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!
Homeschool

Archaeology Field Day

Program Type : Homeschool
Grade(s) : Pre-School, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade
Study Type : History
Program Length : 2 Hours
Location : Cooper Gristmill

Contact Information

Karl Wietzel

People have lived and worked near the Cooper Gristmill for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. During our field day, students will learn how archaeologists conduct their research, study old buildings, objects and artifacts near the Black River, and learn how we can conduct our own archaeological investigations.

Homeschool, Outreach

Artifacts of the Lenape

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 : 45 Minutes
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Explore the culture of the Lenape Indians of New Jersey with an emphasis placed on the importance of the natural world in their daily existence. See and touch real artifacts made and used by area Native Americans thousands of years ago, matching them to their historic uses. You'll even tour our model wigwam decorated as if it?s still lived in through a short video recorded at the Great Swamp.

Homeschool, Scouts

Art on the Farm

Program Type : Homeschool, Scouts
Grade(s) : 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Contact Information

Allie Simakowicz

See Fosterfields in a new light! In this interactive art class, learn about different eras of painting. Using animals as models, create an animal portrait to take home and then finish up class by painting your very own landscape masterpiece at the cottage.

Homeschool, Outreach

Be Bear Aware – Assembly and Program

Program Type : Homeschool, Outreach
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 : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Black bears are an important part of our natural world, and all New Jersey residents should know how to react if they encounter one. An interactive multimedi? presentation, touchable artifacts, and a fun simulation activity help participants to better understand and appreciate black bear history, adaptations, life cycle, diet, and needs.

Homeschool

Artisan Soap Making

Program Type : Homeschool
Grade(s) : 18+
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Contact Information

Catherine Allison

Create your own custom soap blend in this workshop! Learn how soap is made and then craft your own to bring home.

Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips

Backbone Bonanza

Program Type : Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips
Grade(s) : 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

Compare and contrast characteristics of vertebrates and invertebrates as students handle a multitude of touchable nature objects and learn how organisms are classified. Then take a guided walk t? classify all the animal life found on the trails.

Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips

Awesome Adaptations

Program Type : Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips
Grade(s) : 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 2 Hours
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? Take a guided walk to see adaptations at work and take part in hands-on activities to learn about the amazing physical and behavioral adaptations that help wildlife survive. You?ll sing like the birds and hunt for ?worms? to eat!

Scouts

Bird Study 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 : 6.5 Hours
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Use a field guide and binoculars to identify at least 20 species of birds along the trails, discover which species are endangered, and learn about careers for bird lovers. Some prerequisites must be completed; more information available at time of registration. Bring your own binoculars or borrow ours.

Scouts

Bear Fur, Feathers, & Ferns

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : 3rd Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Become a nature expert on a guided one mile hike! Identify signs wildlife have left behind, observe animals from close up and far away, and learn about extinct and endangered animals in NJ.

Homeschool, Outreach

Bear Aware 2.0 – Assembly Program

Program Type : Homeschool, Outreach
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 : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

A totally different presentation for schools that have had ?Be Bear Aware? but want to reinforce the topic in a new way.