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Park Ranger Programs


Park Ranger Group Programs
If you have seen a fish, a wildflower or a tree that you could not identify or have wondered the difference between a meadow and a forest, then ask the Park Rangers to add some insight. The Park Rangers will be leading three types of programs: Tree Identification, Fishing Our Parks Waterways, and Interpretative Hikes. To register your group or for more information, please call the Park Rangers at 908 722-1200 ext. 5122.

Tree Identification
Have you ever wondered from what tree a baseball bat is made or which trees and shrubs can be used for food or drinks? Come and learn how to identify trees and shrubs in all seasons and discover how important trees are in our world today.
Fishing Our Parks’ Waterways
Learn fishing basics and find out where to catch “the big one”. Fishing 101 will teach you everything including how to identify your catch, state fishing laws, fishing etiquette and where our parks’ fishing hot spots are. Afterward, you can show off your fishing skills at one of the “hot spots.”
Interpretive Hikes
Hikes will contain information on our environment and its inhabitants. We will explain what lives in our parks presently, as well as in the past. Hikes can be tailored to your specific interests or you are welcome to stroll with us on an interpretative hike of our choice.

Ranger Tree Identification
Volunteer Park Patrol at work building trails.

Volunteer Park Patrol 2022 Volunteer Trail Maintenance Dates
The Park Rangers are accepting applications for the Volunteer Park Patrol (VPP), a group of year-round volunteers dedicated to assisting visitors through trail patrols and maintaining trails in Washington Valley Park and the Sourland Mountain Preserve. The VPP has been instrumental in helping maintain trail conditions to the high maintenance standards set for the county’s trails. A wide variety of opportunities are available for everyone; certainly the group could utilize your special talents, skills or time. If interested in becoming an active member of the Volunteer Park Patrol, please contact the Park Rangers at 908 722-1200 ext. 5122.

Junior Rangers - Suspend Until Further Notice
If you enjoy hiking through the woods watching wildlife, wonder about animal tracks and animal homes, and are interested in learning more about the environment, then you may be a perfect Junior Ranger. Somerset County Junior Rangers are 6-12 year olds who care about the environment and its inhabitants. By learning about the natural world, you can understand how ecosystems work, and can help the Park Rangers in the parks. Just stop by Colonial Park or Duke Island to pick up a Junior Ranger workbook. When you have completed the activities, ask a Park Ranger to review your work. After you take the Junior Ranger pledge, an official badge will be presented to you. In addition, you will be placed on a mailing list to receive information about upcoming Junior Ranger programs and events. We look forward to meeting all future Somerset County Junior Rangers. For further information, please contact the Park Rangers at 908 722-1200 ext. 5122.


Volunteer Park Patrol at work.
Junior Ranger making a bird feeder out of peanut butter.
Junior Rangers making peanut butter bird feeders.