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!
Scouts

Daisy Outdoor Art Maker

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : Kindergarten, 1st Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Hunt for different colors and sounds along the trails, and learn the Leave No Trace Principles. Finish by making an original Leave No Trace art project!

Scouts

Daisy Shapes in Nature

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : Kindergarten, 1st Grade
Study Type : Horticulture
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Contact Information

Gwen Montgomery

Go on a shape scavenger hunt and learn what shapes found in nature can tell us about plants and how to identify them. Scouts will then create a piece of art using nature?s shapes.

Scouts

Daisy Shapes in Nature

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : Kindergarten, 1st Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

It's fun to look for shapes in nature! Tally all the shapes you can find during a guided walk, hunt for hidden patterns in the natural world, and create pipecleaner sculptures of the things you find.

Scouts

Daisy Trail Adventure

Program Type : Scouts
Grade(s) : Kindergarten, 1st Grade
Study Type : Environmental Education
Program Length : 1 Hour
Location : Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Contact Information

Jenn Godin

Time to take a hiking adventure! But what should you pack in your bag? And what games will you play along the way? Plan your hike and then head out with a naturalist to explore the trails.

Homeschool, Outreach

Dealing with WILD Neighbors

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

Squirrels in the attic! Raccoons in the garbage! Bears in the backyard! What?s a homeowner to do when wildlife gets too close for comfort? Discover the reasons for wild animals? behaviors and simple solutions for peacefully living side by side.

Demystifying Design

Grade(s) : 18+
Study Type : Horticulture
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Contact Information

Ann Fahey

Discover the elements of design and the various parts to consider when planning or re-doing your garden.

Homeschool, School Field Trips

Dig It!

Program Type : Homeschool, School Field Trips
Grade(s) : 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade
Study Type : History
Program Length : Choice
Location : Historic Speedwell

Contact Information

Karl Wietzel

Historic Speedwell offers archaeologists-in-training the chance participate in a hands-on dig while learning archaeological techniques as well as the importance of archaeology in historic preservation.

Homeschool, School Field Trips

Dream of Steam

Program Type : Homeschool, School Field Trips
Grade(s) : 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade
Study Type : History
Program Length : 1.5 Hours
Location : Historic Speedwell

Contact Information

Karl Wietzel

Visit Historic Speedwell and learn how steam revolutionized power in the 19th century. This program discusses the evolution of steam power from a novelty to a useful industrial tool, how steam power makes machines work, and how Stephen Vail's use of this technology in his business ventures. Students enjoy demonstrations, participate in an exhibit activity, learn real world skills in reading, writing, and visual comprehension, and experience a hands-on building activity.

Homeschool, Outreach

Endangered in NJ – Assembly Program and Outreach

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

Some of NJ?s fantastic animals and plants are disappearing! Learn the reasons for this troubling phenomena and ways to help bring these species back from the brink. This program features a multimedia presentation, touchable artifacts, audience participation, and a visit from a LIVE NJ endangered species.

Scouts

Environmental Science 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