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Environmental Education Center

190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ
908 766-2489

Branta Pond
Red Tail Hawk
1770s Festival

Warning! For your safety the trail system at the Somerset County Park Commission
Environmental Education Center will be CLOSED on the following dates:

Wednesday, October 28
Wednesday, November 4*
Thursday, November 5*
Friday, November 6*
Saturday, November 7*
Wednesday, November 18

* Designates Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Hunt Dates Also

Wednesday, December 2

Your cooperation is appreciated. Click here for PDF
For your own safety do not ignore this notice.
For more information contact the Bernards Police Department Deer Management Program 908-766-1122.

The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center is located within Lord Stirling Park, in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, and is nestled within 425 acres of the western portion of the Great Swamp Basin of the Passaic River. The variety of habitats of floodplains, swamps, rivers, intermittent streams, marshes, meadows, and natural and man-made ponds, fields, and forests provide homes for diverse plant and animal populations in this environmentally sensitive park. All are within walking distances of the multi-faceted building. The Great Swamp Exhibit, a swamp vivarium, and an environmentally based library are located within the Center itself.

The area was once home to Paleo-Indian groups, the Lenapes, and even a Major General of the Continental Army, Lord Stirling. Recent history, in 1960’s, includes a landmark accomplishment when grassroots citizens group and conservation groups rallied to protect the precious wetlands from becoming an international airport. Consequently, 2,600 acres of land were presented to the Department of the Interior to create the core of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge; the property adjacent to the SCPC Environmental Education Center.

Diverse opportunities abound at the Center. Come hike the 8-½ miles of trails on your own or register for one of the multitude of programs – there are experiences available for all ages! The building is open year round, except for major holidays, 9am to 5pm.

The EEC Program Passport is BACK!

The Program Passport is still alive and well at the EEC. The Passport can be secured when you attend a program listed in this guide. Present the Passport each time you attend a paid program at the Environmental Education Center. Receive a stamp for each paid participant within your household. (Passport must be present at the time of the program in order to receive a stamp.) For every ten stamps, receive one Leisure Pursuit Card!* Collect as many as you can! Advance registration is required for all paid programs.

Please note: Promotion may end anytime at the Environmental Education Center's discretion.

*Leisure Pursuit Cards are redeemable at most Somerset County Park Commission parks and entitle you to one of the following activities: paddle boat rental, Colonial Park Putting Course, Green Knoll Pitch and Putt, admission to Warrenbrook Pool, tennis court rental, one round of golf, Environmental Science program, hack or intro ride at Lord Stirling Stable or reduced fee for a picnic grove. The value of each card is a maximum of $20 per use. Cannot be redeemed through online or phone-in registration.

at the Environmental Education Center

One Hour Wanderings
(All Ages)
On selected Saturdays and Sundays during the fall, we will lead an hour-long interpretive walk. Dress for the weather and be prepared to be curious with a Naturalist on this one hour adventure into the Great Swamp.
Pre-registration is not required.

Saturdays 10:30am-11:30am
September 5, 12, 19, 26
November 28
December 5
January 16, 23, 30

Sundays Noon-1:00pm
September 20, 27
October 25
November 1, 22
December 6, 27
January 17, 31

*Not designed for organized groups*

The Art of Photography at the EEC


Camera Naturalists Photo Club

Camera Naturalists is the only club in New Jersey dedicated strictly to the art of nature and scenic photography. Meeting at the Environmental Education Center, the club offers educational programs, competitions, field trips, slide shows, and participation in public exhibits. Guests are welcome, and anyone interested in nature photography is invited to join. Meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of each month from 7:30pm-9:30pm at the Environmental Education Center.

Please Note: Our trails are for foot traffic only; pets, horses, bicycles & motorized vehicles are prohibited because the trails run through a wildlife sanctuary.

E-mail the Environmental Education Center with any questions or comments.


On-line Registration


    • Program Registration Information & Locations

    • August Programs
    • September Programs

    • October Programs
    • November Programs
    • December Programs
    • January 2016 Programs

    • Birthday Parties
    • Cape May and Birding Adventures - 2016
    • Canoe & Kayak Programs & Trips
    • Cross-Country Skiing
    • Garden Discovery Tours
    • Maple Sugaring
    • School Group Programs
    • Scouts/Other Group Programs
    • Traveling Education Programs for Senior Center
       and Adult Library Groups

    • Calendar (PDF)
    • Newsletter (PDF)

    • Special Events
    • Exhibits
    • Workshops
    • Family Program Series
    • Trips
    • Library
    • Trails
    • Natural History Book & Gift Shop
    • Room Rental

    • Calendar (PDF)
    • Environmental Education Center Brochure
    • Environmental Education Center Map
    • Directions

    • Release Wavier for Adults
    • Release Wavier for Minors/Dependents
    • Emergency Medical Information for Adults - Must be
       completed  along with the release wavier to
        participate in  programs.
    • Emergency Medical Information for Minors - Must be
       completed  along with the release wavier to
        participate in  programs.

    • Volunteer
    • Seasonal Gardener
    • Land Management Assistant
    • Front Desk Host/Receptionist

    • Special Event Volunteer – 4H Fair
    • Special Event Volunteer – 1770s Festival
    • Special Event Volunteer – By the Light of the Moon
    • Special Event Volunteer – Halloween Hullabaloo     

 Pleace contact Jane Bodnar at 908 766-2489 ext. 323
 for additional information on the volunteer positions
 listed above.

Let's Volunteer!
Do you love the Environmental Education Center? We can use your help with a variety of endeavors. Throughout the year different projects will be tackled depending on the season. Your enthusiasm, creativity, and helping hands will be used to enhance the Center.  No registration is required, however a waiver must be signed by all participants.

Wednesday, October 21 Gardens clean up 2pm-4pm
(Contact Maria Rossi at 908 766-2489 x334 or

Sunday, November 29 Festival of Trees set-up
(Contact Monica Juhasz at 908 766-2489 x328 or

Monday, December 28 Festival of Trees take down 9:00am-Noon (Contact Monica Juhasz at
908 766-2489 x328 or