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Environmental Education Center

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


Special Events

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 and discuss the nuances of their work. Enjoy live Colonial music, cider pressing demonstrations, and other festive performances! Come see Revolutionary War militias conduct maneuvers outside detachment camps on the former estate lawn of Lord Stirling! 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.
Suggested donation: $5 per person
Sunday, October 2, 2022


Discovery Day
(All Ages)
Looking for a great place where the whole family can learn and explore? Discover the Environmental Education Center (EEC) and everything the Naturalists have to offer! Join the EEC Naturalists for an afternoon highlighting their favorite activities at the park. Fun activities will include a hawk watch, critters, games, and more!
Suggested donation: $5.00 per person
Saturday, October 29, 2022

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 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 2 through Thursday, December 29, 2022, 9:00am-4:30pm
**Please note the EEC will be closed December 23, 24, 25, & 26**

Please visit our website or check out our Facebook page
for more information.
See you in December at the EEC – the perfect lead into the holiday season!


"On Safari in Tanzania"
(All Ages)
Experience the wilds of Africa through the lens of the very talented nature photographer, Steve Kanan. Like many nature enthusiasts, Steve first developed a fondness for wildlife at a fairly young age. He recalls watching, with rapt attention, the conservation status debate of the diminutive Snail Darter in the state of Tennessee, followed by the eventual passing of the Endangered Species Act in 1973.

As he would soon discover, the fate of that tiny fish would only serve as the prelude to the deluge of on-going threats to the world's wildlife and their habitats. This would also further drive home the pressing need for someone to help raise awareness of this critical issue, especially among the younger generation.

Steve considers himself quite fortunate to have had the opportunity to fulfill his dream of visiting Eastern Africa. He decided he could best convey the plight of the majestic wildlife encountered along the way by sharing some of the resulting images with the local community.

The installation features photos captured over a two-week period in Tanzania, along the so called “Northern Circuit”. The journey begins in Arusha National Park where Steve observed birds, hippos, and giraffes from a canoe. The very next day he encountered elephants and baboons in Tarangire National Park. But perhaps the highlight of his trip was a nighttime drive through Lake Manyara National Park in the backseat of an open jeep. Steve describes the moment as a veritable, surreal experience to have witnessed a full-grown hippo running alongside the Jeep in the darkness of night.

Follow along on Steve’s journey as he tours the Ngorongoro Crater, a geological and wildlife spectacle, formed when an ancient volcano erupted. Marvel at the annual migration of up to 200,000 zebras and one million wildebeest through the vast Serengeti. Travel along to the Mahale Mountains National Park, along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, where Steve captured some truly captivating photos of some particularly well habituated chimpanzees! Steve’s journey concludes on Chumbe, a tiny coral island just off the coast of Zanzibar, but not before exploring Zanzibar itself and its wonderful population of endangered Red Colobus monkeys! An opening reception is planned for Saturday, October 15 from 1:00pm-3:00pm.
Saturday, October 15 through Sunday, November 20, 2022, 9:00am-5:00pm except Election Day,
November 8, 2022, and Veterans Day, November 11, 2022.

Featured Program Series

Family Nature Walks
(All Ages)
Be curious with a Naturalist on these one-hour adventures into the Great Swamp. Dress for the weather; waterproof boots are strongly recommended. Pre-registration is not required.
Sundays, October 16, November 20, & December 18


There are currently no seminar and workshop programs scheduled.


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)


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 Trevor McNaught at 908 722-1200 ext. 5323.

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

Public 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
    • Featured 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
    • 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
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


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