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Naturalist Programs

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

Swamp Kids

Educational Public Programs for May 2022

Pre-registration is required for all programs. Registration for April, May, and June programs is available beginning 9:00am on Wednesday, March 16, 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.

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.

Programs noting “self-drive option” allow the participant the choice to ride in a Somerset County Park Commission (SCPC) vehicle or drive themselves to the trip destination. Due to the specifics of each trip, not every trip will allow the self-drive option. During the registration process, the customer will be prompted to make a choice. Participants riding in SCPC vehicles will be required to wear masks for the duration of the ride.

Expectations for Self-drive Option

• Naturalist will provide the participant with the trip destination’s meeting time and address. Participant is responsible for      obtaining directions.
• Participants choosing to drive themselves are not permitted to follow the SCPC vehicle.
• Participant must arrive on time. Program will begin at the scheduled meeting time. No exceptions.
• Participant may contact the Naturalist cell phone at 908-801-2925. The Naturalist will only answer the phone when            they can safely do so.
• Arriving at the location is the responsibility of the participant. Refunds will not be issued for any reason.


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.
$40 per pair/$20 per additional child for 4-day session
Activity Number: 51667
      Mondays, May 2, 9, 16, 23

(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!
$40 for 4-day session per person
Activity Number: 51666
      Mondays, May 2, 9, 16, 23

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
      Tuesdays, May 3, 10, 17, 24
Sunday Forest Fitness
$6 per senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51708
      Sunday, May 1
EEC-14       Sunday, May 15
EEC-15       Sunday, May 29

Leonard J. Buck Garden – Spring Tour
Spring ephemerals peak in late April and early May at this gem of a garden. Join a Naturalist and a Gardener for a tour of this amazing rock garden in its peak blooming season! Wear comfortable walking shoes that can get wet and muddy. Dress for the weather. 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
      Wednesday, May 4

Woodland Wildflowers
(All Ages)
In the springtime, woodland wildflowers are at their peak, carpeting the forest floor with color in the dappled sunlight. Join a Naturalist for a leisurely walk through Lord Stirling Park in search of these spring beauties.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51751
      Thursday, May 5

Tree House Gang Hikes
(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, May 5, 12, 19, 26

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!
$30 for 3-day session per person
Activity Number: 51820
      Thursdays, May 5 & 12
      Thursday, May 19

Secrets in Somerset County – Bluebell Magic
(All Ages)
Head out for an exploratory hike with a Naturalist in Duke Island Park. Identify local trees and search for early blooming wildflowers along the Raritan River. Find one of Somerset County’s best kept secrets, the bounty of blooming bluebell wildflowers of Duke Island Park. Participants will meet at the playground kiosk in Duke Island Park, Old York Road, Bridgewater, NJ.
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51729
      Friday, May 6

The Green Team
(Ages 14-17)
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, May 7
EEC-23       Saturday, May 28

Spring Hike with Mom     NEW
(All Ages)
Enjoy the sights of spring this Mother’s Day as we stroll through the park. The Naturalist will identify flowers blooming and animals singing!
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51943
      Sunday, May 8

Tree ID Walk
(All Ages)
Learn tree identification skills with a Naturalist! Walk the trails and discuss skills and tools utilized to identify trees in New Jersey’s forests.
$6 student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51848
      Tuesday, May 10

Virtual Birding Identification Workshop: Shorebirds     NEW
New Jersey’s sandpipers, plovers, and additional shorebirds present a fun identification challenge for birders. Learn field markings, behavior, and other identification tips for each species.
$5 per household
Activity Number: 51939
      Tuesday, May 10

Cedar Swamp Shenanigans
Join us on a High Point State Park adventure. We will learn about the history of the park, visit the monument and take a hike through the world’s highest elevation cedar swamp. Pack a picnic lunch and drinks. Binoculars and a camera are optional. Meet at the Environmental Education Center or choose the self-drive option.
$35 per student/senior
$45 per adult
Activity Number: 51837
      Wednesday, May 11

Garret Mountain
Can you believe that such a fantastic birding spot is in Paterson, NJ? We will spend the day roaming and birding around Garret Mountain Reservation looking for bright and colorful spring warblers. Due to COVID-19, we will not be sharing spotting scopes or loaning binoculars. Please bring your own optics. Participants will meet at the Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge, NJ.
$40 per senior
$50 per adult
Activity Number: 51691
      Thursday, May 12

World Series of Birding with the EEC
Join a Naturalist for a series of programs highlighting the World Series of Birding. On Friday, May 13, there will be a scouting walk around the EEC to prepare for Saturday’s event. On the World Series of Birding Saturday there will be a morning walk at the Stables and an evening walk at the EEC to try to see as many species as possible in one day. Finally, on the following Tuesday join a virtual program providing a detailed overview, with photos from the day itself, of the EEC’s World Series of Birding. Register for any or all program offerings. Due to COVID-19, we will not be sharing spotting scopes or loaning binoculars. Please bring your own optics. For the Saturday morning Stables walk, participants will meet in the parking lot at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge.
$18 per senior per walk
$21 per adult per walk
$5 per household for the virtual offering
Activity Number: 51940
      Friday, May 13 EEC Scouting Walk
LSS-02       Saturday, May 14 Morning Stables Walk
EEC-03       Saturday, May 14 Evening EEC Walk
EEC-04       Tuesday, May 17 Virtual World Series of Birding in Review

Moonlight Meander Series
(All Ages)
Star light, star bright! Who wants to see the moon tonight? Join us each month while we explore a different theme and walk through the park underneath a full moon. This month we will explore amphibian habitats at night.
$9 per student/senior
$11 per adult
Activity Number: 51887
      Sunday, May 15 “Vernal Pools at Night”

Down the Shore
Join a Naturalist for a day trip to the Jersey Shore. Two lighthouse stops included! Pack a lunch, a hat, and your sunscreen, and get ready to get sandy! Meet at the Environmental Education Center or choose the self-drive option.
$35 per student/senior
$45 per adult
Activity Number: 51890
      Wednesday, May 18
                   9:00am- 4:30pm

Lord Stirling Stable Bird Walks
Receive special access to the wonderful Lord Stirling Stable property. We will spend three 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. Participants will meet in the parking lot at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge.
$18 per senior per walk
$21 per adult per walk
Activity Number: 51905
      Saturday, May 21
LSS-13       Saturday, May 28

ISO: “In Search Of” Photography Workshop     NEW
(All Ages, 15 years and older)
The end of May is a busy time in the Swamp! Birds, frogs, flowers, fungi abound, and the ponds are teeming with life. Join a Naturalist on a guided photography hike “In Search of” these special swamp species. A Naturalist will be leading the hike, not instructing photography techniques. All skill levels are welcome. Bring your iPhone, Canon 5D or any camera of choice. Come to one or all the sessions on this day. Pond and Shoot will feature a gentle pond collection and photo session of collected specimens. Flutter Speed will focus on photography of bird species in the evening light. Naturalists’ Notebook: The Water’s Edge is the premiere of a nature film documenting swamp life in the spring. The film was created by EEC Naturalists.
Activity Number: 52008
$18 per senior/student
$21 per adult
      Saturday, May 21    Pond and Shoot
$12 per senior/student
$14 per adult
      Saturday, May 21    Flutter Speed
$9 per senior/student
$11 per adult
      Saturday, May 21    Naturalists’ Notebook: The Water’s Edge

Caught in the Net
(All Ages)
Join a Naturalist and travel to Lily Pad Pond to discover the critters which live in the water. Learn about the unique adaptations which make these aquatic animals special!
$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 57015
      Sunday, May 22

Slime, Scales, and Tails- Oh My!
(All Ages)
Explore the trails with a Naturalist to find our amphibian and reptile friends. Look, listen, and learn about slimy and scaly critters!
$6 per senior/student
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 51176
      Tuesday, May 31

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
The building is open 9am-5pm daily.
Exhibits are open 9am-4:30pm daily.
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