Thursday, February 22, 2018

Quail Brook & Green Knoll to Re-open March 1


The Somerset County Park Commission has announced that, weather permitting, Quail Brook Golf Course on New Brunswick Road in Somerset and Green Knoll Golf Course on Garretson Road in Bridgewater will open for play at 7:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 1, 2018 following the routine winter closure.

Spooky Brook at Colonial Park in Franklin Township, and Neshanic Valley on South Branch Road in Neshanic have remained open through the winter months. Golf shops are open from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. seven days a week.

Warrenbrook Golf Course on Warrenville Road in Warren Township is scheduled to open on Monday, March 12, 2018 if weather permits.

The Learning Center at Neshanic Valley, including the driving ranges, the Academy Course, and the Callaway Golf Performance Center are also open as is the HD Golf Simulator in the Learning Center. Information is available by calling 908-722-1200, ext. 5443.

County resident ID cards and tee time reservation applications are available at each course. Handcarts and gas carts are available for rental at all courses.

Information on all golf facilities may be obtained by calling the Somerset County Park Commission at 908-722-1200, ext. 5428 or at www.somersetcountyparks.org.

March Young Explorers & KinderNats at the EEC


The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center, located at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey has opened registration for two children’s science and nature programs on Mondays in March.

Because it is never too early to get little ones outdoors to experience the wonders of nature, Young Explorers, a program for children age infant to 5 with a parent, focuses on developing the five senses through simple activities. Parents are encouraged to share the experience with their children and are provided methods of continuing interaction with nature upon returning home.

The Young Explorers Club will meet on Monday mornings, March 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2018 from 10:30 A.M. to 11: 30 A.M. Fee for the 4-session program is $30 per pair and $15 for each additional child.

KinderNats is designed and geared for children age 5 to 7 who love being outdoors.  This afterschool series will get them outside to study science and explore the natural world.  These Junior Naturalists will be engaged through hiking, activities and more. Each week will focus on a different seasonal theme. Please be dressed for all kinds of weather.

KinderNats is scheduled for Monday afternoons, March 5, 12, 19, and 26 from 4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Fee for the 4-session program is $24 per person.

Registration and payment for either program may be made on-line at www.somersetcountyparks.org, in-person at the Environmental Education Center, via mail, or by telephone (if using a credit card) at 908-722-1200, ext. 5322.  Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis.

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 500 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. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is free.

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

March Science & Nature Program for Ages 3 to 5


The Naturalists of the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center (EEC) have announced the March 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 indoor and outdoor program takes place at the Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

Tree House Gang runs from 12:45 P.M. to 3:15 P.M. and is offered on four Tuesdays, March 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2018 or Thursdays, March 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2018. Each monthly session has a different theme.

Register for either the Tuesday or Thursday sessions. Fee for either 4-day session is $65 per person. For information and registration log onto www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-722-1200, ext. 5322.

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 500 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.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hands-on Maples Sugaring Continues at the EEC


Continuing a tradition in the Northeast United States that was begun centuries ago by Native Americans and colonists, the Somerset County Park Commission invites children and adults to a 90-minute program to witness how Maple trees are tapped, learn about sap collecting methods from the past and present, and experience the boiling process that produces delicious New Jersey Maple Syrup.

Public programs take place at the Environmental Education Center Sugar Shack at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey on Saturdays and Sundays, February 24 & 25; March 3 & 4; and March 10 & 11, 2018. The program is free with a suggested donation of $1.00 per person.

Saturday Maple Sugar program times are at 10:00 A.M, 12:00 Noon, and 2:00 P.M.  Sunday maple sugar program times are at 12:00 Noon, and 2:00 P.M.  Participants should allow at least twenty minutes to walk from the Center to the sugar shack. Organized groups, such as Scouts, may schedule demonstrations during one of the time blocks by contacting the EEC at 908-766-2489, ext. 5332.

The Somerset County Park Commission “Sugar Shack,” is a one-half mile walk through the forest from the Environmental Education Center building. Along the way, visitors will witness the Great Swamp in a setting that summer visitors never see. Trails are well marked and easy to follow. The site is accessible to mobility-impaired individuals with forty-eight-hour notice providing that weather and ground conditions permit.

Naturalist Rich Hoffman, coordinator of the program explained, “The program explains the manufacturing process of maple syrup, its history, technology, and food production in addition to education the natural environment. But, what I like most is that it is fun to be in the winter woods, smelling the sweetness coming from the sugar house and being near the warmth of the fire.”

Information and trail conditions may be obtained by calling 908-766-2489. Individuals with hearing impairments may call NJ Relay at 711.

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

March "Swamp" Kids for Ages 8 to 10


The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center, located at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey is taking registration for the March sessions of “Swamp Kids,” a science and nature after school learning adventure for children age 8 to 10 years old.

Children will join a Naturalist to engage in a program designed to let the child's curiosity and passion guide their learning by experiencing nature. Each week the outdoor series will focus on a different seasonal theme.

Swamp Kids will convene on Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2018 from 4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Fee for the five-session program is $30 per child. Registration and payment may be made on-line at www.somersetcountyparks.org, in-person at the Environmental Education Center, via mail, or by telephone (if using a credit card) at 908-722-1200, ext. 5322.  Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis.

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, a science discovery room, 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.

Information on this event and other Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found on the Internet at www.somersetcountyparks.org or by calling 908-722-1200.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Environmental Education Center Feb. 26 to Mar. 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.

Pre-registration is required for programs and may be done by calling 908-722-
1200, ext. 5322. or NJ Relay at 711 for individuals with a hearing or speech impairment. Registration is available online at www.somersetcountyparks.org         

CHILDREN/TEEN PROGRAMS

 Swamp Kids
            Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
            Children age 8 to 10 will join a Naturalist to explore nature, expand
                        curiosity, and have fun in the great outdoors. Each week will
                        explore a different theme.
            Fee is $30 per person for the 5-session program.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-722-
                        1200, ext. 5322.
.                                   Advance payment required.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
            Friday, March 2 from 10:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.
            Children ages infant to 5 with a parent will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday
                        with stories and birthday cake.
            Fee is $10 per pair & $5 per additional child.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-722-
                        1200, ext. 5322.
.                                   Advance payment required.

FAMILY/ADULT PROGRAMS
Maple Sugaring
            Saturday & Sunday, February 17 & 18; 24 & 25; March 3 & 4; 10 &
                        11. at 10:00 A.M, 12:00 Noon & 2:00 P.M. on Saturdays &
                        12:00 Noon and 2:00 P.M. on Sundays
            Everyone is invited to see how trees are tapped, how sap is collected, and                             witness the boiling process that produces delicious New Jersey                             maple   syrup. Schools and organized groups may arrange for
                        weekday demonstrations by calling 908-722-1200, ext. 5332.
            Suggested donation of $1 per person.
            Pre-registration is not required for individuals and families. Groups are                                encouraged to call ahead.

A Trip to the Moon
            Wednesday, February 28 from 7:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.
            Family and friends of all ages will enjoy a presentation by John Black who
                        will take a look at some of the theories of the origin of the moon.
            The program is free and registration is not required
            For information online - www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-722-
                        1200, ext. 5322.

Forest Fitness Sundays
            Sundays, March 4, 11, 18, and 25 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 $20 for the 4-day program.
            Register online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or call 908-722-
                        1200, ext. 5322.
                        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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Off-site Educational Programs Offered by EEC Naturalists


The Naturalists at the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center (EEC) are offering “Traveling Education Programs” to civic and social groups, non-profits, and libraries across Somerset County. The lecture and discussion-based presentations are appropriate for a variety of audiences. Presentations can be geared to specific interests and needs.

Among the programs available are: Amazing Adaptations exploring how wildlife survives in its environment; Backyard Bears explaining what to do when encountering a bear; Backyard Birds learning about New Jersey’s common visitors; Cool Critters investigating things that slither, hiss, and hop; Coyote Cries to sort out myth from fact; and Deer Wrangling to learn all about deer.

Also Healing Power of Plants will show which common plants have medicinal properties; New Jersey Owls will explore the world of these birds of prey; New Jersey Snakes will show how to identify these creatures; Planning a Native Butterfly Garden will show which plants attract native butterflies and moths; and Sharks 101 will discuss facts and myths about sharks.

In addition to these and other planned programs, the Naturalists are receptive to developing programs at the request of outside groups.

For information, to obtain a copy of the complete “Traveling Education Programs” listing, or to schedule a presentation contact the EEC at 908-722-1200, ext. 5332 or email kbender@scparks.org.

The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, NJ is located within Lord Stirling Park, in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, and is nestled within 500 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.

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