Calendar of Events

Come Out to Play, Discover, Learn!

Effective July 1, Schiff will resume offering educational and passive recreational programs. Several changes to how we operate our programs have been put in place to protect our staff and guests and reduce the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19. Please note and plan to cooperate with the following changes:

  • 24 hour advance pre registration for our programs will be required online.
  • Most of our programs will be held outdoors, temporarily.
  • Programmers will greet guests at the kiosk.
  • Capacities for all programs will be reduced to allow for 6 ft social distancing indoors and on hikes/outdoor programs.
  • Face coverings will be required to participate.
  • Please do not shake hands or hug, instead enjoy an elbow or foot "bump".

Guests are encouraged to have hand sanitizer on their person.

July 10, 2020 (Friday) 7-9 pm
Brilliant Fireflies
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join our Schiff naturalist to learn some fascinating facts about beloved fireflies. Did you know they are not flies at all! Following a short film about the fate of fireflies, Brilliant Darkness- Hotura in the Night, we will go on a hike to the Great Meadow to observe fireflies in their natural habitat. Bring a few friends to this family friendly/all ages event, but please ensure that children under 16 have a parent present. Not appropriate for strollers. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a flashlight. Member fee is $10 each or $30/family. Non-member fee is $15 each or $45/non member family. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/09/20
July 11, 2020 (Saturday) 7:00- 8:15 pm
Monthly Gong Meditation
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Surrender to deep relaxation at our monthly gong meditation. During these sessions, the gong is played for approximately one hour, and during that time, you will be immersed in a sonic bubble, enabling deep relaxation. Your body will experience gong tones in all tissues, fluids, and bones. This sound immersion is known to enable a miraculous state of being; feeling at one with the world around you. Bring your yoga mat and experience something profound (and relaxing). Lauren Vasquez will lead your journey with her 30" Paiste Symphonic Gong. Member fee is $15. Non-member fee is $20. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 6. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/10/20
July 12, 2020 (Sunday) 8:00- 10:00 am
Sunday Morning Fitness Hike
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join us for a brisk 5- mile hike over varied terrain across Schiff Nature Preserve. Hikers meet at McVickers Brook parking lot at 239 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham. Vaccinated dogs on leash are welcome. Free to members. Non- member fee is $10. This program is an all weather event with the exception of thunderstorm or extreme wind chill temperature warnings. In the event of a cancellation, advance registration will ensure you receive a weather cancellation notice within 24 hours of the program start time. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/11/20
July 16, 2020 (Thursday) 3-5 pm
Natural Weavings
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Alyssa Richman is an art educator in Somerset County. She hopes to promote Schiff's mission along with the arts across New Jersey. Alyssa's art hikes will start with a long, leisurely nature walk to collect materials: twigs, stones, sticks, grass, leaves, pine cones, tree bark, and whatever else attracts your interest and will end with a beautiful creation. Participants will be able to understand how they can use materials which can be found in nature, and how they can add them to their own artworks to represent an idea. Weaving: Summer is a time of relaxation and travel. Today's tree of life weaving class will begin with a leisurely hike to the Great Meadow. We will use the beautiful plants and mighty trees around us as our inspiration to participate in the meditative process of weaving on a branch. Guests are to bring their own hand clippers and gloves. Member fee is $10 each or $30/family. Non-member fee is $15 each or $45/non member family. This an all ages program, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/15/20
July 16, 2020 (Thursday) 12-2 pm
Found Art collage
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

"Alyssa Richman is an art educator in Somerset County. She hopes to promote Schiff's mission along with the arts across New Jersey. Alyssa's art hikes will start with a long, leisurely nature walk to collect materials: twigs, stones, sticks, grass, leaves, pine cones, tree bark, and whatever else attracts your interest and will end with a beautiful creation. Participants will be able to understand how they can use materials which can be found in nature, and how they can add them to their own artworks to represent an idea. 
Found Object Collage: Using objects found in nature, we will create a landscape collage. This is a carry-out project, meaning participants will leave class with a finished work of art. Guests are to bring their own hand clippers and gloves. Member fee is $10 each or $30/family. Non-member fee is $15 each or $45/non member family. This an all ages program, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required. "
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/15/20
July 18, 2020 (Saturday) 10-11:30 am
Land Art- Mandalas
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Alyssa Richman is an art educator in Somerset County. She hopes to promote Schiff's mission along with the arts across New Jersey. Alyssa's art hikes will start with a long, leisurely nature walk to collect materials: twigs, stones, sticks, grass, leaves, pine cones, tree bark, and whatever else attracts your interest and will end with a beautiful creation.

This hike is inspired by Andy Goldsworthy: A world renowned British sculptor who uses natural materials that he finds outside to create contemporary sculptors. These naturally made mandalas will involve a hike and scavenger hunt for cool, biodegradable materials. We will employ radial symmetry to create of these naturally made mandalas. All artwork created will be left for other hikers to appreciate. Like Andy Goldsworthy, we will make poetry with nature, but allow nature and time to get its victory as our art succumbs to the elements. Guests are to bring their own hand clippers and gloves. Member fee is $10 each or $30/family. Non-member fee is $15 each or $45/non member family. This an all ages program, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/17/20
July 18, 2020 (Saturday) 1-3 pm
Printmaking with Natural Materials
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Alyssa Richman is an art educator in Somerset County. She hopes to promote Schiff's mission along with the arts across New Jersey. Alyssa's art hikes will start with a long, leisurely nature walk to collect materials: twigs, stones, sticks, grass, leaves, pine cones, tree bark, and whatever else attracts your interest and will end with a beautiful creation.
Printmaking: Sun Printing is a classic printing process. We will use specially coated paper with light-sensitive chemicals. When you place objects on the paper, they block the light and the paper remains white, while the areas on the paper around them turn a beautiful Prussian blue. We will study positive and negative space to create an interesting composition. Participants will be able to bring a finished piece home. Guests are to bring their own hand clippers and gloves. Member fee is $10 each or $30/family. Non-member fee is $15 each or $45/non member family. This an all ages program, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required. 
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/17/20
July 19, 2020 (Sunday) 9-11 am
Yoga Hike @ Schiff Nature Preserve
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join Yoga instructor, Lauren Vasquez (RYT-500) at Schiff Nature Preserve for this easy, outdoor yoga hike/session, suitable for all levels of yoga practitioners. This hike/session will take you through the beautiful landscapes of Schiff Nature Preserve and will include centering, meditation, pranayama (breathing), and asana (postures). There is a challenge in moving our yoga practice from the familiar studio into the ever-changing natural world. This challenge is balanced by the joy you will experience, along with the detoxifying quality of practicing yoga in the heart of Mother Nature. You will return from this outdoor yoga session, renewed, refreshed, and grounded. Students should bring their own mat and wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Member fee is $10. Non-member fee is $15. In the event of a cancellation, advance registration will ensure you receive a weather cancellation notice within 24 hours of the program start time. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/18/20
July 25, 2020 (Saturday) 8:30- 10:30 am
Morning Bird Walk
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join bird enthusiast Marissa Mizeski, Science teacher at The Willow School and NJ Audobon summer camp instructor, for a lovely summer bird walk around the Schiff Nature Preserve. We'll listen and look for nesting songbrids and raptors. Who knows what we might find? Scarlet Tanagers, Baltimore Oriels, and any nesting flycatchers and warblers. For our safety; attendees must have their own binoculars and guide books, face coverings, and be prepared to walk applying social distancing. Member fee is $12. Non member fee is $15. This program is an all weather event with the exception of thunderstorm or extreme wind chill temperature warnings. In the event of a cancellation, advance registration will ensure you receive a weather cancellation notice within 24 hours of the program start time. In the event of a cancellation, advance registration will ensure you receive a weather cancellation notice within 24 hours of the program start time. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/24/20
July 26, 2020 (Sunday) 9:00-11:00 am
Volunteer Day at Schiff Nature Preserve
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Please join us for a day of land stewardship activities at 339 Pleasant Valley Road. Each Volunteer Day provides the community an opportunity to work side by side with Schiff staff and Board members in a variety of hands-on projects. Depending on the season, we may be removing brush and vines from trails, removing invasive species, conducting building repairs, restoring fences and bridges, or raking out the Native Garden. Volunteers (16 and under with a parent, please) are encouraged to dress in weather appropriate attire, wear hard toe shoes, bring sunscreen and bug spray, and bring a beverage and snack in a backpack for hands free walking. Walk-ins welcome. At this time we ask that all volunteers bring/wear masks when less than 6 feet apart, use appropriate social distancing, and bring their own gloves and hand tools. Other tools owned and provided by Schiff will be cleaned before and after use and should not be shared that day between volunteers.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/25/20
July 28, 2020 (Tuesday) 2:30 - 4 pm
Cub Scout Badge Program- Backyard Jungle
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Backyard Jungle: Through exploration scouts will discover the diversity of living things all around them. On a hike, we will search for animal signs, identify birds, and listen for sounds of nature. Scouts will leave with an action plan on how to be helpful to the plants and animals in their habitats. *Program does not include the building of a birdhouse with scouts - we do provide "how to" plans. Scout Badge Programs will occur outside except in dangerous conditions. In the event of extreme (ice, wind, or wind chill temperatures) weather, cancellations may occur and refunds will be issued. Member Troop Individual Fee- $6.00. Member Troop Fee (up to 12 Scouts)- $80.00. Non- Member Troop Individual Fee- $8.00. Non- Member Troop Fee (up to 12 Scouts)- $120.00. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 07/27/20
August 2, 2020 (Sunday) 8:00- 9:30 pm
Full Moon Hike
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

There is something exciting and invigorating about the coming of summer. The days are long, the heat is rising, and night brings a quiet coolness in which to enjoy the welcome darkness. Join us as we hike 2 miles around the trails of Schiff to experience the magic of the forest. Member fee is $10 each or $30/family. Non-member fee is $15 each or $45/non member family. Pre-registration required 24 hours in advance. Capacity is temporarily limited to 12. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 08/01/20
August 8, 2020 (Saturday) 10-2 pm
NJ Mycological Foray Event
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join us at Schiff for a Fungus Foray! The NJ Mycological Association, a non-profit organization whose aims are to provide a means for sharing ideas, experiences, knowledge and common interests regarding fungi, and to furnish mycological information and educational materials to those who wish to increase their knowledge about mushrooms will direct and inspire us to foray in the woods of Schiff Nature Preserve for the first two hours, and then we will gather in the Nature Center to hold an identification session. All are encouraged to stay for the ID session - that is when the real learning begins! This is a free event, but parking is limited to 25 cars. Register in advance.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 08/07/20
August 23, 2020 (Sunday) 9:00-11:00 am
Volunteer Day at Schiff Nature Preserve
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Please join us for a day of land stewardship activities at 339 Pleasant Valley Road. Each Volunteer Day provides the community an opportunity to work side by side with Schiff staff and Board members in a variety of hands-on projects. Depending on the season, we may be removing brush and vines from trails, removing invasive species, conducting building repairs, restoring fences and bridges, or raking out the Native Garden. Volunteers (16 and under with a parent, please) are encouraged to dress in weather appropriate attire, wear hard toe shoes, bring sunscreen and bug spray, and bring a beverage and snack in a backpack for hands free walking. Walk-ins welcome. At this time we ask that all volunteers bring/wear masks when less than 6 feet apart, use appropriate social distancing, and bring their own gloves and hand tools. Other tools owned and provided by Schiff will be cleaned before and after use and should not be shared that day between volunteers.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 08/22/20
August 29, 2020 (Saturday) 6:30-9 pm
SAVE the DATE for the 11th Annual Environmental Film Festival
Wood Badge Lodge
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945


Contact: 973-543-6004
September 20, 2020 (Sunday) 2:00- 4:00 pm
Historical Hike
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Join local historian, author, and lecturer W. Barry Thomson on Sunday, September 20 (rain date Sunday, September 27) for a narrated hike showcasing the rich and complex history of what is now the Schiff Nature Preserve in Mendham. Beginning with the history of the rural industrial district that developed along the North Branch of the Raritan River and McVickers Brook in the 18th and 19th centuries, Thomson's talk -- enhanced by the use of archival photographs and rare maps and stops at a number of sites on the property -- will then cover the early 20th century development of the 600-acre "Brookrace" estate by Richard and Julia Williams, including the family's stone manor house. In 1932, following Richard Williams' death, the "Brookrace" estate was transformed into the Mortimer L. Schiff Scout Reservation, which, for the next 47 years, served as the National Training Center for the Boy Scouts of America.
Parking directions will be sent the day prior to the event based on attendance numbers. Carpooling is strongly recommended when feasible. Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes, weather appropriate clothes, and expect that the walking portions of the Historical Hike range in time from 7-15 minute spurts and will involve some incline. This is an all weather event with the exception of extreme summer weather such as thunderstorms or heavy rain warnings. In the event of extreme summer weather warnings, the rain date of September 27th will be used and guests will receive a rain date notification email within 24 hours of the program start time. Access to the Nature Center presents accessibility limitations. Advance registration is required 24 hours in advance. Member fee is $35. Member family/four fee is $120. Non- member fee is $40. Non- member family/four fee is $140. Space is limited for this event. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
Contact: 973-543-6004
- Register by 09/19/20
October 3, 2020 (Saturday) 7-9 pm
Music in the Woods
Schiff Nature Center
339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, 07945

Looking to connect with like minded nature and music lovers? Then come out and join us in the beautiful woods in the intimate setting of the Schiff Nature Center for a wonderful evening of music, desserts, and community featuring Attention Span Limited. Attention Span Limited performs a range of acoustic music with an emphasis on vocal harmonies. Inspired by folk, bluegrass and traditional music, their repertoire includes songs by Townes Van Zandt, Shel Silverstein, The Wailin' Jennys, Jerry Garcia, Sarah Jarosz, Bob Dylan and many others. They love to share their brand of music with live audiences wherever they can. Playful Banter will start the evening with the music of this eclectic duo of mash ups and originals. Playful Banter is a singer-songwriter duo based out of Morris County, New Jersey. This sweetly infectious pair is made by Kimberly Sanchez and Alexis von Aulock. All ages. BYOB. Member fee is $12. Non-member fee is $15. Space and parking is limited, so register in advance and carpool if you can.
Contact: 973-543-6004