Our Center & Reserve

The Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science and Education serves as headquarters for our staff and programs. The LEED-Platinum certification denotes the highest level of recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The building features exhibits and live animal displays and hosts hundreds of educational programs and events each year.

The Watershed Center is located on the Watershed Reserve in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, N.J. Created with an initial gift of 400 acres from Dr. Muriel Gardiner Buttinger in 1969, the Reserve now spans nearly 1,000 acres of forest, wetlands, meadows and farmland. More than 10 miles of hiking trails wind through these habitats and pass by two historic farmsteads that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Watershed Center Hours

Monday-Friday: 9AM-5PM
Saturday-Sunday: 10AM-4PM
Most Holidays: 10AM-4PM

Watershed Reserve Hours

Daily: Dawn to Dusk
Trails, Butterfly House, & Pond

The Watershed Reserve protects a floodplain forest along the Stony Brook with stately sycamore and beech trees. Younger forests are the result of old farm fields gradually transitioning to woods. The Reserve is also home to wildflower meadows, as well as vast rows of organic produce.

We invite you to explore our trails, observe the antics of waterbirds at Wargo Pond and enjoy the wild sights and sounds of nature.

Explore Our Center & Reserve


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Hopewell Township Committee will consider drastic zoning changes, which are inconsistent with its Master Plan, at a June 24 hearing. Attend the 7 p.m. meeting and help stop this proposal.


More than 80 participants learned about stormwater utilities and green infrastructure at our second Stormwater Utilities symposium.


In anticipation of the seasonal opening, staffers grabbed some gauzy nets this week and caught butterflies to stock the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House.


Seven interns have joined The Watershed Institute as interns this summer and will do field research, environmental education and stewardship.

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Rain barrels are a low-cost way of conserving water to irrigate your garden and control stormwater runoff.


This documentary film by  Andrew Morgan explores the impact of the fashion industry on people and the planet.


Annual Meeting honored longtime members for their contributions to The Watershed Institute during 70th Anniversary celebrations.


Earth Day is the time of year to pay homage to our planet and involves efforts including our recent stream cleanups to efforts to ban plastic bags in local communities.


Lambertville artist Johanna Furst will display her Living Saints paintings of sacred trees in the East Gallery of The Watershed Center from April 23 – June 14.


For this Sunday, we will view a film on the industrious, buck-toothed engineer – the North American Beaver who are changing the world “one stick at a time”.

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The Garden Club of Trenton has a juried photography show on display in the West Gallery at the Watershed Center from mid-March until mid-April.


Clearing out tangled underbrush, vines, and invasive plants, about 20 volunteers from Bristol-Myers Squibb recently helped beautify the entrance into The Watershed Institute.


Our School’s Out program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 1-5 offers varied and fun daylong themes as kids explore the Watershed Center and Reserve.


Join us at our 2nd Annual Flashlight Egg Hunt when we search for colored hard-boiled eggs at night! This is a rain or shine event.

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The Watershed Institute applauds Gov. Phil Murphy for signing into law today the Flood Defense Act, which passed the Legislature earlier this year.


This award-winning documentary narrated by Emma Thompson chronicles the rise of extreme energy and a new way forward.


Join us at one of two sessions on Saturday for a delicious brunch and learn about the sugaring process!


Join us for the fifth year of this intensive Birds of New Jersey course taught by Luke K. Butler, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biology at TCNJ.


The farm on the Watershed Reserve sells fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers through its CSA program. Farm shares are now on sale for the upcoming season.


Acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate.


Join us for weekly readings exploring the language of nature in poetry and prose.


The Circuit Trails, a network of biking, walking and other recreation trails in the Greater Philadelphia area, now officially includes a multi-use path at The Watershed Institute.


Join Watershed Institute staff members, Stormwater Specialist Kory Kreiseder, and Stewardship Coordinator, Allison Jackson for a discussion after viewing several short films on the importance of native plants.

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Thirty students learned how to build a sustainable school in project-based learning at The Watershed Institute.


We celebrated our volunteers with a festive brunch on Saturday. Our volunteers gave about 12,000 hours in 2018 by monitoring streams, planting trees and more!

Chasing Coral is a documentary film about a team of divers, scientists and photographers around the world who document the disappearance of coral reefs. Chasing Coral was produced by Exposure ...

We are selectively closing some of our trails on the listed dates. Please know that our trails are always open on Sundays for general enjoyment.


Hundreds of Northern Saw-whet Owls have been banded in the fifth year of field research at the Watershed Reserve and Mercer Meadows.

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The Watershed Center’s first student photography exhibit depicts the theme of “Reflection and the Environment.”


The Watershed Institute is collaborating on a two-day Green Infrastructure Certification with the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional organization.

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Join us on Oct. 27 to learn about the Origins of Halloween during an evening program on a glowing jack ‘o lantern-lit path.


A new trail connecting the Lawrenceville Hopewell Trail (LHT) to the main entrance of The Watershed Institute opened Oct. 6.


At an orientation program this week, Princeton University students installed a rain garden to control stormwater runoff on the Watershed Reserve.


The Watershed Institute has developed a toolkit of class materials that align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).


As they head back to school, about 50 high school students explored climate change, field science, green architecture and clean water in the Watershed Science & Stewardship academies.


Science teachers investigated ways to use the Watershed’s classroom lessons for their own Next Generation Science Standards curricula.

Photo credit: Emmanuel Abreu

See the Kwel Hoy’ totem pole, carved by the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation, on the Watershed Reserve until September 15, 2018.

For this Sunday, we will view three short films with the central issues of climate change and clean water. Anthropocene In the midst of the ...
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time A preview of the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, ...
Is it possible to live completely waste free? In this multi-award winning documentary,  partners Jen and Grant go head to head in a competition to ...
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From monitoring water to installing rain gardens and kayaking with campers, eight high school, college students and recent graduates interned at The Watershed Institute this summer.


Duets, alarms and other vibrational sounds of a treehopper species are fodder for Micah Fletcher’s doctoral research at Princeton University.


The 2018 season is in full swing at the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House. The full life cycle of our wonderful winged creatures is a sight to behold.


From touching a “slimy” green frog to measuring water temperature, about 50 students from Trenton Central High School visited The Watershed Institute …


Join us June 3 at the Watershed. Madeleine Albright and George Schultz, both former Secretaries of State, call attention to the link between national security and climate change.


Jim Kinsel and Sherry Dudas anticipate Opening Day in several weeks for members of their community supported agriculture (CSA) on…


Local photographer Clem Fiori has a display of color and black-and-white forest, streams, meadows and other images on exhibit from May 7- Aug. 31 in the West Gallery.


Join us on May 6 at the Watershed Center! We’ll see a film created by Kip Andersen as he uncovers possibly the largest health secret …


Join us from July 23-27 at the Watershed Teacher Academy, a research-based partnership with Princeton University that offers invaluable experience for educators teaching kindergarten through high school.


Stressing the importance of clean water, incoming Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Catherine McCabe…

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The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association’s board voted last month to change the name of the organization to The Watershed Institute.

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About 800 volunteers — a record number — helped at the Watershed’s 12th annual Stream Cleanups, removing about 10,000 pounds of trash.

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The Watershed is excited to announce that Catherine McCabe, Governor Phil Murphy’s nominee to become the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, will be the guest speaker…


More than 75 people celebrated the April 24 opening of ​Kwel’ Hoy, ​an exhibition that connects communities protecting water, land, and our collective future.


Join us April 8 to see Former Vice President Al Gore continue his tireless fight, traveling around the world to influence international climate policy in An Inconvenient Sequel.


The Garden Club of Princeton presents: The Roving Eye Photography Exhibition. Discover the photography of over 20 artists in this vibrant and captivating show, on display at the Watershed Center until March 14, 2018.

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Tyler Christensen, who explored science and nature at the Watershed, is researching the wintering habitat of the rarely seen Northern Saw-whet owl on the 950-acre Watershed Reserve.

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As a dedicated Watershed member since 1985, Anne Wieland’s love affair with the Stony Brook began decades ago and still lures her back here from Homer, Alaska.


Now is a great time to get a head start on holiday gifts, ranging from clean-water kits for the young scientist to nature books and animal booties.


Twelve Ewing High School science teachers and nine Fisher Middle School science teachers visit the Watershed to strengthen the integration of science…


The 11-member State Agriculture Development Committee, the state board responsible for preserving farmland in New Jersey, met recently at the Watershed. After the meeting, about two …

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Sixth graders from John Witherspoon Middle School came to the Watershed for two days of hands-on science, exploration and team building.

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Join us for a panel discussion with leading climate and water experts from academia, government, and the non-profit sector from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Sept. 27 at the opening night reception for the “Politics of Water.”


Princeton Artists Alliance has used art as commentary on social and political issues for 25 years. The artists are taking on “The Politics of Water”, responding to issues such as climate change…


The Kate Gorrie Butterfly House has been fluttering with activity this summer 2017. Come visit and be sure register for an event before they fly away.

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Older campers and Counselors-in-Training joined younger campers at the Watershed Nature Camp this week on the newly expanded Watershed Reserve.

AmeriCorps New Jersey Ambassadors at the graduation ceremony at the Watershed.

The Watershed hosted the graduation ceremony for 19 AmeriCorps New Jersey Ambassadors with state environmental officials, mentors and family members …


The Watershed purchased about 20 acres on the Mount Rose Ridge from the Hopewell Veterinary Group. The June 21 land acquisition expands the Watershed Reserve to 950 acres.


The American Institute for Architects (AIA) of New Jersey met at the Watershed Center for their East Coast Green conference focused on protecting the health…


Join us for light refreshments and informal tours during our free event, Saturday, June 24 from 10a.m. to 1p.m. Bring your friends and family!


This open air art exhibit on the Watershed Reserve starts on June 4 through August 31 and is free to the public daily, dawn until dusk. Pick up a map in the Watershed Center and discover art along our trails.


Fifteen kiko goats arrived at the Watershed Reserve this week as part of an eco-friendly way to remove invasive plants from the future Nature Play Zone area.


The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association celebrated the 2nd annual Trail Run on Sunday, May 21 with 270 runners surrounded by friends and family to support clean water.


Catching crayfish, mayfly nymphs and other critters in Stony Brook’s waters, playing lively rounds of Green Jeopardy and mapping transpiration, about 100 ninth graders from the Princeton Day School…


Nearly 100 friends and supporters joined Watershed staff for the organization’s Annual Meeting on April 24th. Highlights included…


High school students are invited to join us for a conference on climate change at the Watershed Center on Sunday, April 23 from 1-5:30pm. The free conference is cosponsored by…


April 12 through May 19, the Garden Club of Princeton Gallery at the Watershed Center is showing Remnants of the Land, an interpretation of …