Learn

Join us for lectures, activities, and workshops on a wide variety of topics in history, horticulture, and the natural world. Come to a public program or schedule a private session for you and your group. These programs are led by educators at the top of their fields with a deep knowledge of the subject matter. Virtual programs are also available.
For private groups the Park Commission offers a wide variety of interactive programs to connect to any type of group. Tour the gardens, take a guided hike on the trails, or visit The Willows (our historic mansion) as part of a private tour with your group. Tour topics can be customized to fit your group’s needs. Our staff can adapt many of its programs to be accessible to anyone who would like to participate.
The Morris County Park Commission offers a wide array of homeschool classes to fit your child’s needs. Students can explore different topics like agriculture, the natural sciences, history, horticulture and more! Our education sites offer unique locations for lessons as well as skilled instructors to work with children of all learning levels. Note: Programs at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum are drop off only.
All are welcome! We customize our programming to meet the special needs of your group. Options include:
  • Attend a hands-on, creative workshop at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum! Participants will learn about a horticulture topic and do a hands-on activity. Each month has a different theme. $10 per participant.
  • Want to Volunteer? Have your group visit the Arboretum to weed and help in the gardens.
  • Student internships are available for High School students. Learn the trade of horticulture: weed, water, propagate, and work in the gardens. Students will learn valuable vocational skills.
Enjoy a Field Trip . . . Without Leaving Your Facility! Outreach programs are conveniently presented at your location and are individually tailored to the interests and needs of your audience. Outreach Programs are interactive, multimedia presentations with touchable artifacts and lots of audience participation designed to engage, entertain, and educate all ages. All outreach programs are taught by seasoned educators with deep knowledge of their subject matter. We offer 4 Outreach options:-Standard Outreach at your location, designed for a maximum of 30 participants per program. These programs are 45 minutes to one hour long. You must provide a projection screen, table, and AV cart for projector. -Assembly Program at your location, designed for groups larger than 30 participants, such as an entire grade level or school population. You must provide a projection screen, table, and AV cart for projector. -Virtual Program are 30 minutes long and are just as engaging as our in-person programs. We recommend projecting programs onto a screen or large TV for the best experience.-Reverse Field Trips are outdoor environmental education programs conducted at your location on a topic of your choosing. Our staff visit your site and work with you to come up with a topic that fits both your needs and what your grounds have to offer ahead of time. These are for up to 30 participants and last 1 hour.
Our experienced educational staff are your partners in educating students of all ages. As fellow educators, we understand the challenge for teachers to find time for field trips when more and more content is required to be taught each year. Let us do some of your work for you! Take advantage of our many engaging field trips at sites that are both close at hand and offer a wealth of educational experiences at affordable prices. Our lesson topics and objectives are closely correlated to the NJ Core Curriculum Standards as well as the most commonly taught science and social studies topics in local schools. Our programs may include hands-on activities, pre- andpost- trip lessons, and take-home follow-up activities.
The education sites at the Morris County Park Commission offer many different opportunities for scouts big and small! Scout groups can register for their own private programs as well as attend public programs hosted by our educational sites. Whether you are seeking to fulfill badge requirements or are looking for a fun experience with your troop, there is something for everyone. Learn about history, animals, the natural world, or horticulture in one of our many immersive programs!
School Field Trips

Green Pioneers

Program Type : School Field Trips
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Cooper Gristmill

Contact Information

Karl Wietzel

Today's world requires creative solutions to keeping our environment healthy and our communities sustainable. During our 90-minute tour and green energy workshop, students will learn how historic factories like the Cooper Gristmill, and entrepreneurs and innovators today utilize green energy solutions to power and produce for their community. Following the tour and discussion, students will design a prototype green energy solution to a modern engineering or environmental challenge.

Homeschool

A Man and a Brother

Program Type : Homeschool
Grade(s) : 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade
Study Type : History
Program Length : 2 Hours
Location : Historic Speedwell

Contact Information

Karl Wietzel

Students will hear the story of a fictional account of one girl's experience with the Underground Railroad during which they will need to use their observation and critical thinking skills to answer questions pertaining to what is occurring in the book. Within the story, the character of Clara creates a quilt that acts as a map of the area surrounding the plantation where she lives. The quilt helps teach slaves who want to escape the route to freedom.

Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips, Scouts

A Tale of Two Houses

Program Type : Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips, Scouts
Grade(s) : 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 18+
Study Type : History
Program Length : 2 Hours
Location : Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Contact Information

Eva Bakshis

Learn about the people who lived and worked at Fosterfields and in the Foster family home, The Willows. Explore the social customs, the effects of immigration, educational opportunities and the varying degrees of economic prosperity experienced by the Fosterfields residents. Students will be able to compare and contrast the lifestyles of the Foster's and their farm laborers and domestic servants.

School Field Trips

Adapt or Die!

Program Type : School Field Trips
Grade(s) : 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade
Study Type : Horticulture
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Contact Information

Gwen Montgomery

How do plants survive all the different conditions found around the globe? Plants have some pretty sneaky tricks called adaptations! Discover the amazing survival skills of plants as you grow a plant without needing a seed and explore the gardens looking for adaptations at work.

Homeschool, Outreach

Alien Invaders

Program Type : Homeschool, Outreach
Grade(s) : 18+
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

NJ's habitats are being overrun by wildlife that doesn't belong here, better known as 'invasive species'. Find out why this is a problem for the natural world, the strange stories of how these plants and animals got here in the first place, and what you can do to help.

Scouts

Animal Tracking

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : Choice
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Compare, contrast, and identify animal tracks and trails to discover who made them, then test out your skills on the trail as you hunt for the most recent tracks of local wildlife.

Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips

Apple Cidering

Program Type : Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips
Grade(s) : Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 2 Hours
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Discover the apple's place in history and the natural world by preparing and grinding apples, turning the old-fashioned press, collecting the cider, and tasting the sweet results. Then walk the trails with a naturalist to search for other fruits and seeds to learn how they are dispersed.

Homeschool, Outreach

Amazing Adaptations

Program Type : Homeschool, Outreach
Grade(s) : 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 18+
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

How do animals avoid predators on the prowl, attract the best mates, and survive the winter cold? Learn about the amazing physical and behavioral adaptations that help wildlife survive with an interactive presentation and a close-up look at taxidermy specimens.

Homeschool, Scouts

Animal Care

Program Type : Homeschool, Scouts
Grade(s) : 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Contact Information

Allie Simakowicz

Help the farmers take care of the animals at Fosterfields! Learn about the animals and choose an animal to interact with: Brush our cows, feed the chickens or spend time with the goats.

Scouts

Apple Cidering for Scouts

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : Pre-School, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Discover the apple's place in history and the natural world by preparing and grinding apples, turning the old-fashioned press, collecting the cider, and tasting the sweet results. You'll even learn why you've been looking at apples upside down your whole life!