Dedicated to stimulating awareness and understanding of the natural world in order to foster a sense of responsibility for its care and use through environmental, cultural, and recreational learning experiences, as well as serving as trustees to preserve, maintain, and improve undeveloped and developed natural areas of Somerset County parkland.
The Environmental Education Center (EEC) at Lord Stirling Park offers approximately 9 miles of hiking trails, Naturalist led programs, school field trips, fun festivals, nature themed exhibits, facility and classroom rentals, a resource library, science and conservation research, and more. Our goal is to improve environmental literacy in Somerset County and beyond.
The Great Swamp Experience opened in February 2017 and is a permanent, interactive, educational exhibit located downstairs in the EEC. The exhibit highlights historical and ecological information about the Great Swamp. Children can crawl into a beaver lodge, feel animal fur, or explore the toddler area. Adults can enjoy viewing habitat vignettes, archeological artifacts, and learning about hydrology, sustainability, and the park's geographic location.
The EEC is nestled within 500 acres of the western portion of the Great Swamp. A variety of habitats including swamps, rivers, marshes, meadows, ponds, and forests provide homes for diverse plant and animal populations in this environmentally sensitive park.
Historically, the area was once home to Paleo-Indians, the Lenni-Lenape, and a Major General of the Continental Army named Lord Stirling. In the 1960's, grassroots citizens 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.
The EEC is open daily 9am-5pm but the building will be closed on Saturdays in July and August. Trails remain open sunrise to sunset. No pets allowed on trails. We are located at 190 Lord Stirling Road Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. Tel: 908 722-1200 Ext. 5002.
Donations are gladly accepted. Please make checks payable to: "The Somerset County Park Commission" and mail to:
190 Lord Stirling Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
E-mail the Environmental Education Center with any questions or comments.