An NJDEP property under the management of the Friends of NJSOC

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Who are the Friends of NJSOC?

Friends members are teachers, students, former campers and counselors, and people from all walks of life who have participated in programs at the New Jersey School of Conservation and/or care about the future of the School and its programs. 

The NJSOC is located on 240 acres in Stokes State Forest in Sussex County, New Jersey. Founded in 1949, the NJSOC is one of our nation’s oldest environmental field centers, and has played a defining role in the development of the field of environmental education nationwide. It has provided programs in environmental education to schools, colleges, and citizens of New Jersey and research opportunities in conservation and ecology for college and university undergraduate, graduate, and faculty members for nearly 75 years. The facility closed temporarily in July 2020, and reopened under the interim management of the Friends of NJSOC in May 2021. The organization operated the school under volunteer leadership before securing permanent management rights through state legislation and obtaining a 20-year lease for the facility. 

What does the Friends group do?

Originally a support group for NJSOC and its staff, the Friends have stepped up to carry on the School’s mission of teaching environmentally responsible behaviors that will encourage scientists, teachers, students and citizens to promote sustainable practices in their own communities. The organization is currently rebuilding the School’s professional staff, restoring its historic buildings, and developing a strategic management plan to secure the School’s future.

Friends volunteers continue to be integral to the success and operation of the School of Conservation. Friends members serve as public program leaders and assistants; serve on committees; participate in service projects and work days; help with social media messaging, marketing and fundraising; and otherwise help to plan and shape the future of NJSOC.  

How can you get involved?

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If you are thinking a year ahead, sow seed.
If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.
If you are thinking one hundred years ahead, educate the people.