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!
Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips

Great Swamp Ecosystems

Program Type : Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips
Grade(s) : 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 2 Hours
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Explore a variety of habitats and discover their defining characteristics and unique species. A special emphasis is placed on current environmental issues in NJ, such as invasive species, conservation strategies, species overpopulation, watershed issues, and human impact. Lesson content can be adapted to fit curriculum needs.

Homeschool, Outreach, Scouts

Hand Spinning with Wool, Flax, and Cotton

Program Type : Homeschool, Outreach, Scouts
Grade(s) : 18+
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Contact Information

Catherine Allison

Learn traditional ways to create yarn from wool, flax, and cotton! See how the fibers are prepared for spinning and use your own drop spindle to create yarn. Participants will also have a chance to take a whirl on a spinning wheel.

Homeschool, School Field Trips

Hearth and Home

Program Type : Homeschool, School Field Trips
Grade(s) : 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Historic Speedwell

Contact Information

Karl Wietzel

Cook as people did 150 years ago!!During this open-hearth cooking program, students will follow a period receipt and prepare a dish using historical methods and tools.

Horticulture Therapy

Horticulture Therapy Class

Program Type : Horticulture Therapy
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, 18+
Study Type : Horticulture
Program Length : 30 - 60 Minutes
Location : Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Contact Information

Ann Fahey

Plan an outing for your special needs group to attend a hands-on, creative workshop! Participants will learn about a horticulture topic and do an activity. Each month is a different theme.

Homeschool, Outreach

Honeybee Wonders

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

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Experience the life cycle of a honey bee first hand: take on the various roles of bees in a colony, learn to dance like a honeybee that has found food, and try on a beekeeper?s equipment. This program includes lots of movement and audience participation along with an interactive PowerPoint presentation.

Horticulture Therapy

Horticulture Therapy Volunteer

Program Type : Horticulture Therapy
Grade(s) : 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 18+
Study Type : Horticulture
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Contact Information

Ann Fahey

Want your special needs group to volunteer? Come and help in the garden.

Homeschool, Scouts

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Program Type : Homeschool, Scouts
Grade(s) : 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Contact Information

Andrew Brumbaugh

It's ice harvesting season! Learn about the ecosystem under the ice that survives the winter. Participants will see how ice cutting was done historically done and then give it a try.

Scouts

Indian Lore Merit Badge

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 3 Hours
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Learn about the history of the Lenape people while completing your Indian Lore Merit Badge. Tour an authentic model wigwam, decorated as if it's lived in, and learn the games that Lenape children played. Some prerequisites must be completed; more information available at time of registration.

School Field Trips

Industrial Revolution

Program Type : School Field Trips
Grade(s) : 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Cooper Gristmill

Contact Information

Karl Wietzel

Students tour our 1800s water powered mill and see the system at work as we discuss the ways these inventions changed production, consumption, and daily life. Our gristmill operates using a fully automated system invented in the late 1700s a precursor of the factory processes we associate with the Industrial Revolution.

Homeschool, Outreach

Insect Exploration

Program Type : Homeschool, Outreach
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

Explore the physical characteristics of insects and their relatives with an interactive Power Point presentation and an insect trivia challenge. Then finish by meeting some unusual LIVE invertebrates, up close and personal.