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Environmental Education Center

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

exhibit

Special Events

Family Program Series

The Lord Stirling 1770s Festival
(All Ages)
Return to the past and experience daily Colonial life and the thriving Eighteenth Century craft industry at the annual Lord Stirling 1770s Festival. Colonial craftspeople will ply their trades while a Town Crier announces the local news. Enjoy Colonial music, cider pressing demonstrations, and festive performances! Come see Revolutionary War militias conduct maneuvers outside detachment camps on the former estate lawn of Lord Stirling. The Lord Stirling 1770s Festival will also feature displays of authentic Colonial artifacts discovered here on site! Experience what life in Somerset County was like in the fall of 1770 and learn about our local Revolutionary War hero, Lord Stirling. Craft sales are prohibited to ensure an enjoyable and educational living history event. Food and beverages will not be served at this year’s event, and social distancing and masks are highly encouraged. All current COVID guidelines and restrictions will be strictly enforced. The Somerset County Park Commission reserves the right to modify rules or cancel the event in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders.
Suggested donation: $5 per person
Sunday, October 3, 2021
11:30am-4:00pm


 

43rd FESTIVAL OF TREES
December is the time to visit the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center (EEC) to welcome winter and get into the holiday spirit! The festival is an indoor exhibit of decorated trees by various community groups and individuals alike. Enjoy holiday music and relax while viewing the beautiful trees!

Please call 908-722-1200 (ext. 5328) or email mjuhasz@scparks.org to participate as an exhibitor and decorate a tree, to make group reservations or for more information.
Suggested donation: $5.00 per person
           Friday, December 3 through Wednesday, December 29, 2021
           9:00am-4:30pm
**Please note the EEC will be closed December 23, 24, and 25**

Please visit our website www.somersetcountyparks.org or check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EECscparks for more information.
See you in December at the EEC – the perfect lead into the holiday season!

Maple Sugaring
(All Ages)
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. You will see how trees are tapped, view sap-collecting methods past and present, and observe the boiling process that produces delicious New Jersey maple syrup. This 60-minute program is conducted at the Environmental Education Center (EEC) Sugar Shack, a half-mile hike from the Center’s parking area. Please arrive at the EEC 20-30 minutes before the program start time and to allow enough time to hike to the Sugar Shack. Dress appropriately for outdoor weather conditions. Boots are recommended as the trails can be wet, muddy, and/or covered by snow.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 52000


Saturdays:                                                            Sundays:
EEC-16
  Feb 19          10:00am-11:00am               EEC-19   Feb 20          Noon-1:00pm
EEC-17   Feb 19          Noon-1:00pm                      EEC-20   Feb 20          2:00pm-3:00pm
EEC-18   Feb 19          2:00pm-3:00pm

EEC-21   Feb 26          10:00am-11:00am               EEC-24   Feb 27          Noon-1:00pm
EEC-22   Feb 26          Noon-1:00pm                      EEC-25   Feb 27          2:00pm-3:00pm
EEC-23   Feb 26          2:00pm-3:00pm

EEC-26   March 5        10:00am-11:00am               EEC-29   March 6        Noon-1:00pm
EEC-27   March 5        Noon-1:00pm                      EEC-30   March 6        2:00pm-3:00pm
EEC-28   March 5        2:00pm-3:00pm

EEC-31   March 12      10:00am-11:00am               EEC-34   March 13      Noon-1:00pm
EEC-32   March 12      Noon-1:00pm                      EEC-35   March 13      2:00pm-3:00pm
EEC-33   March 12      2:00pm-3:00pm

Project E.A.R.T.H – Swamp Search!
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 is a rain or shine event – please call the EEC for scavenger hunt status in case of inclement weather. If it is raining on the event day, or has rained significantly the week before, we suggest participants wear waterproof boots/shoes to protect against traversing through puddles and mud on our trails.
FREE
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Noon–4:30pm


TEMPORARY Exhibits

Weather and Wood
Wood is one of the Earth’s most versatile and probably most familiar natural raw material we have in our daily lives. A commodity for all walks of human life, we have learned to shape it and will it for our needs. Weather, on the other hand, is ephemeral, impacting our lives with its capricious force and out of our control. Wood is often taken for granted but when people admire wood products, they rarely think of the very forests from which the wood was taken. Nor do they think how weather can affect the forests we harvest wood from and how trees can be related to weather. This exhibition by Ridge High School students examines an intimate concern for stewardship of our forests, sustainability of wood as a resource, and the constant flux of weather. Our inescapable relationship with nature, both tangible and intangible, is in full view through the imagination of these high school students in a myriad of mediums and forms of expression. A reception will be held on Tuesday, February 15 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Snow date: Thursday, February 17, 5:00pm-7:00pm
FREE
Saturday, February 12 through Sunday, March 13, 2022
9:00am-5:00pm daily; closed February 11 (Lincoln’s Birthday) and February 21 (President’s Day).


Bernards Township Community Art Show
Bernards Township is partnering with the Environmental Education Center to host their 11th annual, non-juried art show, “Inspired by Nature”. Bernards Township residents aged 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.
FREE
Saturday, March 19 through Monday, April 19, 2022
9:00am-5:00pm daily; closed April 15 (Good Friday) and April 17 (Easter Sunday).


SEMINAR AND WORKSHOP

Both virtual and in-person programs continue to be developed. Please check back for additional program offerings. Masks are required inside county buildings regardless of vaccination status and are encouraged in crowded outdoor settings when social distancing is not possible. Pre-registration is required for all programs.

Trips

Birding with the EEC PDF
Canoe and Kayking Trips
Garden Discovery Trips PDF
Cape May Birding Trip PDF
Lighthouse Challenge Weekend PDF

resource Library

The Center houses a comfortable, user-friendly resource library. A large number of books and a variety of periodicals regarding the many facets of our environment are available during regular building hours. A wide range of children's environmental books and magazines are also available. The library has tables and chairs for on-site research and reading. Because it is a resource library, not a lending library, all materials must remain on-site. Our resource library and auditorium now have WiFi available for public use.
(top of page)

Trails

Nine miles of relatively flat trails meander through 500 acres of The Great Swamp, of which approximately three miles are boardwalked. They are open every day from sunrise to sunset.

Cattails and sedges are found as you wander the boardwalks in the freshwater marsh. Along the Yellow Trail that takes you close to the Passaic River, the seasonally inundated floodplain is home to Pin Oak, Red Maple, and Ash. Along the southern perimeter of the park (the Blue and Red trails) succession is slowly changing abandoned farm fields to woodland. In these areas, wildflowers and shrubs mingle with grasses and saplings and provide homes for many birds, mammals, and insects.

The Special Use Trail (SUT) travels between the Center and Branta Pond. It is an easily accessible boardwalk trail for those who are looking for a short walk or for those with limiting abilities. It has a recently renovated Native Plant Garden, herb gardens, and a pleasant gazebo in which to sit and enjoy the surrounds.

Trail maps are available at the front desk or in PDF format by clicking here. Be sure to check out the kiosks at the trailhead and at the "dike" on the Red trail for seasonal information! (top of page)

Natural History Book and Gift Shop

A favorite stop for those looking for that special gift for a favorite outdoors friend, baby and children gifts, a special piece of jewelry or pottery, or maybe just a great book to add to one’s own personal book collection. A variety of  "must have’s" for all ages are located in the main floor lobby gift shop.

The selection changes on an on-going basis and many pieces are limited in number. Best to visit regularly or with specific requests, call 908 722-1200 ext. 5322. (top of page)

Room Rentals

Room rentals are available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis to groups and organizations with an environmentally related mission or agenda.

For more information or to book a room, please call Kurt Bender at 908 722-1200 ext. 5332.

Email the EEC with any questions or comments.(top of page)

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
Events
    • 1770s Festival
    • 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

   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 cspringer@scparks.org.

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 dross@scparks.org.

Hours & Directions
Building Hours: Daily 9am-5pm.
Exhibits close at 4:30pm.
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

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
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