News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Melonie Marano, Commissioner Deputy Director

Sara Sooy, Commissioner Ÿ  Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Doug Singleterry, Commissioner


August 4, 2022


Somerset County Park Commission Offers Science-Based Programs for School-Aged Students

Environmental Education Center Helps Plant the Seeds of Knowledge


BASKING RIDGE, NJ – The Somerset County Park Commission’s Environmental Education Center (EEC) makes learning about nature interesting for children both in and out of the classroom when professional Naturalists present science-based topics using a hands-on approach. Topics range from discovering how to identify animal tracks, to a discussion about the process of maple sugaring. Programs are appropriate for children in kindergarten through high school.

“This is a great way for children to gain an appreciation of nature and begin to respect the environment, said Park Commission Secretary Director Geoffrey Soriano. “These accredited programs make learning about nature interesting through a recreational learning experience.”

The EEC will create and adapt programs according to the educators’ needs for the classrooms and field trips. All programs meet the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Classroom Programs

In-class programs include: “Who’s Track Is That?” when children will learn how to identify animals by their tracks; “Maple Sugaring,” which provides participants with a glimpse of the secret life inside of a maple tree; “Amazing Adaptations,” explains how animals adapt and survive their habitat; and “Basically Bugs,” which investigates the creepy crawly life of bugs.

Field Trips

Fun field trip programs include: “Who Lives in a Pond,” where children will learn about unique pond life and the food chain; “Sensory Sleuths,” when kids discover nature through their five senses while walking; “Let it Rot,” when a Naturalist explains the recycling and decomposition process and how animals and species aid in this process; “Aquatic Habitat Math,” gives children the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a field scientist by collecting data, identifying species, and recording observations.  These are just a few of the programs the EEC offers.

To register, and view a complete list of in-school programs and field trips click on the following links: For more information, call Kurt Bender at 908.722.1200 Ext. 5332, or email

Somerset County Park Commission

The Park Commission stewards nearly 15,000 acres of county-owned open space, which is visited by

2 million park users each year. Five golf courses have three driving ranges, a pitch and putt course and a recreational putting course. Other attractions include a riding stable, an environmental education center, two tennis facilities, an outdoor pool, paddle boating, a rock and rare plant garden, an award-winning rose garden, an arboretum and a sensory and fragrance garden. Six county parks also offer amenities, such as athletic fields, picnic facilities, bike paths, fishing, birdwatching, cross country skiing, and hiking.

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