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.
FAMILY NATURE WALKS
at the Environmental Education Center
One Hour Wanderings
On selected Saturdays and Sundays during winter/spring, 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.
April 6, 13; May 4, 18; September 14;
April 21, May 12, 26; June 2, 16, 23, 30; July 14, 28; August 4, 11, 18; September 8, 15, 22, 29
*Not designed for organized groups*
The Art of Photography at the EEC
Camera Naturalists Photo Club
Camera Naturalists is the only club in New Jersey dedicated strictly to the art of nature and scenic photography. Meeting at the Environmental Education Center, the club offers educational programs, competitions, field trips, slide shows, and participation in public exhibits. Guests are welcome, and anyone interested in nature photography is invited to join. Meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of each month from 7:30pm-9:30pm at the Environmental Education Center.
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.
• Program Registration Information & Locations
• March Programs 2013
• April Programs 2013
• May Programs 2013
• June Programs 2013
• July Programs 2013
• August Programs 2013
• September Programs 2013
• Summer Science Fun
Awesim Kids Brochure
• Xtreme Adventure (Brochure PDF)
• Canoe & Kayak Programs & Trips
• Cross-Country Skiing
• Birthday Parties
• School Group Programs
• Scouts/Other Group Programs
• Traveling Education Programs for Senior Center
and Adult Library Groups
• Maple Sugaring
• Special Events
• Family Program Series
• Natural History Book & Gift Shop
• Room Rental
• Environmental Education Center Map
• Monthly Newsletter
• Release Wavier for Adults
• Release Wavier for Minors/Dependents
• Emergency Medical Information - Must be completed along with the release wavier to participate in programs.