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montage of events

2015 Special Events at the Environmental Education Center
The following annual events are conducted at the Environmental Education Center. The EEC is located at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge. For directions, please click here. For additional information, please call the EEC at 908 766-2489.

Nature Through a Child's Eye
This annual children's environmental art exhibit features Somerset County
kindergartners through sixth graders who have expressed their love of our natural world, our environment, and our Earth through their
artwork.
FREE
Friday, January 9 through Sunday, February 8, 2015
9:00am-4:30pm except Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Maple Sugaring
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 at the Environmental Education Center (EEC). You will see how trees are tapped, view sap-collecting methods past and present, and see the boiling process that produces delicious New Jersey maple syrup. This 90-minute program is conducted at our Sugar Shack, a ½-mile hike from the EEC. Please arrive at the EEC 20-30 minutes before the program start time and dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Boots are recommended as the trails can be wet, muddy, and/or covered by snow. Organized groups (such as schools) may schedule weekday demonstrations by calling the EEC at 908 766-2489, ext. 332.
Suggested donation: $1 per person
February 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28
March 1, 7, 8, 14, 15
Saturdays - 10:00am, Noon, and 2:00pm
Sundays - Noon and 2:00pm

ECO-RALLY!
April 1 – April 15, 2015

Register as an individual or as a team of friends, families,
scout groups, co-workers, sports teams, etc. All are welcome to enter!

Receive a list of the simple tasks you complete to minimize your carbon footprint! Tasks may include, but are not limited to:

• Turn the lights off when you leave a room
• Ride your bike or walk instead of driving
• Use reusable bags when shopping
• Plant a native plant garden or tree

Then create a display of posters, pictures, etc. showing your contribution to the environment! Awards will be given for creativity and outstanding achievements.

See the awards on display and have fun at the Swamp Search on Sunday, April 26!

To request an application or for further information regarding the Eco-Rally please contact 908 766-2489 ext. 326 or e-mail cspringer@scparks.org

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. Enjoy environmental activities and games for children of all ages. Try your "eco-skills" on our scavenger hunt and
participate in cool activities that promote positive environmental actions for everyone. Then return to the EEC for the "Mammal Mania" program with live mammals presented by Travis Gale of Eyes Wild. See the Family Program Series section for more information.

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 26, 2015
Noon-4:30pm

The County Caper Accelerated!
The County Caper Accelerated! is a one day game that takes adults on an interactive tour of Somerset County parks and facilities. Challenge your mental and physical capabilities while completing fun tasks throughout the day as your team races against the clock. Saturday, August 24, 2013 kicks off this exciting event for those who crave adventure in their own backyard. Pre-registration is required.
FREE
Course Code: 51597
EEC-3 Saturday, August 22, 20145
8:00am-4:00pm

The County Caper
The County Caper is a one day game that takes families and friends on an interactive tour of Somerset County parks and facilities. It is designed to encourage everyone to explore, learn, and protect our parks and other natural areas. Sunday, August 23, 2015 is the date to remember for this special event open to everyone with a yearning to discover all Somerset County has to offer. Pre-registration is required.
FREE
Course Code: 51492
EEC-5 Sunday, August 23, 2015
8:00am-5:00pm

The Lord Stirling 1770s Festival
Return to the past and experience daily colonial life and craft industry at the annual Lord Stirling 1770s Festival. Colonial craftspeople ply their trades while a Town Crier announces the local news. A Revolutionary War Military detachment camps on the former estate lawn of Lord Stirling and conducts maneuvers. Stroll the grounds of "The Buildings" and tour Lord Stirling's personal 1762 wine cellar. The Lord Stirling 1770s Festival also features displays of authentic artifacts discovered on site by our archeological field project. Children of all ages enjoy the hayrides, clay crafts, stenciling, tin piercing, and colonial games. Experience what life was like here 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. Snacks, lunch, and cold drinks are available.
Suggested donation: $5 per person
Sunday, October 4, 2015
10:30am-4:30pm

"Halloween Happenings at the Environmental Education Center"

By the Light of the Moon
(All Ages)
Listen for animal sounds. Make sparks fly. Hone your night vision and more as you traverse the swampy trails with a Naturalist beneath the stars. Indoor activities may include live critters, face painting, and more! Cookies and cider top off the night. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. We recommend wearing your boots and leaving your stroller at home due to wet, dark, and uneven terrain.
$6 per person
Course Code: 52004
Friday, October 16 (Rain Date: Saturday, October 17)
EEC-25 6:30pm-8:00pm
EEC-26 6:45pm-8:15pm
EEC-27 7:00pm-8:30pm
EEC-28 7:15pm-8:45pm
EEC-29 7:30pm-9:00pm

Halloween Hullabaloo - NEW
(All Ages)
Join us for a wild afternoon rumpus! At 1:00pm, Rizzo's Reptile Discovery will present a live reptile show where you will meet some of nature's creepiest creatures. Following the program, try your hand at a plethora of carnival-like games for the whole family. Light refreshments and music included. It is sure to be oodles of fun! Pre-registration not required.
Suggested donation: $5 per person
Sunday, October 18
1:00pm-4:00pm

38th Annual Festival of Trees
December is the time to visit the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center (EEC) and get into the holiday spirit! The Festival of Trees, held at the EEC in Basking Ridge, is an indoor exhibit of decorated trees by various community groups and individuals. Come and enjoy live holiday music on select Saturdays and Sundays and relax in the Snowflake Café with a hot beverage and homemade goodies! Please call 908 766-2489 for a schedule of live musical performances and/or to make group reservations. Note: the Festival will be open through Christmas. Bring your holiday guest and enjoy a festive local event.
Suggested donation: $5 per person
Friday, December 4 through Sunday, December 27, 2015
9:00am-5:00pm every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

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Rider and her horse

2015 Special Events at Lord Stirling Stable
The following events are held at the Lord Stirling Stable. The Stable is located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge. For directions, please click here. For additional information, please call the Stable at 908 766-5955.

32nd Annual Family Fun Day (co-sponsored by the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable)
May 3
Games on horseback are the centerpiece of this fun-filled day at Lord Stirling Stable, but that's not all we've got! Free pony rides and hayrides make horses accessible to everyone; local vendors offer their specialties for sale; and child-friendly arcade games ensure that everyone is a winner. The Friends have food and beverages available for purchase, so bring the kids, bring your appetite, and enjoy a day on the farm.
8am – 4pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 766 5955

Moonlight Trail Ride
July 31
Open to riders 12 years of age or older who can walk, trot, and canter with control on the trails.
A separate ride is available for private horse owners; please call for your fee information.
Registration is open from July 13 – 29.
Fee: $32 Somerset County resident/$40 non-resident.
8pm - 10pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 766 5955

Rebel the Pony's Special Event
August 16
Join Rebel and his friends for free lead line pony rides, hayrides, and other special activities at Lord Stirling Stable.
10am – 2pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 766 5955

Private Horse Hunter Pace (Co-sponsored by Friends of Lord Stirling Stable)
September 13
Open to private horse owners. The 6-8 mile marked course includes 30+ jumps, all with ample room to bypass for riders who prefer to stay on the flat. Ribbons will be awarded in Junior, Open, Senior, Hilltopper, and Family divisions.
Fee: $30 per Junior rider (under 18 years of age), $35 per Adult
Teams depart between 9am – 1pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 766-5955

Holiday Horse Shows
December 5 - 6
Cheer for Lord Stirling Stable's students as they showcase the horsemanship skills that they have been working on in lessons. Show classes range from beginner through advanced jumping levels. A drill team performance highlights the lunch break each day. Ribbons awarded. The public is welcome; admission and parking are free.
9am
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 766-5955

Holiday Festival (Friends of Lord Stirling Stable)
December 5 - 6
Take a hayride to see Santa Claus, ride a pony, decorate ornaments, and enjoy many other activities. Find that perfect gift at the Silent Auction, which benefits the School Horse Retirement Fund. Fees vary; admission, parking, hayrides & pony rides are free.
10am – 4pm
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge
908 766-5955

Jingle Bell Trail Ride
December 13
A short break from holiday preparations can feel like a vacation when you are on the back of a horse! Registration is open from November 30 – December 10. For riders at Intermediate 2/C-2 and higher levels.
11am – noon
Fee: $28 Somerset County resident/$36 non-resident
Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge 908 766 5955


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Leonard J. Buck Garden

2015 Special Events at Leonard J. Buck Garden
The following events are conducted at Leonard J. Buck Garden. Buck Garden is located at Layton Road in Far Hills. For directions, please click here. For additional information, please call Buck Garden at 908 234-2677.

Art and Photography Exhibit     
Weekdays February 23 – March 13           10am - 4pm
Free
Showcasing the four seasons at Leonard J. Buck Garden, this exhibit will feature photographs, paintings, and drawings of Buck Garden.  See the garden’s many faces through the works of talented artists and photographers.  This exhibit will be held at the Leonard J. Buck Garden Visitor Center in Far Hills.  For additional information please call 908 234-2677. 

Pruning Fundamentals
Wed. March 25    9am – 11am
Fee: $12
Is that shrub in your backyard getting too big? Do you want to prune it yourself, but need some guidance? Join the Buck Garden staff to learn basic pruning techniques used in the Garden. Proper pruning tools will be discussed. There will be an outdoor presentation, weather permitting. So please dress appropriately for outdoor activities. Pre-registration required 908-234-2677 or online at www.somersetcountyparks.org

Spring Plant Sale and Earth Day Celebration
April 25 and 26     Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 12pm – 5pm
Free
Enhance your garden with some spectacular new plant treasures, and help us celebrate Earth Day. Weekend highlights include a plant sale featuring many choice selections of perennials, ferns and woody plants, inspiring garden lectures, and guided tours of this magnificent naturalistic rock garden. This event will be held at the Leonard J. Buck Garden in Far Hills. For additional information, please call the Buck Garden at 908 234-2677. 

The plant sale is  co-sponsored  with the Watnong Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society.

Woodland Walks
Sunday afternoons in April and May (except holiday weekends) at 2 pm
Fee: $4
Brighten your spring with a captivating and informative tour of the Leonard J. Buck Garden. Enjoy the magnificent drifts of native wildflowers and spring perennials blooming throughout the garden, as well as azaleas, dogwoods, and many colorful flowering shrubs and trees.  Discover the great variety of plants growing among the rock formations and woodlands, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Tours begin on April 6 and continue on April 13, 27 and May 4, 11 and 18

Garden Photography Workshop - Leonard J. Buck Garden 
Thursday April 21, 2015       9am -11:30am  
Fee: $35
A Flower & Landscape Photography Class is offered to beginner and intermediate photography enthusiasts by professional photographer Brien Szabo of Nature Images, Inc. This class will involve technical instruction in the Buck Garden Visitor Center followed by outdoor photography of plant close-up and landscape scenes. The workshop is designed for both digital and film photographers. Pre-registration is required by calling 908 234-2677 or online at www.somersetcountyparks.org

Flower & Landscape Photography - Alternative Approaches       
May 12
This class will involve technical instruction focusing on alternative approaches to flower and landscape photography. We’ll explore the abstract side of photography from multiple exposure images, using filters, blur techniques, and more. This class will include a lecture and shooting session in the garden. The workshop will be taught by Brien Szabo. The class is designed for all levels of digital and film photographers. Pre-registration is required.
Fee:  $35 per person
9am – 11:30am
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677

Make a Hypertufa Mini-Trough
May 8
Hypertufa is a handmade material which resembles “tufa,” a rugged volcanic rock used to make planting troughs. These containers are especially suited for small rock garden plants. You will make your own hypertufa mini-trough and receive instructions for curing it at home. Wear work clothes as the process can be messy.  We will also take a walk through the Garden to see the different large hypertufa troughs on display. Workshop fee includes the cost of supplies.
Pre-registration is required.  Enrollment is limited to 10 participants.
10am – 11:30am
Fee: $35
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677

Make a Hypertufa Mini-Trough
October 2
Hypertufa is a handmade material which resembles “tufa,” a rugged volcanic rock used to make planting troughs. These containers are especially suited for small rock garden plants. You will make your own hypertufa mini-trough and receive instructions for curing it at home. Wear work clothes as the process can be messy. We will also take a walk through the Garden to see the different large hypertufa troughs on display. Workshop fee includes the cost of supplies. Pre-registration is required.
Enrollment is limited to 10 participants.
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Fee: $35
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677

Art in the Garden - Watercolors in the Garden
October 15     
Nature and wildlife artist Beatrice Bork will lead a one-day class at Leonard J. Buck Garden to capture the garden’s beauty on paper. Students will be guided in choosing a location when painting outdoors, paint application, mixing colors, composition, and how to create a finished watercolor painting. Basic drawing skills are recommended. Call for art supply list and bring your lunch. Ms. Bork, internationally known nature and wildlife artist, has received many special achievements and awards during her career. Pre-registration is required.  Rain Date 10/17/14.
Fee: $35 per person
9:30am – 3pm
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677

Flower & Landscape Photography – Autumnal Brilliance
October 20
While each season in Buck Garden has its own special qualities, none are quite as spectacular as the colors of the trees and shrubs in the fall.  Lecture and field session will cover the use of light, composition, landscape photography, close-ups, and how to find the right picture.  The workshop will be taught by Nature Photographer Brien Szabo. The class is designed for all levels of digital and film photographers. Pre-registration is required.
Fee:  $35 per person
9am – 11:30am
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills
908 234-2677


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tour of the Perennial Garden

2015 Special Events at Colonial Park Gardens
The following programs/events will be conducted in the Colonial Park Gardens in Franklin Township. For additional information, please call 732 873-2459 ext. 21 or the NJ Relay Service at 711 for individuals with a hearing or speech impairment. Programs that have a fee require pre-registration. All programs are rain or shine, unless otherwise noted. If you have individualized needs due to a disability, please call the Therapeutic Recreation Department at 908 526-5650 and we will be happy to arrange reasonable accommodations. Three weeks notice is required to ensure that appropriate accommodations can be provided.

ROSE PRUNING WORKSHOP
Saturday, March 14, 2015, 9 – 11am (rain date: March 21)
Fee: $12 per person (limit 30 people)

This combination lecture and hands-on workshop presented by the Horticulture staff will give you all the basics you need to help ensure a season of healthy roses in your garden. Bring your leather gloves and pruning equipment, and remember to dress warmly. The program will be held in the Colonial Park Rose Garden, Parking Lot A. Please meet at the entrance to the Rose Garden.

SPRING PRUNING DEMONSTRATION
Saturday, April 4, 2015, 9 – 11am (rain date: April 11)
Fee: $12 per person (limit 30 people)

Do you want to prune the shrubs in your backyard, but don't know where to start cutting? Then join the Horticulture staff at the Colonial Park Gardens as they demonstrate and discuss the basic pruning techniques and proper tools used for pruning. Please dress for the weather as this will be an outdoor presentation. The program will be held in the Colonial Park Arboretum, Parking Lots A and F. Please meet at the entrance to the Horticulture Office in Colonial Park, Parking Lot F.

FLOWER BUDS – CHILDREN'S GARDEN WORKSHOP
Saturday, May 16, 2015, 10am – 12pm (rain date: May 23)
Fee: $12 per child, ages 5 to 8 (limit 10 children and must be accompanied by an adult)

Pre-registration by Friday, May 8 is required
Come join the Horticulture staff and create Colonial Park's first Children's Garden. Children will be creating a butterfly, hummingbird, and goldfinch friendly garden which will be enjoyed by all visitors throughout the growing season. Participants will sow seeds, plant annuals and perennials and will take home a flower of their choice from seeds. All supplies will be provided. The program will be held in the Colonial Park Morgan Pellowski Playground, Parking Lot C. Please meet at the entrance sign of the playground.

40TH ANNUAL ROSE DAY
Saturday, June 13, 2015, 10am – 3pm
Free (Suggested donation of $3 per adult and $1 per senior or child)

Rose Day celebrates peak bloom in the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden in Colonial Park, Parking Lot A. This display garden features more than 3,000 roses representing over 325 different varieties. Lectures and demonstrations will be presented. Horticulture staff and members of the Jersey Shore Rose Society will be available to answer questions. It is a day to stroll through the garden and attend free lectures focusing on roses and rose care. Plants and complimentary refreshments will be available.

CONTAINER GARDENING WITH EDIBLE PLANTS FOR CHILDREN
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 10am – 12pm
Fee: $12 per child, ages 7 to 10 (limit to 10 children and must be accompanied by an adult)

Pre-registration by Saturday, June 19 is required
Join our knowledgeable garden staff for a workshop on edible plants and planting them. The program will start with a behind the scene tour of the Fragrance & Sensory Garden and end with each child planting his/her own edible herb container to bring home. All supplies will be provided. The program will be held in the Colonial Park Fragrance & Sensory Garden, Parking Lot A. Please meet at the entrance to the Rose Garden/Fragrance & Sensory Garden.

16TH ANNUAL GARDEN PARTY
Saturday, July 18, 2015, 11am – 3pm
Free (Suggested donation of $3 per adult and $1 per senior or child)

The Garden Party will feature lectures, demonstrations, and Horticulture staff to answer questions. Plants and complimentary refreshments will also be available. Music will round out a beautiful summer's day in the park. The event will be held in the Colonial Park Perennial Garden, Parking Lot F.

AUTUMN IN THE PERENNIAL GARDEN
Saturday, September 5, 2015, 9 – 11am
Fee: $12 per person (limit 30 people)

Fall is almost here and the Perennial Garden is at its peak. Join the Horticulture staff for a field study of fall blooming perennials. We will discuss plant care and gardening techniques as well as answer your gardening questions as we stroll through the garden. The program will be held in the Colonial Park Perennial Garden, Parking Lot F.

FLOWER & GARDEN PHOTOGRAPHY
Saturday, September 12, 2015, 9 – 11:30am
Fee: $35 per person (limit: 12 people)

Experience the Rose Garden with your camera like never before. Join professional photographer Brien Szabo for a brief lecture in the Horticulture Building then hands on adventure in the Rose Garden in creating stunning flower images and garden landscape photographs. You will be immersed in both creative and technical approaches that are aimed at improving your photography or simply giving you alternative ideas to help spark your own creativity. This class is aimed at all levels of photography. Every participant will have the opportunity to work one on one with the instructor. Please meet in the Horticulture Building, next to the Rose Garden in Colonial Park, Parking Lot A.

HOLIDAY KISSING BALL WORKSHOP
Saturday, December 5, 2015, 10am – 12pm
Fee: $35 per person (limit: 15 people & includes supplies)

Horticulture staff will share with participants on a number of holiday tips on how to create your own beautiful holiday kissing ball using fresh materials. You will be dazzled by what you can create, and the experience is certain to put you into the holiday spirit. The program will be held in Park Commission Headquarters, 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater. Please meet at the reception area.


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Turkey Trot

2015 Special Events in the Parks

Duke Island Walkers
January 7, 2015
Start the New Year by joining our weekly walking program that will meet at the Duke Island Visitor Center every Wednesday morning at 9:30am beginning January 5, 2010. Warm up with coffee, tea, and refreshments following the walk. For more information, call the Recreation Department at 908 722-1200 ext. 226.

3rd Annual Sourlands Smackdown
April 8, 2015
Join us for something completely different! Come out to New Jersey's only outdoor bouldering competition! It will be a fun day for all!
9am onsite registration or register online
Sourland Mountain Preserve, Hillsborough/Montgomery
908 231-0802 ext. 22

National Trails Day
June 6
Come celebrate National Trails Day and help us maintain the beautiful trails.
Park TBA Rain date is June 8.
Free
Washington Valley Park, Bridgewater
908 231-0802 ext.22

Friday Nights at the Drive-in Movies
July 17, 24, 31
Join us at Duke Island Park for a bit of nostalgia, as we present our 2014 Drive-in Movie series on Friday evenings.. Wear your pajama's, bring your teddy bears, lawn chairs and blankets as we enjoy Rise of the Guardians (PG) on July 18 Parental Guidance (PG) on July 25, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG) on August 1. Movies begin at 8:30pm and are shown on a big screen. Popcorn and refreshments will be available. Don't forget your bug spray!
Free
8:30pm
Duke Island Park, Bridgewater
908 722-1200 ext. 351

Mischief Night Madness - Colonial Park Putting Course
October 30 (Raindate - October 31)
Enjoy a game of miniature golf with the ghouls. Wear your costume and get a free goodie bag. Free cider and donuts along with moonlight hay rides, spooky tales from the witch's cauldron, and a Park Ranger guided night hike.
Fees: $10 per family, $8 for two ghostly golfers
4pm - 9pm
Colonial Park Putting Course, Franklin
908 722-1200 ext. 226

20th Annual Turkey Trot
November 14, 2015
Lace up your sneakers for the Turkey Trot 5K Race and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. The course is certified in length and USATF sanctioned. Medals will be awarded to the top three male and female 5K finishers in each of the several age groups. T-shirts guaranteed only to those who register by November 2.
Fee: $20 until November 2; $25 from November 3
(USATF members receive a $2 discount)
9am
Colonial Park (Registration in Parking Lot C), Franklin
908 722-1200 ext. 226. (top)


Golfer at NVGC

2015 GOLF TOURNAMENTS

The 2015 golf tournaments require pre-registration and an entrance fee. Application forms are available at the Golf Shops.

Welcome Back Golf Tournament
April 11
The tournaments held at Neshanic Valley, Green Knoll, Quail Brook, Spooky Brook and Warrenbrook.
Fee: TBD
Various Courses
908 369-1458 ext. 427

11th Annual William W. Anderson Match Play Tournament (Men and Women)
May 2, 3, 9, and 16 Neshanic Valley Golf Course
18-Hole Medal Play. Open to registered golfers, ages 10 and older. Tournament format is match play for low 16 stroke play qualifers.
Fee: TBD
Neshanic Valley Golf Course, Branchburg
908 369-8200

Club Championships
June 6-7 at Green Knoll; June 27-28 at Warrenbrook; July 11-12 at Spooky Brook;
July 18-19 at Quail Brook; and August 1-2 at Neshanic Valley
Open to registered golfers, age 10 and older. Tournament format is 36-holes, low gross. Prizes are in the form of gift certificates awarded to first, second, and third place finalists. Call for entry fees.
Tee times vary
Branchburg, Bridgewater, Franklin and Warren
908 369-1458 ext. 427

55th Annual Dr. Michael S. Kline Memorial Somerset County Golf Tournament
(Men and Women)
First Round September 6-7 and 13-14 All courses
Open to registered golfers, ages 10 and older. Players must have a 2014 USGA Handicap. Flights conducted at designated courses. Awards in each flight. Medal play. Call for entry fees.
Tee times vary
Branchburg, Bridgewater, Franklin and Warren
908 369-1458 ext. 427


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