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The Enviornmental Science Department is dedicated to stimulating awareness and understanding of the natural world in order to foster a sense of responsibility for its care.
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 425 acres of the western portion of the Great Swamp Basin of the Passaic River. The variety of habitats of floodplains, swamps, rivers, intermittent streams, marshes, meadows, and natural and man-made ponds, fields, and forests provide homes for diverse plant and animal populations in this environmentally sensitive park. All are within walking distances of the multi-faceted building. The Great Swamp Exhibit, a swamp vivarium, and an environmentally based library are located within the Center itself.
The area was once home to Paleo-Indian groups, the Lenapes, and even a Major General of the Continental Army, Lord Stirling. Recent history, in 1960’s, includes a landmark accomplishment when grassroots citizens group and conservation groups rallied to protect the precious wetlands from becoming an international airport. Consequently, 2,600 acres of land were presented to the Department of the Interior to create the core of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge; the property adjacent to the SCPC Environmental Education Center.
Diverse opportunities abound at the Center. Come hike the 8-½ miles of trails on your own or register for one of the multitude of programs - there are experiences available for all ages! The building is open year round, except for major holidays, 9am to 5pm.