Friday, May 26, 2017

Environmental Education Center June 5 to 11


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.



PARENT/CHILD PROGRAMS

A Hummingbird’s Life
            Monday, June 5 from 10:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.
            Children age infant to 5 with a parent will examine the life of the
                        hummingbird as the season warms up in the Great Swamp.
            Fee is $10 per pair and $5 per additional child.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.                               Advance payment required.

Fishing Our Parks’ Waterways – NEW PROGRAM!
            Saturday, June 10 from 12:30 P.M. to 2:30 P.M.
            Children age 5 and older with a parent will join a Park Ranger at the EEC
                        and learn how to fish. The program includes how to identify the
                        catch, state fishing laws, fishing etiquette, and where fishing hot
                        spots may be found in Somerset County parks.
            The program is free.
            For information, www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.


ADULT/FAMILY PROGRAMS
Shopping at Well-Sweep
            Tuesday, June 6 from 8:30 A.M. to 12:00 Noon
            Adults will enjoy a trip to Well-Sweep Herb Gardens to prepare your 
Garden with selections from the large variety of plants and herbs,
many of which are not to be found at the neighborhood nursery.
Suggested donation is $25 in plants for the Environmental Education
            Center Garden.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.                               Advance payment required.

Delaware and Raritan Canal Paddle
            Tuesday, June 6 from 3:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Paddlers will enjoy a relaxing trip along the quiet and still Canal, enjoying
            the sights and sounds of this hidden gem of Somerset County.
            Fee is $60 per person.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.                               Advance payment required.

Garden Discovery Tour – Deep Cut Gardens
            Wednesday, June 7 from 9:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
            Adults will join a Naturalist on a trip to Monmouth County’s Deep Cut
                        Gardens, 54 acres dedicated to the home gardener and planned as a
                        living catalog of cultivated and native plant materials.
            Fee is $40 per adult and $30 per youth or senior.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.                               Advance payment required.

CAN-U-CANNU
            Sunday, June 11 from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon
            Prepare for EEC river trips with an introductory class on basic paddling                               techniques, safety, and handling a canoe in and out of the water.
            Fee is $14 per person.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.                               Advance payment required.

Passaic Paddle
            Sunday, June 11 from 4:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.
            Paddlers will enjoy a relaxed trip through the Great Swamp Basin, flowing              through floodplain forest and many unique wetland habitats.          
            Fee is $30 per person.
            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, May 25, 2017

Nature Photo Workshop June 3 at the EEC

The expert photographers of the Camera Naturalist Photo Club at the Environmental Education Center (EEC) will host a photography seminar in two sessions that may be taken separately or together. The sessions will take place at the EEC, 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

Two sessions are scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Both sessions will include in-the-field time to help participants improve the use of their own digital camera to capture nature images. Computer time will be included in both sessions to help participants learn how to organize and edit digital files.

The morning session will also include presentations on composition and digital workflow. The afternoon session will include presentations on bird and wildlife photography and digital editing.

The fee for the each session is $40 with a $10 discount if registering for both. For more information visit www.cameranaturalist.org. To register call 908-766-
2489 or register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org.

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 450 acres of the western portion of the Great Swamp Basin of the Passaic River. A swamp vivarium, and an environmentally based library are located within the Center itself.

“The Great Swamp Experience” on the lower lever 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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Celebrate National Trails Day June 3


Since 1993, National Trails Day has been celebrated to raise awareness of the “Trails for All Americans” program that is intended to build partnerships and alliances that work together beyond National Trails Day and broadening the constituency for use of trails. This annual event has grown from a handful of grassroots events in 1993 to over 3,000 across the country.

The local celebration of National Trails Day is organized by the Somerset County Park Commission Park Ranger Department. Rangers will be participating with volunteers on a trail maintenance initiative at the Sourland Mountain Preserve off East Mountain Road in Hillsborough, New Jersey.

The volunteer project is scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2017 between 9:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. The public is invited to participate and will gather in the parking lot on East Mountain Road in Hillsborough, NJ. The Sourland Mountain Preserve, though undeveloped, features trails utilized by hikers, recreational walkers, and mountain bikers.

Due to the types of tools that will be used at the site, work gloves, and sturdy boots are recommended.

For further information, please contact the Park Rangers at (908) 231-0802, ext. 21 or NJ Relay Service at 711 for individuals with a hearing or speech impairment.

The unifying idea of National Trails Day is “Trails for All Americans,” a plan to establish a nationwide network of trails that are available within 15 minutes of every American.  These pathways would link together as part of the nation’s infrastructure of greenways, similar to the interstate highway system. National Trails Day local trail clubs, the outdoor business community, and local, state, and federal government agencies are joining together to make this plan a reality.

The Somerset County Park Commission will be taking part in the celebration in an attempt to improve and maintain trails while educating people about hiking, biking, horseback riding, and the trails that surround them.

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

Saturday Dog WEalks at Lord Syirling Stable


The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable Saturday Dog Walks on the trails at Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ, will continue weekly on the spring and summer time schedule.

Check-in time for owners and their pets will begin at 9:15 A.M.  The guided trail walk will commence at 9:30 A.M. and last for approximately one hour. 

Registration is $3 per dog and all pets must be leashed and kept under control at all times. These sanctioned Dog Walks offer participants the only opportunity to explore the beautiful equestrian trails of Lord Stirling Stable on foot. 

For more information, contact Martha at 973-635-8672 or online at pandmwells@gmail.com.  For directions, call Lord Stirling Stable at 908-766-5955.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

EEC Day Trip to Wellsweep Herb Farm


The Naturalists at the Environmental Education Center (EEC) will lead another “Field Trip for the Fun at Heart” for Shopping at WellSweep Herb Farm in Warren County, New Jersey.

On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, day trippers will depart from the EEC 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey at 8:30 A.M. to shop for plants and herbs for the 2017 home garden. Guests will be returned to the EEC at 12:00 Noon.

Wellsweep Farm is a family owned and operated facility and home to one of the largest collections of rare, exotic, unusual and familiar herbs and perennials in the country.

The EEC trip to Wellsweep is free with registration required by calling 908-766-2489, ext. 0. There is a suggested donation of $25 worth of plants for contribution to the EEC Discovery Garden.

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 450 acres of the western portion of the Great Swamp Basin of the Passaic River. A swamp vivarium, and an environmentally based library are located within the Center itself.

“The Great Swamp Experience” on the lower lever 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.

Summer Lesson Registration at LSS


The Somerset County Park Commission will be conducting registration for summer horseback riding classes and other seasonal programs at Lord Stirling Stable, located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ.  Lessons are offered to juniors (ages 9-17) and adults, and will accommodate first-time beginners through more advanced levels with jumping experience.  All classes are one hour in length.  The ten-week summer session begins on Monday, June 19, 2017.

Beginning at 8:00 A.M. on Saturday, June 3, 2017 class registrations will be accepted in the Stable office until 3:30 P.M. Current students may register for summer classes online at www.somersetcountyparks.org.  Online registrations will continue to be accepted through midnight on Thursday, June 8 as space permits; students wishing to enroll after that date must come to the Stable office.  First time students, as well as those who prefer to pay by cash or check, are also required to register in person.

Junior riders (age 9 to 17) at the D-3 and higher level may enroll in Summer Workshops during spring registration.  Each workshop has a different theme. Special sessions are available for D-1 and D-2 riders. Most workshops are in session from 8:30 A.M to 1:30 P.M. See the web site for program details - www.somersetcountyparks.org.

Riders who have previous experience and can post the trot, but have not ridden at Lord Stirling Stable, must be evaluated prior to registration to be placed in the appropriate level.  Please call the stable office to schedule a convenient testing appointment.

The 10-week program rate for Somerset County residents is $375.  For out of county residents the rate is $525. Junior Workshops are $300 for county residents and $450 for out of county. Payment is due at registration and is payable by cash, check, MasterCard, American Express, Visa or Discover. 

Students who reside outside of Somerset County may purchase an annual Non-County I.D. Card for $170. This card entitles each individual cardholder to a discounted rate on riding lessons.  Savings multiply with each class registration. 

For additional information please call the stable office, which is open daily from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., at (908) 766-5955 or NJ Relay at 711 for individuals with hearing impairment. 

Information on this and other events of the Somerset County Park Commission can be found on the Internet at www.somersetcountyparks.org.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Environmental Education Center May 29 to June 4


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.


ADULT/FAMILY PROGRAMS

Pine Barrens Paddle
            Saturday, June 3 from 7:30 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.
            Paddlers will enjoy some of the best paddling in the state, on pristine, tea-                            colored streams through old cranberry bogs, rich wetland
                        meadows, and pitch pine forest.
            Fee is $75 per person.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.                               Advance payment required.

Trail Scramble – NEW!
            Sunday, June 4 at 12:45 P.M., 1:00 P.M., 1:15 P.M. 1:30 P.M.,
1:45 P.M., and 2:00 P.M.
Families are invited to celebrate National Trails Day by navigating a two-
            mile course through a variety of natural barriers and educational
            challenges while enjoying the beauty of the Great Swamp. The
            event will be held rain or shine and is family friendly. Children
            under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a registered adult.
Fee is $10 per person.
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.