Monday, November 20, 2017

Quail Brook Golf Course to Close for the Winter


Somerset County Park Commission has announced that Quail Brook Golf Course on New Brunswick Road in Somerset, NJ will close for the winter season at the conclusion of play on Sunday, November 26, 2017.

Quail Brook joins Warrenbrook Golf Course on Warrenville Road in Warren Township that has previously closed for the season.

Green Knoll Golf Course on Garretson Road in Bridgewater is scheduled to closeat the conclusion of play on Sunday, December 31, 2017.

Remaining open for the winter golf season are Spooky Brook at Colonial Park in Somerset and Neshanic Valley Golf Course on South Branch Road in Neshanic Station.

The HDGolf Simulator at the Learning Center at Neshanic Valley Golf Course, featuring 26 championship courses from around the world, will be open for indoor play year around on Monday to Friday from 10:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Information on the other County courses that will close for the season will be released shortly.

Information of all golf facilities may be obtained by calling the Somerset County Park Commission at 908-369-1458, ext. 428.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Environmental Education Center Programs Nov. 27 to Dec. 3


The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge has scheduled the following Naturalist-led programs to help children and adults enjoy the wonders of nature in Somerset County. The Environmental Education Center provides many entertaining and educational programs for children and adults year around.


CHILDREN & TEEN PROGRAMS

River Rats
            Saturdays, December 2 and 9 from 10:30 A.M. to 12:00 Noon
Children age 5 to 8 will enjoy a weekend learning adventure, joining a
            Naturalist for a themed exploration of the Great Swamp.
            Fee is $18 per person for the 2-day program.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.                               Advance payment required.

PARENT/CHILD PROGRAMS

Story Hour – FREE PROGRAM
            Saturday, December 2 from 10:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.
Children ages infant to 5 with a parent will listen to a Naturalist read an
            environmental-based story and enjoy a short walk on the trails of
            the EEC.
            The program is free.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.

ADULT & FAMILY PROGRAMS

Birding Identification Workshops – Ducks – NEW PROGRAM!
            Saturday, December 2 from 1:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M.
            Adults will enjoy an opportunity to begin, refine, or reinforce birding
                        skills in this year-long series of workshops focused on tips and
                        tricks to identify various bird species. This program will address
                        ducks and the wide array that can be found in New Jersey in the
                        winter.
            The program is free and pre-registration is required.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.

Forest Fitness Sundays
            Sundays, December 3, 10, and 17 from 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M.
Adults are invited to join a weekly walking group, enjoying nature along
            the level trails of Lord Stirling Park.
            Fee is $15 for the 3-day session.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.                               Advance payment required.

 “The Great Swamp Experience,” on the lower level at the EEC, features interactive displays, vignettes, taxidermy, and archeological artifacts highlighting the history and ecology of the Great Swamp. The exhibit is open 7 days a week from 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Admission Is free.

Please note that dog walking is not permitted on the trails at the Environmental Education Center.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Volunteers Needed for Park Trail Maintenance Nov. 18


The Somerset County Park Commission Rangers and the Volunteer Park Patrol are seeking volunteers to assist with trail maintenance projects throughout the year.

With the cooperation of the Jersey Off Road Bicycling Association, (JORBA), Rangers and volunteers will be performing trail maintenance at the Sourland Mountain Preserve off East Mountain Road in Hillsborough, New Jersey and Washington Valley Park off Newman’s Lane in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

The mission of the group is to provide a regular maintenance regimen in order to maintain trail conditions to the highest standards possible.

The Sourland Mountain Preserve is 4,000 acres of passive recreation opportunities including hiking, bouldering, mountain biking, birding, and horseback riding. It is rich in natural resources with a variety of stream corridors, geologic outcrops, and an ecological preserve that provides a core habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species.

Washington Valley Park is a 719-acre passive recreation facility that lies along the First Watchung Ridge in Bridgewater Township. The park contains the former 21-acre Bound Brook Elizabethtown Reservoir that is the focal point of the park’s seven miles network of trails. Washington Valley Park offers hiking, mountain biking, and hawk watching. The Park is known as among the premier mountain biking sites in the east.

The maintenance schedule:
Saturday, November 18 at 9:00 A.M. at Washington Valley Park
Saturday, December 2 at 9:00 A.M. at Washington valley Park.

For details call 908-231-0802, ext. 21 or www.somersetcountyparks.org. For cancellations due to weather call 908-285-3800.

Information on Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found on the Internet at www.somersetcountyparks.org. Like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Join EEC Naturalists ona Birding Trip to Arizona


The staff at the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center (EEC) have announced the dates of the 2018 “Southeastern Arizona Birding and Nature Trip.” Two EEC Naturalists will lead birders on a 9-day journey to one of America’s most exotic and extreme nature destinations from Saturday, May 26, 2018 to Sunday, June 3, 2018.

Southeastern Arizona is a biologically diverse area that is home to nearly half of the bird species in North America and thousands of species of plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Adventurers will visit a variety of birding hot spots from Phoenix to the Chiricahua Mountains, highlighted by four nights at the Southwest Research Station operated by the American Museum of Natural History. Researchers at the facility study the diverse environments and biotas of the Chiricahua Mountains. 

Top avian attractions of the area include over ten species of hummingbirds, warblers including the Painted Redstart, Olive, and Red-faced Warblers, and potentially eight species of owls in one night. 

The trip is open to active seniors and adults ages 18 or older with an interest in bird watching and natural history. Maximum group size will be ten people with enrollment on a first come, first served basis. A limited number of spots remain.
Fee is $2,700 per person with a $700 non-refundable deposit due at registration. Registration is in progress. For information or registration email bbarkly@scparks.org, mjuhasz@scparks.org or call 908-766-2489.
For information on Somerset County Park Commission activities and programs visit www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-722-1200.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Environmental Education Center November 20 to 26


The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge has scheduled the following Naturalist-led programs to help children and adults enjoy the wonders of nature in Somerset County. The Environmental Education Center provides many entertaining and educational programs for children and adults year around.


CHILDREN & TEEN PROGRAMS

The Green Team – FREE PROGRAM
            Saturday, November 25 from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Children ages 12 to 15 - Is natural science a subject you find interesting? 
            Do you like the outdoors?  Is the Great Swamp a place you like to
            visit?  If so, join the Environmental Education Center Naturalists
            and contribute your talents to fun and educational projects and
            special events. 
Pre-registration is required.    
The program is free
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.

PARENT/CHILD PROGRAMS

Turkey Talk
            Tuesday, November 21 from 10:30 P.M. to 11:30 P.M.
Children ages infant to 5 with a parent will learn about the turkey in the
            days approaching Thanksgiving, providing for educated discussion
            at the dinner table.
            Fee is $10 per pair & $5 per additional child.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.
                        Advance payment required.

 “The Great Swamp Experience,” on the lower level at the EEC, features interactive displays, vignettes, taxidermy, and archeological artifacts highlighting the history and ecology of the Great Swamp. The exhibit is open 7 days a week from 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Admission Is free.

Please note that dog walking is not permitted on the trails at the Environmental Education Center.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Show Off Your Talent at the 40th EEC Festival of Trees


Somerset County Park Commission Naturalists are looking for individuals, local and civic groups, clubs, businesses, scout troops, and others to design, decorate, and submit a tree for the month-long holiday display.

The Park Commission Environmental Education Center will present Somerset County’s most creative and beautiful winter spectacular, the 40th Annual Festival of Trees, from Saturday, December 2 through Friday, December 29, 2017 (closed December 24, 25, & 26.

The Environmental Education Center is located at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The exhibit will be open daily from 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Also scheduled is live holiday music and the Snowflake Café on Saturdays and Sundays

Applications are available by email at mjuhasz@scparks.org or regular mail to 190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. Deadline for entry is Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

Both professional and amateur performers are also invited to participate. For information on volunteering, call the Environmental Education Center at 908-766-2489.

For information contact the Environmental Education Center at 908-766-2489 or NJ Relay at 711 for individuals with a hearing or speech impairment.

Information on this event and other Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found on the Internet at www.somersetcountyparks.org.

Business Partnerships Make Park Commission Programs Possible


Partnerships with the business community enable the Somerset County Park Commission to offer enhanced programming for county residents, often and at nominal or no cost. The generosity of our sponsors supports many of the programs that are available throughout the year at all Commission facilities.

Thankfully, the list of Park Commission supporters continues to grow as business leaders and their families partake in events and programs, experiencing first hand the value of having a corporate name associated with these award winning programs and facilities.

Leading the way is the Hughes family and Hughes-Plumer Associates who have assumed a leadership role in the annual Pro Celebrity Golf Outing that has raised over a million dollars for the Somerset County Park Foundation and the Therapeutic Recreation programs over the past 26 years.

The free summer concerts at Duke Island Park are made possible by the generous donations from Magic 98.3 WMGQ, The Courier News& mycentraljersey.com, and New Jersey State Council on the Arts through funds administered by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant.

Horticulture events and programs at the Colonial Park Gardens received support from Storr Tractor Company, Messinas, Four Seasons Nursery & Landscape Company, Wegmans Food Market, ShopRite of Somerset, and Sunrise Creek Deli & Grocery.

The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable are an active group of volunteers who present programs and activities to raise funds to support the efforts of staff at Lord Stirling Stable. Stable programs are also supported by businesses including Horsemen’s Outlet, Phoenix Performance Products, and Marcello’s Italian Ristorante.  

The Environmental Education Center received support from Portfolio Evaluations, Jersey Cares. Ingredion, Applegate, BASF, Enbridge, Janssen, GlaxoSmithKline, and REI.
           
Park Ranger programs receive extensive support from local businesses including National Trails Day sponsored by Recreational Equipment, Inc., REI, Eastern Mountain Sports, Princeton Tec, Access Fund, Jersey Off Road Bicycling Association 

All of these programs enjoy support from dozens of businesses that understand the importance of these events as contributors to the quality of life that we enjoy in Somerset County. To sponsor Park Commission events and activities, call 908-722-1200.