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It's all About the Pine Barrens!

The Forest Resource Education Center


There's a place tucked into the northern Pinelands that deserves a lot of recognition - it's the FOREST RESOURCE EDUCATION CENTER, or FREC, an understated part of of the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, NJ forest Service.

Boarrwalk through forest wetlands. Photo courtesy of FRECThis place should be on the top of the list for any person or group, regardless of age, that wants to learn about the precious forests of the Pinelands, whether it be the uplands, wetlands or maritime forests. FREC has a great Interpretive Center and the State Forest Nursery is located here. FREC's goal is to teach and practice forest stewardship - managing New Jersey's forest resources so that we have healthy trees and forests, clean air and water, and places to learn and enjoy the outdoors.

Childrens' Nature hike through the forest. Photo courtesy FREC

Reforestation is an important part of conservation in New Jersey's forests. In addition to the many programs offered, FREC's reforestation program offers public and private landowners tree seedlings for reforestation. Seedlings are available in both conifer and hardwood species, and there is no minimum acreage required to be eligible to buy them. The minimum order is 100 seedlings, or one packet. Orders are accepted annually from December to April 1; Delivery/Pickup is between March 15 and April 30. Questions? Call (732) 928-0029 email FREC@dep.nj.gov


Several programs are offered for students from pre-K to 12. They include the "ABC Arboretum", Plant-soil Relationships", "Fire Ecology", "The Changing Forest", "Wildlife Habitats", "Sensory Awareness", "Bluebird Trail", "Seeds to Tres", "Watershed Investigations", "Forest Discovery", "Forest Products", and "Swamp Life". Groups of 10 or more can reserve programs.

To schedule an environmental education program, please call the education coordinator, who will schedule a date for you.

There is NO FEE for any interpretive program.

Make a reservation well in advance - days book up quickly!

Program length is flexible to fit your needs.

Programs are available to groups of ten or more. Maximum group size is dependent on staff availability.

Programs are taught outdoors regardless of weather - wear appropriate clothing.

You may have lunch after the program, but you must take your trash with you.

Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes to protect from poison ivy and ticks.

For more information, call (732) 928-2360

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Information and photographs on this page are courtesy of NJDEP and FREC staff.



The Pine Barrens is becoming a popular tourist destination. It offers history, nature, boating, camping, fishing, swimming, and most of all, peace and tranquility. It's important to families who live here, whether for a few years or many generations, that our peace and tranquility be preserved.A local lawyer or doctor won't look any different than his neighbor who works the land. Thousand dollar suits aren't what impress people of the Pines - taking care of nature and fellow man is what matters. To that end, it is important for you to know that as a visitor to our precious Pine Barrens, you should show respect for the flora and fauna, for the historical buildings or their remains, and show respect for the "locals". Walk and drive gently. Treat our Pine Barrens as you would want a visitor to treat your own home town - and your own family. Thank you.

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