SCPC Home Page Hike In A Somerset County Park Facebook Instagram Twitter

Navigation General Information Parks & Facilities Activities Events & Programs News Releases On-Line Registration Site Index Bids/RFPs Navigation
Environmental Education Center

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


Special Events

The Lord Stirling 1770s Festival
(All Ages)
Return to the past and experience daily Colonial life and the thriving Eighteenth Century craft industry at the annual Lord Stirling 1770s Festival. Colonial craftspeople will ply their trades while a Town Crier announces the local news. Enjoy Colonial music, cider pressing demonstrations, and festive performances! Come see Revolutionary War militias conduct maneuvers outside detachment camps on the former estate lawn of Lord Stirling. The Lord Stirling 1770s Festival will also feature displays of authentic Colonial artifacts discovered here on site! Experience what life in Somerset County was like in the fall of 1770 and learn about our local Revolutionary War hero, Lord Stirling. Craft sales are prohibited to ensure an enjoyable and educational living history event.
Suggested donation: $5 per person
Sunday, October 2, 2022


December is the time to visit the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center (EEC) to welcome winter and get into the holiday spirit! The festival is an indoor exhibit of decorated trees by various community groups and individuals alike. Enjoy holiday music and relax while viewing the beautiful trees!

Please call 908-722-1200 (ext. 5328) or email to participate as an exhibitor and decorate a tree, to make group reservations or for more information.
Suggested donation: $5.00 per person
           Friday, December 3 through Wednesday, December 29, 2021
**Please note the EEC will be closed December 23, 24, and 25**

Please visit our website or check out our Facebook page for more information.
See you in December at the EEC – the perfect lead into the holiday season!

Maple Sugaring
(All Ages)
Maple sugaring is a tradition in the Northeast that began centuries ago with the Native Americans and colonists. People of all ages are invited to see this tradition brought to life. You will see how trees are tapped, view sap-collecting methods past and present, and observe the boiling process that produces delicious New Jersey maple syrup. This 60-minute program is conducted at the Environmental Education Center (EEC) Sugar Shack, a half-mile hike from the Center’s parking area. Please arrive at the EEC 20-30 minutes before the program start time and to allow enough time to hike to the Sugar Shack. Dress appropriately for outdoor weather conditions. Boots are recommended as the trails can be wet, muddy, and/or covered by snow.

Pre-registration is required online. Registrations can be facilitated through our website First-time users of this system must establish an account by personally enrolling online. To establish an account online, visit our website and click “Online Registration”. Scroll to the last paragraph and use the “click here” access. Fill out the application and submit. You will be assigned a specific household number and a password. You will use this each time you register for a program in the future. Program registration cannot be facilitated without your household number! We advise establishing a household account as soon as possible to avoid delays.

Please note: 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.

$6 per student/senior
$7 per adult
Activity Number: 52000

Saturdays:                                                            Sundays:
  Feb 19          10:00am-11:00am               EEC-19   Feb 20          Noon-1:00pm
EEC-17   Feb 19          Noon-1:00pm                      EEC-20   Feb 20          2:00pm-3:00pm
EEC-18   Feb 19          2:00pm-3:00pm

EEC-21   Feb 26          10:00am-11:00am               EEC-24   Feb 27          Noon-1:00pm
EEC-22   Feb 26          Noon-1:00pm                      EEC-25   Feb 27          2:00pm-3:00pm
EEC-23   Feb 26          2:00pm-3:00pm

EEC-26   March 5        10:00am-11:00am               EEC-29   March 6        Noon-1:00pm
EEC-27   March 5        Noon-1:00pm                      EEC-30   March 6        2:00pm-3:00pm
EEC-28   March 5        2:00pm-3:00pm

EEC-31   March 12      10:00am-11:00am               EEC-34   March 13      Noon-1:00pm
EEC-32   March 12      Noon-1:00pm                      EEC-35   March 13      2:00pm-3:00pm
EEC-33   March 12      2:00pm-3:00pm

E-mail the EEC any questions or comments.

Project E.A.R.T.H – Swamp Search!
Join us for an exciting scavenger hunt on the Environmental Education Center trails to learn about the importance of the Great Swamp as an ecological and recreational resource. Learn interesting facts about the Great Swamp and its inhabitants, and maybe get a chance to interact with a few live critters as well! This event is for friends, families, scouts, or other groups to get outside and travel our trails seeking answers to our scavenger hunt questions.
Suggested Donation $5
Sunday, April 24, 2022


Nature - Observation and Abstraction
(All Ages)
Westfield Art Association presents: “Nature - Observation and Abstraction”. The featured exhibit explores the beauty of nature through the artist's eye. Artwork will include various mediums including paintings, collages, encaustic, drawings, and more! The Westfield Art Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, completely volunteer organization, has provided art education and public exhibitions since its establishment in 1922, and continues today to actively encourage its many members in the pursuit of individual artistic goals and growth. An opening reception is planned for Friday September 9th from 6-8pm at the EEC.
Wednesday, August 31 through Monday, September 26, 2022
9:00am-5:00pm except Labor Day, September 5, 2022

Featured Program Series

Family Nature Walks
(All Ages)
Be curious with a Naturalist on these one-hour adventures into the Great Swamp. Dress for the weather; waterproof boots are strongly recommended. Pre-registration is not required.
Sundays, July 17, August 21, & September 18


There are currently no seminar and workshop programs scheduled.


Birding with the EEC PDF
Canoe and Kayking Trips
Garden Discovery Trips PDF
Cape May Birding Trip PDF
Lighthouse Challenge Weekend PDF

resource Library

The Center houses a comfortable, user-friendly resource library. A large number of books and a variety of periodicals regarding the many facets of our environment are available during regular building hours. A wide range of children's environmental books and magazines are also available. The library has tables and chairs for on-site research and reading. Because it is a resource library, not a lending library, all materials must remain on-site. Our resource library and auditorium now have WiFi available for public use.
(top of page)


Nine miles of relatively flat trails meander through 500 acres of The Great Swamp, of which approximately three miles are boardwalked. They are open every day from sunrise to sunset.

Cattails and sedges are found as you wander the boardwalks in the freshwater marsh. Along the Yellow Trail that takes you close to the Passaic River, the seasonally inundated floodplain is home to Pin Oak, Red Maple, and Ash. Along the southern perimeter of the park (the Blue and Red trails) succession is slowly changing abandoned farm fields to woodland. In these areas, wildflowers and shrubs mingle with grasses and saplings and provide homes for many birds, mammals, and insects.

The Special Use Trail (SUT) travels between the Center and Branta Pond. It is an easily accessible boardwalk trail for those who are looking for a short walk or for those with limiting abilities. It has a recently renovated Native Plant Garden, herb gardens, and a pleasant gazebo in which to sit and enjoy the surrounds.

Trail maps are available at the front desk or in PDF format by clicking here. Be sure to check out the kiosks at the trailhead and at the "dike" on the Red trail for seasonal information! (top of page)

Natural History Book and Gift Shop

A favorite stop for those looking for that special gift for a favorite outdoors friend, baby and children gifts, a special piece of jewelry or pottery, or maybe just a great book to add to one’s own personal book collection. A variety of  "must have’s" for all ages are located in the main floor lobby gift shop.

The selection changes on an on-going basis and many pieces are limited in number. Best to visit regularly or with specific requests, call 908 722-1200 ext. 5322. (top of page)

Room Rentals

Room rentals are available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis to groups and organizations with an environmentally related mission or agenda.

For more information or to book a room, please call Kurt Bender at 908 722-1200 ext. 5332.

Email the EEC with any questions or comments.(top of page)

Public Programs
    • April Programs
    • May Programs
    • June Programs
    • July Programs
    • August Programs
    • September Programs
Specialty Programs
    • Birding
    • Birthday Parties
    • Canoe & Kayak
    • Cross Country Skiing
    • Featured 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
    • 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: Daily 9am-5pm.
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