Ecological Stewardship


With more than 14,000 acres of open space including forests, waterways, meadows and fields, the Somerset County Park Commission continues to dedicate time and effort to being good stewards of the land.

Our parks and natural areas maintain biodiversity and preserve natural landscapes. The state of New Jersey is ranked number one in population density per square mile, which highlights the importance of open space and land preservation.

The Somerset County park system consists of 24 park areas and several areas of reserved land totaling 14,780 acres. When possible, the County continues to acquire land while maintaining existing parks and open space. The current open space inventory includes:

  • 9 General Use Parks offering both active and passive Recreation Facilities
  • 5 Golf Courses
  • 4 Special Use Parks
  • 8 Developed Natural Area Park which features an Environmental Education Center
  • 5 Undeveloped Natural Areas

Our ecological efforts include restoration projects, land stewardship practices, river friendly golf courses, solar energy, conservation and research. Parks also contribute to good air and water quality, and enhance the quality of life within our community. Each year we strive to make Somerset County a greener, better place to live and play.

Raritan River Rain Barrel Rebate Program

The Park Commission is a member of the Regional Center Partnership, which is also comprised of the Somerset County Planning Board; the townships of Bridgewater, Somerville, and Raritan; and the Somerset County Business Partnership. The Regional Center Partnership is partnering with the New Jersey Water Supply Authority to offer homeowners rain barrel rebates of up to $200 for residents of Somerville, Bridgewater, and Raritan. Manville is also providing a similar program.

A Rain Barrel collects and stores rainwater from a roof. It prevents the rainwater from becoming storm water runoff that picks up pollutants and carries them into storm drains, streets, or streams. Rain Barrels allow you to store and conserve water, while at the same time, help to keep our rivers and reservoirs clean. Because there are so many rooftops, driveways, and roads in Somerville, Bridgewater, and Raritan, this area is a concern for water quality. Rain Barrels can make a difference in reducing pollution and easing stream erosion caused by heavy storm water. If you live in one of these towns (or have friends and family who do), please consider this program (or sharing it with them).

Click here for details on how it works.