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Naturalist Programs

190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ
908 722-1200 Ext. 5002   EEC Home Page

Swamp Kids

Educational Public Programs for May 2021


Pre-registration is required for all programs. Registration for May programs is available online beginning 9:00am on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the start of a program. Pending availability, enrollment may still be possible by calling 908-722-1200 ext.5002.

CDC recommended protocols are in place. Masks must be worn, and social distancing is required. Do not attend a program if you are not feeling well, are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact of a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or have traveled outside of New Jersey in the last 14 days. Participants disregarding CDC protocols will be asked to leave the program immediately.

For programs listed as ‘All Ages’, children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a registered adult. Dress for the weather and wear waterproof boots for all in-person programs.

CANCELLATIONS (by us): Programs are sometimes cancelled due to low enrollment or weather conditions. You will be notified by phone and given an option of a credit or a full refund.

CANCELLATIONS (by you): The Somerset County Park Commission will refund program registration fees if notified a minimum of seven days prior to the start of the program.

Tomato Time NEW
(All Ages)
Come to the EEC and learn how to grow the perfect “Jersey Tomato”. Discussions will include what soil is best, where to get your seeds, growing from seed, how to best transplant seedlings, determinate versus indeterminate, staking to maximize vertical growth, pruning, when to pick, and seed saving. There will be an emphasis on organic growing.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51907

EEC-01         Saturday, May 1

Down by the River
(All Ages)
Escape to the Passaic – the river that is! Stroll along the river’s edge and learn about the waterway and the flora and fauna that call the Great Swamp home.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51380

EEC-2           Sunday, May 2

The Young Explorers Club
(Ages infant-5 with parent)
It is never too early to get little ones outdoors to experience the wonders of nature. This series will focus on developing their five senses through outdoor exploration.
$30 per pair/$15 per additional child for 4-day session
Activity Number: 51667

EEC-10         Mondays, May 3, 10, 17, 24

(Ages 5-7)
KinderNats is a program designed and geared for children who love being outdoors. These Junior Naturalists will be engaged through hiking, activities, and much more!
$40 for 4-day session per person
Activity Number: 51666

EEC-56         Mondays, May 3, 10, 17, 24

Forest Fitness
Get active with us! Walking outdoors is proven to help your wellbeing. Join a Naturalist on this weekly walking group that will walk continuously at a moderate pace with occasional breaks.
$24 for 4-day session per senior
$28 for 4-day session per adult
Activity Number: 51708

EEC-01         Tuesdays, May 4, 11, 18, 25

Secrets in Somerset County – Bluebell Magic
(All Ages)
Head out for an exploratory hike with a Naturalist. Identify local trees and search for early blooming wildflowers along the Raritan River. Find one of Somerset County’s best kept secrets, the bounty of blooming bluebell wildflowers in Duke Island Park. Pre-registration is required. This program meets at the playground kiosk in Duke Island Park.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51729

DIP-09           Thursday, May 6

Tree House Gang Hike Series
(Ages 3-5)
Bring your little ones for an all-outdoor adventure on our trails! Hiking, games, and exploration will be part of the fun! The program is drop-off and will run an hour and a half.
$60 for 4-day session per person
Activity Number: 51904

EEC-01         Thursdays, May 6, 13, 20, 27

Swamp Kids
(Ages 8-10)
Become a Swamp Kid! This program is designed to let the child’s curiosity and passion guide their learning. Nature is a great teacher for this outdoor, afterschool series!
$40 for 4-day session per person
Activity Number: 51820

EEC-29         Thursdays, May 6, 13, 20, 27

Woodland Wildflowers
(All Ages)
In the springtime, woodland wildflowers are at their peak, carpeting the forest floor with color in the dappled sunlight. Join a Naturalist for a leisurely walk at Lord Stirling Park in search of these spring beauties.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51751

EEC-08          Saturday, May 8

Spring in the Swamp NEW
(All Ages)
Join a Naturalist for a series of one-hour wanderings in the swamp. Each week will focus on a different section of the EEC trails. The focus of the hikes will be on the spring flowers and their relationships with pollinators, pond and vernal pool observations, log rolling, leaf rubbings, searching for animal clues, and for those who dare, a balance log challenge. Good clean, green fun!
$18 per student/senior
$21 per adult
Activity Number: 51908

EEC-01         Saturday, May 8,15, 22

Spring Flower Walk NEW
(All Ages)
Join a Naturalist for a walk to look for blooming ephemeral flowers. During the program, you will learn what species of flowers bloom in May! Camera use is encouraged.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51885

EEC-01         Sunday, May 9

Boondocks & Back!
(All Ages)
To infinity and beyond on the trails! Take a hike and enjoy the furthest, most remote location in the park.
$12 per student/senior
$14 per adult
Activity Number: 51554

EEC-11         Wednesday, May 12

Lord Stirling Stable Bird Walks NEW
Bird walks are back and at an exciting new location! Join a Naturalist and receive special access to the wonderful Lord Stirling Stable property. We will spend three hours hiking and searching for migrant warblers, sparrows, orioles, buntings, and more! Please come prepared with drinking water and comfortable shoes for walking through the mud. Participants will be walking the entire time. Due to COVID-19, we will not be sharing spotting scopes or loaning binoculars. Please bring your own optics. Pre-registration is required. The meeting location for this program is the Lord Stirling Stable parking lot at 256 South Maple Avenue.

$18 per senior
$21 per adult
Activity Number: 51905

LSS-1           Friday, May 14
LSS-2           Saturday, May 15
LSS-3           Friday, May 21
LSS-4           Saturday, May 22

Tree ID Walk
(All Ages)
Learn tree identification skills with a Naturalist! Walk the trails and discuss skills and tools used to identify trees in New Jersey’s forests.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51848

EEC-02         Sunday, May 16

Slime, Scales, and Tails - Oh My!
(All Ages)
Explore the trails with a Naturalist to find our amphibian and reptile friends. Look, listen, and learn about slimy and scaly critters!
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51176

EEC-27         Sunday, May 23

Pollination Celebration
           (All Ages)

We are buzzing with excitement over this new series of programs! Join the EEC Naturalists as we explore and celebrate our amazing pollinators. A mixture of virtual and in-person programs highlighting hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, bees, and plants will be offered throughout the week. Pollinators play such a vital role in our ecosystem; they deserve a special week all to themselves! Each program has its own registration; sign up for one program or for them all!

Virtual Seminar: Hummingbirds
Why do hummingbirds hum? Because they do not know the lyrics. This program is all about hummingbirds. It is hummer time! The jewel of Jersey gardens is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Interesting facts, awesome videos, and detail on how to attract hummingbirds to your yard and garden will be shared. A secret recipe may even be disclosed!
$5 per household
Activity Number: 51906

EEC-1           Tuesday, May 25

Virtual Seminar: Butterflies
Why would you throw butter out a window? To make a butter fly! Learn how to identify butterflies of New Jersey. With over 100 species flying throughout the year, New Jersey is home to a wonderful diversity of beautiful bugs. This class will detail the major groups of butterflies and highlight key species to look for throughout the summer.
$5 per household
Activity Number: 51906

EEC-2           Wednesday, May 26

Virtual Seminar: Wildflowers
What do flowers study in college? STEM. Wildflowers are super foods for various pollinators. These nectar and pollen sources are beautiful, diverse, and seasonal. This program will detail the basics of planting a native wildflower garden.
$5 per household
Activity Number: 51906

EEC-3          Thursday, May 27

Moths: Up Close and Personal
What do you call a female moth that just laid eggs? A MOTHer. Join a Naturalist for a hike after dark and enjoy a special night of blacklighting to see a fascinating array of moth species.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51906

EEC-4           Friday, May 28

Searching for Pollinators in the Park
Where did the bees go after they got married? On their honeymoon. Three themed walks will be featured in one day! The first walk will focus on wildflowers, the second on bees, and the third on butterflies. Join one or all three!
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51906

EEC-5           Saturday, May 29 Plants
EEC-6           Saturday, May 29 Bees
EEC-7           Saturday, May 29 Butterflies

Public Programs
    • January Programs
    • February Programs
    • March Programs
    • April Programs
    • May Programs
    • June Programs
    • July Programs
    • August Programs
    • September Programs
    • October Programs
    • November Programs
    • December Programs
Specialty Programs
    • Birding
    • Birthday Parties
    • Canoe & Kayak
    • Cross Country Skiing
    • Family Program Series
    • Forest Fitness
    • Garden Discovery
    • Libraries, Senior Centers &
      Other Groups
    • Maple Sugaring
    • Other Day Trips & Overnight Trips
    • Scouts
    • Summer Camps
    • Workshops

School Programs
    • Field Trips
    • In School Programs
    • Biomimicry Programs
    • School Program Guide
Trips & Outings
    • Birding
    • Canoe & Kayak
    • Garden Discovery
    • Other Day Trips & Overnight Trips
    • 1770s Festival
    • By the Light of the Moon
    • Live Animal Show
    • County Caper
    • Events
    • Family Program Series
    • Festival of Trees
    • Swamp Search
    • Temporary Exhibits
Program Calendars
Trails & Facilities
    • Room Rentals
    • Auditorium
    • Biomimicry STEM Lab
    • Discovery Room
    • Pond View Room
    • The Tree House
    • EEC Brochure
    • Gift Shop/Library
    • The Great Swamp Experience
    • Temporary Exhibits
    • Trail Map

Volunteers are needed and appreciated   throughout the year. Please contact
  the EEC at 908 722-1200 ext.5002 or email your completed application and waiver to

Volunteer Application for Adult
Volunteer Application for Minor
   Volunteer Waiver for Adults
   Volunteer Waiver for Minors/Dependents

Corporate Volunteer Groups please contact Daniel Ross at 908 722-1200 ext.5336 or


Hours & Directions
The building is open 9am-5pm daily.
Exhibits are open 9am-4:30pm daily.
Registration is accepted 9am-4:30pm daily.
The building is closed on Holidays.
Trails are open dawn to dusk daily but closed on Deer Management days as scheduled.

 Click here for Directions
Donations & Sponsorship

Donations are gladly accepted.
Please make checks payable to:
The Somerset County Park Commission
and mail to Carrie Springer,
190 Lord Stirling Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Support Packet

Ask A Naturalist


Have a question about a plant or animal species you saw in Lord Stirling Park or northern New Jersey?

One of our naturalists can help you! Complete the form and an EEC staff member will do their best to solve your nature mysteries!

On-line Registration