Your water. Your environment. Your voice.

Adult Education

Become a Citizen Naturalist

Learn the Language of Nature

Adult Education at the Watershed Center.

Enjoy a walk in the woods? Through meadows and along stream corridors? Think about how much richer that experience can be when you can pick out the song of the Black-Throated Green Warbler. Identify the Shag Bark Hickory and the Spicebush. Recognize the Mourning Cloak. Understand how these birds, trees, plants and insects relate to each other and to us. Thousands of people enjoy getting close to nature. Thousands support the preservation of natural areas. Yet most of us have had little opportunity to learn much about the wild creatures and plants that surround us. Nature is too often a foreign language.

In collaboration with faculty from local colleges and universities, we are offering a series of courses on The Language of Nature.

Each course will consist of 6 weeknight classes and 3 Saturday morning field trips. All classes will be held at the the NEW Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science and Education in Hopewell. Field trips will take place at the Watershed Reserve and at other sites around New Jersey. Enrollment will be limited to 15 people per class to ensure that field trips will not be disruptive, so be sure to enroll now!

There will be no tests, papers, or projects. All that is required is interest and attendance. Students who complete four courses will earn a Citizen NaturalistÂť certificate from the Watershed Association and a Watershed fleece vest.

Register Online

Literary Language of Nature

Dates:January 12 – February 16, 2017
Instructor: Dr. Winifred Spar, Princeton University
Thursdays, 7:30-9:00PM
This course has no field trips.
FEE: $90 Members/$140 Non-members

While nature outdoors is frosty and dormant, we will warm up with some classic and contemporary nature writing at the Watershed including essays and ecopoetry, romanticism and transcendentalism, and the history of writing about nature from Genesis and Psalms to the present. No outside reading or knowledge is required. The course is taught by Winifred Hughes Spar Ph.D., former English literature professor at Princeton University. This course does not include field trips.

Birds of New Jersey

Dates:March 16 – April 27, 2017
Instructor: Dr. Luke Butler, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, The College of New Jersey
Thursdays, 7:30-9:00PM
Saturday morning field trip dates: March 25, April 8 and April 29
FEE: $195 Members/$245 Non-members

Get ready for the song of spring by learning about our feathered neighbors. Examine their evolution, morphology and taxonomy, while discovering their behavior, habits and habitats. Identify bird neighbors on several field trips and learn about bird conservation. The course is taught by Luke K. Butler, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biology, at The College of New Jersey.

Plants & Wildflowers of Woods, Fields and Roadsides

Dates:May 10 – June 14, 2017
Instructor: Dr. Kate B. Lepis, Adjunct Professor, Monmouth University
Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00PM
Saturday morning field trip dates: May 20, June 3 and June 10
FEE: $195 Members/$245 Non-members

As spring descends, learn about all the fantastic new growth of plants and wildflowers, their morphology, evolution, and pollinator interactions. Find out about the conservation of New Jersey’s plant communities, native plant functions, and discover local habitats during any of the three weekend field trip sessions. The course is taught by Kate Lepis, Ph.D., adjunct environmental science professor at Monmouth University.

Ecology of NJ Rivers, Streams, Lakes and Ponds

Dates:September 12 – October 17, 2017
Instructor: Dr. Olaf Jensen, Rutgers University
Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30PM
Saturday morning field trip dates: TBD
FEE: $195 Members/$245 Non-members



Nature Camp Registration Opens January 21st!

Whether you join us for a week about water, outdoor skills, animals, or art in nature, you are sure to have a fabulous time running around in the fresh summer air!

Click to see our camp program guide and online registration!

Join the Community

  • a-Facebook
  • b-Twitter
  • c-Instagram
  • d-Flickr
  • e-YouTube
  • f-Vimeo