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Environmental Education Center

190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ
908 766-2489

Branta Pond
Red Tail Hawk
1770s Festival

The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center is located within Lord Stirling Park, in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, and is nestled within 425 acres of the western portion of the Great Swamp Basin of the Passaic River. The variety of habitats of floodplains, swamps, rivers, intermittent streams, marshes, meadows, and natural and man-made ponds, fields, and forests provide homes for diverse plant and animal populations in this environmentally sensitive park. All are within walking distances of the multi-faceted building. The Great Swamp Exhibit, a swamp vivarium, and an environmentally based library are located within the Center itself.

The area was once home to Paleo-Indian groups, the Lenapes, and even a Major General of the Continental Army, Lord Stirling. Recent history, in 1960’s, includes a landmark accomplishment when grassroots citizens group and conservation groups rallied to protect the precious wetlands from becoming an international airport. Consequently, 2,600 acres of land were presented to the Department of the Interior to create the core of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge; the property adjacent to the SCPC Environmental Education Center.

Diverse opportunities abound at the Center. Come hike the 8-½ miles of trails on your own or register for one of the multitude of programs – there are experiences available for all ages! The building is open year round, except for major holidays, 9am to 5pm.

The EEC Program Passport is BACK!

The Program Passport is still alive and well at the EEC. The Passport can be secured when you attend a program listed in this guide. Present the Passport each time you attend a paid program at the Environmental Education Center. Receive a stamp for each paid participant within your household. (Passport must be present at the time of the program in order to receive a stamp.) For every ten stamps, receive one Leisure Pursuit Card!* Collect as many as you can! Advance registration is required for all paid programs.

Please note: Promotion may end anytime at the Environmental Education Center's discretion.

*Leisure Pursuit Cards are redeemable at most Somerset County Park Commission parks and entitle you to one of the following activities: paddle boat rental, Colonial Park Putting Course, Green Knoll Pitch and Putt, admission to Warrenbrook Pool, tennis court rental, one round of golf, Environmental Science program, hack or intro ride at Lord Stirling Stable or reduced fee for a picnic grove. The value of each card is a maximum of $20 per use. Cannot be redeemed through online or phone-in registration.

at the Environmental Education Center

One Hour Wanderings
(All Ages)
On selected Saturdays and Sundays during the fall, we will lead an hour-long interpretive walk. Dress for the weather and be prepared to be curious with a Naturalist on this one hour adventure into the Great Swamp.
Pre-registration is not required.

Saturdays 10:30am-11:30am
May 13, 27
July 1, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 26
September 2, 16, 23

Sundays Noon-1:00pm
April 23
May 21
June 25
July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
August 6, 27
September 3, 10, 24

*Not designed for organized groups*

All Things Wings: Bird and Butterfly Walks - New Program
(All Ages)

Spring migration has come and gone and now the birds are preparing their territories for breeding and raising their young. The warmth of summer also signals the return of our other winged friends - butterflies. Take a stroll around the grounds of the EEC on Saturday mornings in June looking for all our beautiful summer visitors. Make sure to bring water as well as sun and insect protection. Pre-registration is not required.

Saturdays, June 10, 17, 24

Saturday Bird Walks

(All Ages)
A continuation of our Fall bird walk series. Join a Naturalist on a stroll around our grounds looking for the plethora of migrants that pass through our area in spring. Immerse yourself in the sounds and colors that make spring the best time to be out birding. Pre-registration is not required

Saturday, May 13, 20, 27

Saturdays, September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Volunteers Needed!


Join us at the EEC

  • Create and maintain native habitats
  • Beautify our gardens
  • Assist with public programs
  • Assist with Special Events
  • Host the front desk

Learn about native wildlife…cultivate new friends...give back to the community

Please call Jane Bodnar at 908.766.2489 ext 323 or email to start your volunteer journey!

Please Note: Our trails are for foot traffic only; pets, horses, bicycles & motorized vehicles are prohibited because the trails run through a wildlife sanctuary.

E-mail the Environmental Education Center with any questions or comments.

On-line Registration

Raritan River Week

New Moon Midnight March
at the Environmental Education Center


    • Program Registration Information & Locations

    • April 2017 Programs
    • May 2017 Programs
    • June 2017 Programs
    • July 2017 Programs
    • August 2017 Programs
    • September 2017 Programs

    Summer Science Fun

           •   Xtreme Adventure 2017
           •  Awesim Kids flier 2017
           •  Eco-Explorers flier 2017

    • Birding with the EEC
    • Birthday Parties
    • Canoe & Kayak Programs & Trips
    • Cross-Country Skiing
    • Garden Discovery Tours
    • Maple Sugaring
    • School Group Programs
    • Scouts/Other Group Programs
    • Traveling Education Programs for Senior Center
       and Adult Library Groups

    • Calendar (PDF)
    • Birding with the EEC (PDF)
    • Garden Discovery Tours (PDF)

    • Special Events
    • Exhibits
    • Workshops
    • Family Program Series
    • Trips
    • Library
    • Trails
    • Natural History Book & Gift Shop
    • Room Rental


    • Calendar (PDF)
    • Environmental Education Center Brochure
    • Environmental Education Center Map
    • Directions

    • Release Wavier for Adults
    • Release Wavier for Minors/Dependents
    • Emergency Medical Information for Adults - Must be
       completed  along with the release wavier to
       participate in  programs.
    • Emergency Medical Information for Minors - Must be
       completed  along with the release wavier to
       participate in  programs.

    • Seasonal Gardener
    • Land Management Assistant
    • Front Desk Host/Receptionist

    • Special Event Volunteer – County Caper         
    • Special Event Volunteer – Swamp Search        
    • Volunteer Coordinator


 Please contact Jane Bodnar at 908 766-2489 ext. 323
 for additional information on the volunteer positions
 listed above.


Biomimicry School Program Guide