAN DER GOOT ROSE GARDEN
Thursday, May 28 at 6pm and Sunday, May 31 at 2pm    $5 per person
Pre-registration is not required.
The public is invited to tour the internationally recognized Somerset County Park Commission Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden. The garden is in full spring beauty in May and June when thousands of varieties of roses of both modern and historic significance are in peak bloom. Tours for individuals and families will be led by the Colonial Park Gardens Rosarian or designated staff. Please no organized groups. Please meet at the entrance of the Rose Garden.

ROSE DAY FESTIVAL CANCELED
Saturday, June 13 from 11am to 5pm (Rain or shine)    Free (Donations appreciated)
Colonial Park Gardens annual Rose Day Festival celebrates one of the first signs of summer…Roses in Bloom! In the heart of the park, the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden displays thousands of   many varieties, both modern and of historic significance. Visitors are invited to celebrate and revel in the day by strolling through the gardens, enjoying music and live entertainment, meeting local artisans, and indulging in some great food! Back by popular demand, rose plants will also be for sale. You will be sure to find a fun activity for festival-goers of any age!

SENSE & SCENTS-ABILITY
Saturday, August 8 from 11am to 2pm (Rain or shine)    Free (Donations appreciated)
Begin the day with a tour of the Fragrance and Sensory Garden and learn about the many plants that highlight this beautiful garden. You will get a chance to see, smell, touch, and taste the essence of summer herbs. Following the tour, there will be a lecture on the benefits of herbs. Expect the unexpected while enjoying a relaxing visit to the garden.  Please meet at the entrance of the Colonial Park Rose Garden/Fragrance & Sensory Garden, Parking Lot A.

SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
Sunday, May 24 and Sunday September 27 from 10am to Noon    $20 per person (Limit: 12 people)
Pre-registration and payment is required by May 21 and September 24.
They say the best camera for the job is the one you have with you. These days that camera is your smartphone! Photographer Joy Yagid will lead this hands-on workshop where participants will learn the best tips and tricks to get the most out of smartphone photography in nature. Joy will individually guide participants in identifying photo opportunities, and share how to edit these photos directly on their smartphones. Please meet in the Colonial Park Gardens Horticulture Building, Parking Lot A.

BUILD YOUR OWN SCARECROW
Saturday, October 24 from 9am to 11:30am    $25 per person (Limit: 15 people)
Pre-registration and payment is required by October 21.
Big or small, frightening or friendly, silly or serious – build your own kind of scarecrow with Colonial Park Gardens’ staff this autumn. Bring your own favorite scarecrow clothes, your creativity, and we will provide the rest. Some scarecrow attire will be available on a first come first served basis. This outdoor event promises to be fun for friends and family members of all ages! Please meet at the Colonial Park Gardens Stone Cottage. 

Emily Dickinson's Gardening Life (NEW PROGRAM)
Saturday, November 14 from 10 to 11:30am    $15 per person
Pre-registration and payment is required by November 12.
In addition to writing poetry, “The Belle of Amherst” was a gardener.  She cultivated flowers on her father's property and in the glass conservatory that he added to the Homestead. This lecture brought to you by award winning writer and garden historian Marta McDowell explores Emily Dickinson's gardens through excerpts of her letters, poems, and historic and modern images of her garden.  Marta McDowell teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden where she has been twice awarded "Instructor of the Year." A popular lecturer, she has been a featured speaker at locations ranging from the Chicago Botanic Garden to the Smithsonian Institution to the Beatrix Potter Society's Linder Lecture at the Sloane Club in London. Her garden writing has appeared in popular publications such as Woman’s Day, Country Gardening, The New York Times, and the British journal Hortus. The program will be held in the Park Commission Headquarters at North Branch Park located at 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater. Please meet at the reception area.

Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece Workshop
Sunday, November 22 from 10am to 12pm    $50 per person (Limit: 12 people)
Pre-registration and payment is required by November 16.
Before the family arrives and the cooking begins, have a little fun and create a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table! We'll create stunning arrangements using long lasting seasonal flowers for your festive table or to bring to your host for theirs. No floral design knowledge or experience is necessary.  All materials and supplies will be provided but please bring a box to carry home your beautiful creation. The program will be held n the Park Commission Headquarters at North Branch Park located at 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater. Please meet at the reception area. 

HOLIDAY WREATH MAKING (NEW PROGRAM)
Saturday, December 5 from 10am to 12pm    $50 per person (Limit: 12 people)
Pre-registration and payment is required by November 30.
Hanging a fresh wreath kicks off the holiday season and fills your environment with spirit and festive fragrance. Learn how to make a traditional, lush mixed-green wreath, sure to wow you and your guests. We will use evergreens, berries, fruit, pinecones, pods, nuts, and ribbons to embellish your creation. All materials and supplies will be provided, but please bring a box to carry home your beautiful creation. The program will be held in the Park Commission Headquarters at North Branch Park located at 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater. Please meet at the reception area.

Turkey Trot

2020 Special Events in the Parks

Dog Walks (Friends of Lord Stirling Stable) 
January 1
The January 1st walk is 1:30pm – 2:30pm. Regular weekly dog walks are held on Saturdays 10:30am – 11:30am, except May 25 - August 24 when the walks are 9:30am – 10:30am.
Fee: $3 per dog
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 722-1200 ext. 5010

National Trails Day
June 6 @ 9am
Come celebrate National Trails Day and help us maintain the beautiful trails at Washington Valley Park and Sourland Mountain Preserve. Rain date is June 2.
Free
Washington Valley Park, Bridgewater
Sourland Mountain Preserve, Hillsborough/Montgomery
908 722 – 1200 ext. 5122

Independence Day Family Festival     
July 4
Event details to be determined.  
Free
5pm - 11pm
North Branch Park
Music, Food, Fireworks, and Fun!
HISTORICAL - Third New Jersey Regiment "Jersey Blues" Revolutionary War Encampment - 6pm - 9pm
FIREWORKS DISPLAY - Schaefer Fireworks - 9:30pm
North Branch Park, Bridgewater  908 722-1200 ext. 5225
Come celebrate Independence Day with spectacular fireworks!  North Branch Park gates will open at 6pm to allow vehicles to enter the park, and the fireworks display will be held at 9:30pm.  Visitors should plan to arrive early.  Food will be available for purchase, and a Revolutionary War encampment will re-create life during the 1770’s.  Park visitors should bring lawn chairs or blankets while they enjoy time in the park before the Independence Day fireworks begin.  Picnic baskets are also allowed, but alcohol is prohibited. 

For your safety and enjoyment, Somerset County Park Commission and the Bridgewater Police offer the following information so you may plan ahead. Arrive early to avoid parking delays.
Please note: Vehicular traffic exiting the park after the fireworks will be delayed for about 30 minutes to allow pedestrians to cross Milltown Road. In case of inclement weather, fireworks only will be held on Tuesday, July 5. Call the Activity Hotline at 908 722-1200, option 5351 for an update.For more information call 908 722-1200 . Individuals with hearing impairments may use the Relay Service @ 711. No parking will be permitted along Routes 202 & 22 Sponsored by The Courier News

Mischief Night Madness   
October 23 (Rain Date 24)     
Enjoy a game of miniature golf with the ghouls.  Wear your costume and get a free goodie bag. Free cider and donuts along with moonlight hay rides, spooky tales from the witch’s cauldron, and a Park Ranger guided night hike.
Fee: $10 per family, $8 for two ghostly golfers
4pm - 8pm
Colonial Park Putting Course, Franklin 
908 722-1200 ext. 5226

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Golfer at NVGC

2020 GOLF TOURNAMENTS

The 2020 golf tournaments require pre-registration and an entrance fee. Application forms are available at the Golf Shops.

16th Annual William W. Anderson Match Play Tournament (Men and Women)    
April 25, 26 and May 2, 3
Open to registered golfers, ages 10 and older. Tournament format is match play for low
16- stroke play qualifiers. 18-hole medal play.
Fee: TBD
Neshanic Valley Golf Course, Branchburg
908 722-1200 ext. 5006

Club Golf Championships
May 16 - 17
Open to registered golfers, age 10 and older. Tournament format is 36-holes, low gross. Prizes are in the form of gift certificates.
Call for entry fees
Tee times vary
Green Knoll Golf Course, Bridgewater
908 722-1200 ext. 5020

Club Golf Championships
June 6 - 7
Open to registered golfers, age 10 and older. Tournament format is 36-holes, low gross. Prizes are in the form of gift certificates.
Call for entry fees
Tee times vary
Spooky Brook Golf Course, Somerset
908 722-1200 ext. 5003

Club Golf Championships
June 27 - 28
Open to registered golfers, age 10 and older. Tournament format is 36 holes, low gross.  Prizes are in the form of gift certificates.
Call for entry fees
Tee times vary
Quail Brook Golf Course, Franklin
908 722-1200 ext. 5004

Club Golf Championships
July 18 - 19
Open to registered golfers, age 10 and older. Tournament format is 36-holes, low gross. Prizes are in the form of gift certificates.
Call for entry fees
Tee times vary
Warrenbrook Golf Course, Warren
908 722-1200 ext. 5016

Club Golf Championships
August 8 - 9
Open to registered golfers, age 10 and older. Tournament format is 36 holes, low gross. Prizes are in the form of gift certificates.
Call for entry fees
Tee times vary
Neshanic Valley Golf Course, Branchburg
908 722-1200 ext. 5006

61st Annual Somerset County Dr. Michael S. Kline Golf Tournament 
(Men and Women)  
September 5, 6, 12, 13                     
Open to registered golfers, age 10 and older. Players compete in flights, based on golfer's handicap.  Flights conducted at designated courses. Awards for each flight.  Medal play.  Players must have a 2017 USGA handicap.
Call for entry fees.
Tee times vary.
Branchburg, Bridgewater, Franklin, and Warren
908 722-1200 ext. 5427

42nd Annual Senior Golf Tournament (Men and Women)         
September 23
Open to registered senior golfers, age 62 and older, men and women. Players compete in six flights based upon age. Awards in each flight.
Fee: TBD (includes greens fee)
Spooky Brook Golf Course, Franklin
908 722-1200 ext. 5421

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