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Naturalis Programs

190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ
908 722-1200 Ext. 5002   EEC Home Page

Children exploring

Educational Public Programs for October 2021

Pre-registration is required for all programs. Registration for October, November, and December programs is available online beginning 9:00am on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the start of a program. Pending availability, enrollment may still be possible by calling 908-722-1200 Ext. 5002.

Masks must be worn inside county buildings regardless of vaccination status and are encouraged in crowded outdoor settings when social distancing is not possible. Do not attend a program if you are not feeling well, are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact of a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or have traveled internationally in the last 14 days. Participants disregarding Park Commission protocols will be asked to leave the program immediately.

For programs listed as ‘All Ages’, children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a registered adult. Dress for the weather and wear waterproof boots for all in-person programs.

CANCELLATIONS (by us): Programs are sometimes cancelled due to low enrollment or weather conditions. You will be notified by phone and given an option of a credit or a full refund.

CANCELLATIONS (by you): The Somerset County Park Commission will refund program registration fees if notified a minimum of seven days prior to the start of the program.

Leonard J. Buck Garden Tour
Join us for a formal tour of the Somerset County Park Commission Leonard J. Buck Garden; known as one of the premier rock gardens in the eastern United States. This 29-acre alpine and woodland garden is situated in a wooded stream valley. The garden contains a series of planted rock outcroppings, planting beds, a fern garden, and glimmering ponds and streams. Tucked among the rocks are rare and exotic rock garden plants. The wooded trails connecting the outcroppings are lined with beautiful wildflowers that have flourished and multiplied through the years. Please wear good walking shoes; you may want to bring a camera. Participants will meet in the parking lot at Buck Garden, 11 Layton Road, Far Hills, NJ
$12 per senior
$14 per adult
Activity Number: 51828
        Friday, October 1

AWESIM Saturdays                       NEW
(Ages 10-13)
Want to do something AWESIM? Hike (count your steps), visit swamp habitats (ponding at Lilly Pad Pond), do physical challenges (the dreaded Balance Log perhaps), observe critters up close (hold geckos), dabble with science principles (gravity and eggs falling to the ground, rockets launching), and make new friends. This and more as we meet once a month for three months and observe the transition of the Great Swamp from fall to winter.
$60 per person
Activity Number: 51047
        Saturday, October 2
                    Saturday, November 6
                    Saturday, December 4

The Green Team
(Ages 12-15)
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 us at the Environmental Education Center and contribute your talents to our fun and educational projects and special events. Pre-registration is required.
Activity Number: 51438
        Saturday, October 2
EEC-06         Saturday, October 9
EEC-07         Saturday, October 16
EEC-08         Saturday, October 23

The Young Explorers Club
(Ages infant-5 with parent)
It is never too early to get little ones outdoors to experience the wonders of nature. This series will focus on developing their five senses through outdoor exploration.
$22 per pair/$11 per additional child for 3-day session
Activity Number: 51667
EEC-13         Mondays, October 4, 18, 25 (no class October 11)

(Ages 5-7)
KinderNats is a program designed and geared for children who love being outdoors. These Junior Naturalists will be engaged through hiking, activities, and much more!
$30 for 3-day session per person
Activity Number: 51666
        Mondays, October 4, 18, 25 (no class October 11)

Forest Fitness
Get active with us! Walking outdoors is proven to help your wellbeing. Join a Naturalist on this weekly walking group that will walk continuously at a moderate pace with occasional breaks.
$24 for 4-day session per senior
$28 for 4-day session per adult
Activity Number: 51708

EEC-04         Tuesdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26

(Ages infant-5 with parent)
October is a great time to go out and look for bugs! We will hit the gardens and trails to look for butterflies, praying mantises, beetles, and other neat bugs! Observation tools will be provided. Exotic bugs from our building collection will also be shown and if time allows, we will read a fun story about bugs!
$10 per pair/$5 per additional child
Activity Number: 51866
        Tuesday, October 5

Tree House Gang Hike Series
(Ages 3-5)
Drop your little ones off for an all-outdoor adventure on our trails! Hiking, games, and exploration will be part of the fun!
$60 for 4-day session per person
Activity Number: 51904
        Thursdays, October 7, 14, 21, 28

Swamp Kids
(Ages 8-10)
Become a Swamp Kid! This program is designed to let the child’s curiosity and passion guide their learning. Nature is a great teacher for this outdoor, afterschool series!
$40 for 4-day session per person
Activity Number: 51820
        Thursdays, October 7, 14, 21, 28

Lord Stirling Stable Bird Walks
The bird walks are back at the Lord Stirling Stable! Join a Naturalist and receive special access to the wonderful Lord Stirling Stable property. We will spend two-and-a-half hours hiking and searching for migrant warblers, sparrows, orioles, buntings, and more! Please come prepared with drinking water and comfortable shoes. Participants will be walking the entire time. Due to COVID-19, we will not be sharing spotting scopes or loaning binoculars. Please bring your own optics. Pre-registration is required. Participants will meet in the parking lot at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge.
$15 per senior
$18 per adult
Activity Number: 51905
        Friday, October 8
LSS-09         Saturday, October 16
LSS-10         Friday, October 22
LSS-11         Saturday, October 30

Scene in the Swamp                NEW
(All Ages)
Join EEC Naturalists for a special viewing of our own film, Scene in the Swamp, featuring trail camera footage from the EEC. For the past three years trail cameras have been documenting the wildlife of Lord Stirling Park and it is time to share our footage with you! During this program the Naturalists will provide interpretation, share stories, and explain our most special sightings. The video clips will be published on social media after this premiere. The screen will be set up on the front lawn of the EEC for an outdoor viewing. Bring your own popcorn, a blanket or lawn chairs, and sit back and relax. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Rain date is Saturday, October 9.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51925
Friday, October 8

(All Ages)
Did you know you can gather a lot of information from animal tracks? Join a Naturalist on a tracking expedition to identify the animals in the Great Swamp habitat.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51902
        Sunday, October 10

Virtual Birding Seminar: How Do Birds Work?          NEW
How do birds fly? How do they sleep? What is going on in those bird brains every day? Answer these questions and more as we dive into the life histories of birds and bird behavior.
$15 per household
Activity Number: 51922
        Wednesdays, October 13, 20, 27

Virtual Birding Identification Workshop: Filling in the Gaps             NEW
Warblers, raptors, sparrows, ducks, and “backyard” birds have been presented over the years. But what about those groups that alone would not fill an entire program? How do we identify different species of swallows, vireos, flycatchers, or woodpeckers? It is now their time to shine in this hour-and-a-half long program covering the miscellaneous species that can cause identification problems while we are out birding.
$8 per household
Activity Number: 51923
        Thursday, October 14

By the Light of the Moon
(All Ages)
Join a Naturalist for a guided evening hike! Enjoy searching for nocturnal critters and participate in nighttime activities. Walks leave every half hour. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. This program is all outdoors and after building hours. We recommend leaving the stroller behind. (Rain Date: Saturday, October 16)
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 52004

          Friday, October 15
EEC-55        6:00pm-7:00pm
EEC-56        6:30pm-7:30pm
EEC-57        7:00pm-8:00pm
EEC-58        7:30pm-8:30pm
EEC-59        8:00pm-9:00pm

Bones, Bones, Bones
(Ages infant-5 with parent)
Your bones help you run, skip, and jump. But why else are they important? Do all animals have bones? Join us to learn more about the skeleton inside your body and the creatures that keep theirs on the outside.
$10 per pair/$5 per additional child
Activity Number: 51715

EEC-09         Tuesday, October 19

Explore Natirar!
The beautiful, large, shade trees and rolling green hills of Natirar Park await you. Hike, check out critters in the river, and enjoy a picnic dinner. Bring water, binoculars, and remember to pack your picnic dinner.
$12 per student/senior
$14 per adult
Activity Number: 51590
        Tuesday, October 19

Colors of Nature             NEW
(All Ages)
How many colors can you find in nature? Explore the color wheel with leaves, birds, and bugs!
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51929
        Sunday, October 24

Gorgeous Autumn Leaves            NEW
Join a Naturalist on a walk through the forest and meadows of Lord Stirling Park in search of a rainbow of leaves with which to create your own autumn collage to photograph. Other preservation and artistic uses for autumn leaves will be discussed and demonstrated. No drawing or painting ability required!
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51926
        Thursday, October 28

The EEC will be offering canoe and kayak programs in October. Please click here.









Public Programs
    • January Programs
    • February Programs
    • March Programs
    • April Programs
    • May Programs
    • June Programs
    • July Programs
    • August Programs
    • September Programs
    • October Programs
    • November Programs
    • December Programs
Specialty Programs
    • Birding
    • Birthday Parties
    • Canoe & Kayak
    • Cross Country Skiing
    • Family Program Series
    • Forest Fitness
    • Garden Discovery
    • Libraries, Senior Centers &
      Other Groups
    • Maple Sugaring
    • Other Day Trips & Overnight Trips
    • Scouts
    • Summer Camps
    • Workshops

School Programs
    • Field Trips
    • In School Programs
    • Biomimicry Programs
    • School Program Guide
Trips & Outings
    • Birding
    • Canoe & Kayak
    • Garden Discovery
    • Other Day Trips & Overnight Trips
    • 1770s Festival
    • By the Light of the Moon
    • Live Animal Show
    • County Caper
    • Events
    • Family Program Series
    • Festival of Trees
    • Swamp Search
    • Temporary Exhibits
Program Calendars
Trails & Facilities
    • Room Rentals
    • Auditorium
    • Biomimicry STEM Lab
    • Discovery Room
    • Pond View Room
    • The Tree House
    • EEC Brochure
    • Gift Shop/Library
    • The Great Swamp Experience
    • Temporary Exhibits
    • Trail Map

  Volunteers are needed and appreciated   throughout the year. Please contact
  the EEC at 908 722-1200 ext.5002 or email your completed application and waiver to

Volunteer Application for Adult
Volunteer Application for Minor
   Volunteer Waiver for Adults
   Volunteer Waiver for Minors/Dependents

Corporate Volunteer Groups please contact Daniel Ross at 908 722-1200 ext.5336 or

Hours & Directions
Building Hours: Sun. 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri. 1pm-5pm, Sat. closed
Exhibits close at 4:30pm.
Registration is accepted 9am-4:30pm daily.
The building is closed on Holidays.
Trails are open dawn to dusk daily but closed on Deer Management days as scheduled.

 Click here for Directions
Donations & Sponsorship

Donations are gladly accepted.
Please make checks payable to:
The Somerset County Park Commission
and mail to Carrie Springer,
190 Lord Stirling Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Support Packet

Ask A Naturalist


Have a question about a plant or animal species you saw in Lord Stirling Park or northern New Jersey?

One of our naturalists can help you! Complete the form and an EEC staff member will do their best to solve your nature mysteries!

On-line Registration