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Forest Resource Ecucation Center


The Forest Resource Education Center (FREC), operated by the New Jersey Forest Service, is located in Jackson Township in northern Ocean County. The FREC property contains 660 acres of forested uplands and hardwood swamps bordering the headwaters of the Toms River. The New Jersey Forest Tree Nursery utilizes 45 acres of the site for the propagation and production of more than 300,000 seedlings annually for reforestation and community forestry programs throughout the state.

The experienced staff at the new Interpretive Center provides comprehensive interactive programs for schools, scout and civic groups on the 5.5-mile Project Learning Trail. Outdoor Learning Stations with informational kiosks and "talking trees" are located along the trails.

Recreational opportunities are available for hiking, nature photography, trout fishing, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

  • Sensory Awareness Trail: Take a stroll through the forest and use your five senses to explore and discover nature. Stop to listen to the two talking trees.
  • ABC Arboretum: Follow the trail and discover a tree or shrub for each letter of the alphabet from A to Z.
  • Sugar ShackForest Products Loop: At the bee-keeping station find out "What is the buzz about honey?" Experience the tradition of making delicious maple syrup at our sugar shack located in the swamp red maple grove. See our foresters cut logs on our portable woodmizer sawmill.
  • Watershed Investigations: Explore the headwaters of the Toms River, which flows through the FREC site. Visit the watershed kiosk to learn about the benefits of riparian forest buffers. Enjoy recreational trout fishing and a stroll along the streamside path.
  • Wildlife Habitats: Discover signs of animals in the forest along the trail. See wildlife habitat enhancements that have been implemented at the learning station.
  • Forestry Management Demonstration Plots: Hike through a Pine Savanna, Two-Year Aged Stand, Prescribed Burn Site, and Tree Farm Kiosk.
  • Seeds to Trees Nursery Tour: Schedule a tour for your group of the NJ Forest Tree Nursery, visit the greenhouse, seedroom, and assist in planting acorns.
  • Special Events: Each year, the Forest Resource Education Center hosts two special events: Spring Conservation Day and Fall Forestry Festival for the general public, civic organizations, scout groups and families. These annual events feature many of the following activities and demonstrations:
  • Acorn Planting
  • Wildlife Habitat Gardening
  • Interpretive Guided Hikes
  • Sensory Awareness Trail Experience
  • Old Fashioned Two Person Saw
  • Maple Sugaring
  • Oak Basket Weaving Demonstrations
  • Sawmill Demonstrations
  • NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife
  • Forest Fire Service Exhibit
  • Tree Arts & Crafts
  • Autumn Hayride Tours
  • Bluebird Trail Hike
  • Jersey Shore Trout Unlimited
  • Tree Seedling Nursery Tour
  • Beekeeping Demonstrations
  • Horse Logging Demonstrations
  • Master Gardeners
  • Master Composters
  • Blacksmith Demonstrations
  • Chainsaw Carving
  • Greenhouse Tours
  • Antique Tractors
  • Traditional Decoy Carving
  • Tree Climbing Demonstrations
  • Building Birdhouses
  • Tree & Shrub Pruning Techniques
  • Tour of New Interpretive Center

Target Audience(s)
General public, organizations, educators, students of all ages

Additional Information
Forest Resource Education Center, NJDEP
370 East Veterans Highway
Jackson NJ 08527
Phone: 732-928-2360
Fax: 732-928-8472
teachnjenv: Environmental Education "Projects" Homepage

Teachers' Guide to Educational Programs with New Jersey State Parks, Forests,
Recreation Areas, Historic Sites and the Forest Resource Education Center