Monday, September 18, 2017

Step Back in Time at the 1770s Festival Oct. 1


Step back in time to the colonial period of American history at the Somerset County Park Commission's Lord Stirling 1770s Festival taking place on Sunday, October 1, 2017 from 11:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. at 96 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, the site of Lord Stirling’s Manor house.

The 1770s Festival promotes historical and environmental education, highlighting the unsung Revolutionary War hero William Alexander, Lord Stirling, who lived on the site and served under General George Washington.  Each year the estate at Lord Stirling Park comes back to life in the late 1700s when Lord Stirling joins visitors, answering questions about his many business ventures and his successes in battle against the British. Join him as he reviews his troops, visits with local craftspeople, and tours his personal wine cellar.

With re-enactors attired in replicas of 1770s clothing, visitors will meet a blacksmith, tinsmith, gunsmith, and other trades people of the times. Crafters make toys, lace, decorative arts, woodcarvings, and spin wool into yarn. No crafts are sold at this entertaining and educational event. 

The event provides an educational and enjoyable way to learn about colonial times and the importance of New Jersey's role in the American Revolution. Visitors will listen to colonial ballads played on instruments of the period, visit the camps of Heard's Brigade, Captain John Outwater's Militia, and the Donegal Riflemen and watch as the militias conduct maneuvers. A colonial surgeon will display his tools for battlefield medicine and a professional Town Crier will read the Declaration of Independence.    

Children can try stenciling, quill writing, making clay pots, playing colonial games, and pet goats and chickens. A working cider press will show how cider was made and a hay wagon will take visitors for a ride around Lord Stirling's meadows.  Dress the part by trying on period style clothing or spend a few minutes in the Somerset Gaoler's wooden pillory while friends and family take photographs.

Return to 2017 and enjoy a healthy lunch for purchase from Dean’s Natural Food Market.

Lord Stirling (the Scottish earldom and title acquired by William Alexander of Basking Ridge) was close friends with George Washington and served as a Major General directly under his command during the Revolution.  Stirling built his manor house around 1762 and lived there for 20 years.  An archeological team sponsored by the Somerset County Park Commission excavated part of the site and has studied the recovered artifacts which are on display. Part of the original Stirling manor house foundation still exists under the house now occupying the site and the cellar is open to the public for tours for the day. 

Suggested donation is $5 per person. The 1770s Festival will be held rain or shine

For more information about the 1770s Festival call the Environmental Education Center at 908-766-2489 or Relay Service dial 711 for individuals with hearing impairments. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Environmental Education Center Programs Sept. 25 to Oct. 1


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

Night Owls – NEW PROGRAM!
            Thursday, September 28 from 8:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M.
            Adults will join a Naturalist on the trails at the EEC to experience the
                        night time fall migration of warblers, tanagers, orioles, thrushes
                        and sparrows as they travel south over New Jersey.
            Fee is $12 per person.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.                               Advance payment required.

Bird Walks
            Saturday, September 30 from 7:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.
            Adults will join a Naturalist on a stroll around the grounds of the EEC
                        seeking out the many migrant birds that pass through the area.
            The walk is free and registration is not 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, September 14, 2017

Callaway Golf Demo Day Sept. 23


The Somerset County Park Commission has announced that the 2017 Callaway Golf Club line will be available for demo testing on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., at the Neshanic Valley Learning Center at Neshanic Valley Golf Course. The Center is located at 2301 South Branch Road, Neshanic Station, New Jersey. 

Golfers are invited to test the Callaway Epic Star equipment, the newest Callaway technology. All of the new Callaway products will be available with special pricing for one day only. 

Equipment available will include the new Epic Star driver, woods, and hybrids with extra light shafts for players with slower swing speeds. The new Apex Muscle Back and X Forged irons will also be available. 

All attendees will be able to enjoy free HDGolf simulator time. 

Call 908-369-8232 to reserve a spot for custom fitting. 

The Callaway Golf Performance Center at the Learning Center is a state-of-the-art computerized golf club fitting and swing analysis system operated by Callaway- trained professionals. 

The Center incorporates high-speed cameras with sound equipment to capture swing data to provide optimum club specifications for an individual’s golf swing. Measurements include club head and ball speed, launch angle, side angle measurements, backspin and trajectory shape, sidespin measurements, swing tempo, attack angle measurements, lie angle, impact efficiency, and trajectory results. 

The Learning Center is located at the Neshanic Valley Learning Center featuring a double-ended driving range with grass and mat hitting areas on each end, a 16,000 square foot putting green, a practice facility including bunkers and three chipping greens, and two practice holes.
Information of all Somerset County Park Commission facilities and programs may at www.somersetcountyparks.org.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fall Nature Ride Open to All on September 24


The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable will host the annual Fall Nature Ride on Sunday, September 24, 2017 on the grounds of Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable (LSS) at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The hour-long ride will begin at 8:30 A.M., with check-in at 8:00 A.M.

This horseback event is open to all adult riders and their family and friends. Junior riders (12 years of age and above if not currently enrolled at LSS) may participate if accompanied by an adult.  All riders must weigh less than 200 lbs. The one-hour guided trail ride is conducted at a walk. All riders will be assigned horses. Guides will be happy to point out and attempt to identify plants, birds and animals along the equestrian trails of Lord Stirling Park.

People with little or no riding experience are welcome. Experienced English- style riders may also enjoy the leisurely ride along the eighteen miles of trails with their non-rider friends. Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The fee for the Nature Ride is $35.00 for members of the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable and LSS students; $40.00 for Somerset County residents and $50 for non-residents. Certified equestrian helmets and boots or shoes with hard, smooth soles and a definite heel are required and may be borrowed from in the stable office. Pre-registration is required. Registration forms are available in the stable office or online at www.flss.org. For directions to the stable, call the office at 908-766-5955 or NJ Relay 711 for individuals with hearing impairments.

The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working with the Somerset County Park Commission to support the activities of Lord Stirling Stable through contributions of ideas, time, and revenue.

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

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Nature Program for Children Age 3 to 5 in Sept.

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The Naturalists of the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center (EEC) have announced the September dates for an entertaining and educational science and nature program for children ages 3 to 5, scheduled to run on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
Tree House Gang programs introduce children to science and nature through an enhanced learning program that incorporates outdoor hikes, hands-on activities, and interaction with live animals. The program takes place at the Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

The program runs from 12:45 P.M. to 3:15 P.M. and is offered on 2 Tuesdays, September 19 and 26, 2017, or 2 Thursdays, September 21 and 28, 2017. Each session has a different theme.

Register for either the Tuesday or Thursday sessions. Fee for either 2-day session is $36 per person. For information and registration log onto www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-766-2489.

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 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 be advised that dog walking is not permitted on the trails at the EEC.

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

"Dog Days" at Lord Stirling Stable Sept. 17


The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable will host their 21st Annual “Dog Days – A Very Silly Dog Show” on Sunday, September 17, 2017 on the grounds of Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge.

Canines of all shapes and sizes are invited to bring their human companions to take part in a fun-filled afternoon of contests and events. Classes include Biscuit Toss and Catch; Water Bobbing Contest; Pet/Owner Look Alike; Biscuit Race; Tail Waggin’; Best Dressed (Costume); Smallest, Largest, and Most Medium; Obstacle Course; Best Bark; and Most Obedient. Following the event there will be a walk along the equestrian trails.

On-site registration begins at 2:00 P.M. and classes will begin promptly at 3:00 P.M. Entry is $3.00 per class. The event will take place in the large indoor ring and spectators are invited to watch from a climate-controlled viewing area or in the ring.

Proceeds from the event will help fund activities and programs at Lord Stirling Stable.

For more information, visit the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable web site at www.flss.org. For directions, call the Stable office at 908-766-5955.

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

Volunteer for Park Trail Maintenance Sept. 16


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, September 16 at 9:00 A.M. at Sourland Mountain Preserve
Saturday, October 7 at 9:00 A.M. at Washington Valley Park
Saturday, October 21 at 9:00 A.M at Washington Valley Park
Saturday, November 4 at 9:00 A.M. at Sourland Mountain Preserve
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.