Educational Events and Projects

The Ocean County Soil Conservation District offers a variety of educational programs for students, as well as educators and professionals throughout the Barnegat Bay Watershed. OCSCD partners with numerous environmental organizations, government entities and community groups to bring quality educational programs to the public. For more information about OCSCD’s education and outreach programs and events, please contact Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, 609-971-7002 ext. 114.

Upcoming Programs and Events: 

March 17: Join OCSCD at the 21st Annual NJ Land Conservation Rally on Friday March 17, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick. OCSCD will be presenting, “Landscaping for Healthy Water with Jersey-Friendly Yards”, in partnership with the Barnegat Bay Partnership.

March 18: OCSCD will be exhibiting at the Native Plant Society of New Jersey’s Annual Spring Conference on Saturday, March 18, at Medford Leas in Medford, NJ. Join us for a fun and educational opportunity to learn about the importance of native plants, pollinators, grasslands of NJ, ecological restoration practices and gardening in the shade.

March 22: Join other educators and environmentally-minded folk for a lively exchange of information and ideas at the 9th Annual Barnegat Bay Partnership Retreat on March 22, from 9:00-3:00, at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences. This year’s theme is “Telling the Story of Barnegat Bay”. For more information and to register, contact Karen Walzer, Public Outreach Coordinator for the Barnegat Bay Partnership, 732-255-0472.

April 1: OCSCD is teaming up with Barnegat Bay Partnership and the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences for LBIF’s “Science Saturdays”, on April 1, from 11:00-12:30pm. OCSCD and BBP will be presenting “Create Your Own Native Plant Garden”. Be inspired to create a native plant garden using the Jersey-Friendly Yards online guide to environmentally sustainable gardening. For more information contact Amy Carreno, Development and Outreach Coordinator, LBIF, 609-494-1241 ext. 102

April 19: Environmental Educators Roundtable

Terry O'Leary and McDuffy Barrow leading a group of educators through a trail at the 14th Annual Environmental Educators RoundtableEach year, the Ocean County Soil Conservation teams up with the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education to host the Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable. This event is designed for educators throughout the watershed to come and participate in various workshops, enhancing their knowledge and resources for teaching the environment in the classroom. This event has become extremely popular since its inception in 1997, and helped to promote environmental stewardship to not only educators but the students they teach each year.

April 29: Ocean County residents are invited to participate in a free “How to Compost” class, on April 29, from 10:00am-12:00pm, at the Ocean County Recycling Education Center. Healthy compost creates healthy soil! For more information please contact Mary Jerkowicz, Senior Program Monitor, Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management, 732-506-5047 ext. 4365

May 20: Join OCSCD at the Yard, Garden and Native Plant Fair, hosted by Jakes Branch County Park, from 12:00-4:00pm. OCSCD will be presenting “Jersey-Friendly Yards” – be inspired to create your own environmentally sustainable native garden. Come visit our exhibit, too! For more information, contact Ben Ackerman, Naturalist, Jakes Branch County Park, 732-281-2750 ext. 3602


Ongoing Programs and Events:

Discovering Barnegat Bay Teacher’s Curriculum Guide

Discovering Barnegat Bay is an educational tool developed for educators to include information about the local natural ecosystem into their curriculum.Discovering Barnegat Bay is an interdisciplinary educational program created by members of the Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Steering Committee in 2003 to address locally significant topics and resources. The discovering Barnegat Bay guidebook includes meaningful lesson plans, activities and resources for teachers and educators designed to support Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Mathematics through the exploration of historical, cultural and natural resources of the Barnegat Bay watershed. The guidebook is accompanied by a discovering Barnegat Bay “Treasure Chest” containing a selection of resource materials. For more information, please contact the OCSCD Education & Outreach Specialist (609) 971-7002 ext. 114 or email:


NJ Conservation Poster Contest

The New Jersey Conservation Poster Contest is an annual contest sponsored by the NJ Department of Agriculture, the NJ Association of Conservation Districts and the Ocean County Soil Conservation District, which aims to promote a better understanding of the connection between natural resources and humans, in a fun and creative way that engages students throughout the county, state and nation. The 2017 Poster Contest theme is: Healthy Soils Are Full of Life! The contest is open to all students in grades 2-12. Cash prizes are awarded! Find out how you can participate in this exciting contest.


Trout in the Classroom

trout in the classroom 017Ocean County Soil Conservation District, in partnership with the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife and Trout Unlimited, provide a unique learning experience for students through the program Trout in the Classroom. Students raise trout from fry in their classroom then release the fish into a healthy New Jersey stream in the spring. Learn more about this exciting program!



The Ocean County Soil Conservation District is a proud sponsor of the New Jersey State Envirothon. This annual competition culminates in one intense day where high school students test their knowledge of environmental topics through hands-on and interactive problem solving at five different stations. Winning teams move on to represent New Jersey in the North American Envirothon competition which is the largest high school environmental education competition in North America.


Outdoor Classrooms

Students planting an outdoor classroom

Students planting an outdoor classroom

The Soil District, along with various partners, has successfully designed, planted, and implemented over twenty-five different Outdoor Classrooms at schools throughout the Barnegat Bay Watershed. These rain gardens give students and teachers the opportunity to have a change from the norm and get outside to learn about the environment in hands-on, exciting new ways.


Educational Resources

Educational Resource Guide

This comprehensive booklet was created originally by the Ocean County Soil Conservation District as a one-stop guide for all educational resources related to Barnegat Bay watershed education. What began as a simple directory has grown into a compendium of resources and organizations offering numerous programs, publications, field trips, and watershed information that educators can incorporate into their lessons and activities.

Educational Resource Guide.

“S.O.S. Sustainable Opportunities through Soil”

In 2012 the Ocean County Soil Conservation District partnered with the New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts and the Barnegat Bay Partnership to organize the Soil Health Conference: “Sustainable Opportunities through Soil” hosted at Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ. The main goals of this conference were to raise awareness of the importance of healthy soil in infrastructure as well as ignite conversation between a wide variety of professionals, ranging from lawn care specialists, to professors, to life-long soil scientists. The conference was an enormous success. Please find more information about the 2012 Soil Health Conference here.

Educational Resources:

Check out our Educational Resources Page for links to websites that are both fun and educational.


Ocean County Soil Conservation District
714 Lacey Road
Forked River, NJ 08731
(609) 971-7002