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, Outreach

Birds on the Nest

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 birds construct nests using only their beaks and feet? How does every robin know how to build the same type of nest with the same materials without ever being taught? Examine real nests up-close to discover what they are made of, how they are put together, where they are found, and why. Learn the birds? secrets as you find out how challenging it really is to build a nest during a this interactive presentation.

Scouts

Birdwatching Walk

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : 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

Learn the correct way to use binoculars and the basics of bird identification. Then put your new skills to the test as you take a birdwatching walk on the trails with a naturalist guide.

Homeschool

Black River Industrial Walk

Program Type : Homeschool
Grade(s) : 18+
Study Type : History
Program Length : 2 Hours
Location : Cooper Gristmill

Contact Information

Karl Wietzel

Join our staff on a walk down the Black River to Hacklebarney. On our way, students will learn how the river helped shape the robust industries that once called this region home, and how industry changed the landscape.

Group Tours, Homeschool, School Field Trips

Blazing the Way

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

Get a taste of life in the 1700s and how the natural world shaped the lives of the Pioneers. Make wooden shingles with real pioneer tools, tint wool with dyes made from plants, play a simulation game about hauling water, and more!

Blacksmithing

Grade(s) : 18+
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Historic Speedwell

Contact Information

Karl Wietzel

Participants learn the basics of blacksmithing from an experienced instructor. Beginner blacksmiths are welcome. Each participant will create their own blacksmithing project to take home.

Scouts

Brownie Bugs

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade
Study Type : Horticulture
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Contact Information

Gwen Montgomery

Who?s afraid of bugs? After this workshop, Brownies will know to appreciate the bugs around them, how to attract the beneficial ones, and how to deter the pesky ones? Brownies will take a bug field trip and make a home for bugs that are good to have in the yard. This workshop will complete the requirements to earn this badge.

Scouts

Brownie Bugs

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Turn your leader into a bug and then head out on the trails with a naturalist to take the Bug Scavenger Hunt Challenge! Search for insects and their relatives along with the places the live and the things they eat.

Scouts

Brownie Design with Nature

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade
Study Type : Horticulture
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Contact Information

Gwen Montgomery

Discover the biggest trees at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum and learn how to measure and calculate their ages! Discover who calls these big trees home ? birds, animals and insects ? and then create a home or feeder for one of these friends.

Scouts

Brownie Eco Friend

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Learn from a naturalist how to keep the natural world and its inhabitants safe during a guided hike. Learn to practice Leave No Trace, search for hidden animal homes, and discover how naturalists teach about, protect, and study nature as part of their jobs.

Scouts

Brownie Numbers in Nature

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade
Study Type : Horticulture
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Contact Information

Gwen Montgomery

Gardeners use numbers all the time and, in this workshop, Brownies will measure, search for, collect leaves, and design and plant a small garden to take home using their new found (and easy!) number skills?