Somerset Hills Memorial Park sits on 75 acres of rolling hills in the northern tip of Somerset County. Its mid-section is crossed by a small brook shrouded by a deciduous oak-ash-birch woodland. Its upper parkland affords a panoramic view of the Watchung ridges to the East. In this lovely setting one can not only enjoy the landscape but also can observe a wide variety of birds. Some of these birds make this their home, either year-round such as the Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Northern Cardinals or as summer residents like the House Wrens and Baltimore Orioles. Many other birds enjoy the abundant food and shelter during their Spring and Fall migrations through New Jersey. Even in Winter northern visitors such as the Dark-eyed Juncos frequent the grounds, searching for seeds to tide them over.
What better way to observe and enjoy the progression of seasons than to participate in regular bird walks? A leisurely one-hour morning stroll through the park will usually reward observers with one- to two-dozen different species of birds, as well as a variety of trees, shrubs and other plants. To date, 51 species of birds have been detected in SHMP, and many more remain to be discovered during passage.
One of the signature birds of the area is the impressive Pileated Woodpecker, one of our year-round residents which is more often heard yelping in the distance or flying from one woodlot to another than seen up close. But that lucky up-close view will bring smiles forever. Resident Eastern Bluebirds, availing themselves of nest boxes installed throughout the park, are a delight at any season. And the ubiquitous Tufted Titmice can be counted on to brighten every day with their soft gray plumage punctuated by those big black eyes.
Local birder Randy Little, a former director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the New Jersey Audubon Society whose specialty is recording bird sounds, has been leading bird walks in SHMP for the public, meeting at 8:30AM at the mausoleum on the first Friday of the month. No skill or special equipment is required of participants – just appropriate clothing for a one-hour stroll on the roads in the park and a curiosity for what may be observed.
Somerset Hills Memorial Park
95 Mt. Airy Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
908 766 0522
Somerset Hills Memorial Park is once again proud to welcome Rolling Thunder, Inc., on Saturday, December 16th as they bring the national program, Wreaths Across America to Basking Ridge. Each year over 800 cemeteries, including Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC join together to lay a wreath on every veterans grave.
We take this a step further by placing wreaths inside our mausoleum with the names of every veteran entombed.
Rolling Thunder, Inc., is a non-profit group of veterans honoring those who have served our great nation. At Somerset Hills Memorial Park we have over 1400 veteran’s buried on our grounds that we have been able to identified as veterans. If you have a loved one or know of a veteran who does not have a veteran’s marker please contact us at 908-766-0522, we want no one left behind.
The local VFW Post 7858 begins the ceremonies by reading the names of all veterans that have pasted with the last year. After which Rolling Thunder and local volunteers go out over the cemetery and place the wreaths on every veteran’s grave. This program is sponsored by Rolling Thunder at no cost to the families. If you wish to donate to Rolling Thunder, Inc., for this event visit them at www.rollingthunder1.com or sent your donation to Rolling Thunder, Inc, PO Box 216 Neshanic Station, NJ 08853.
Please join us on Saturday December 16th at noon. We need volunteers not only to place the wreaths but also to help register the volunteers and serve lunch. Chili and cornbread will be served after the ceremonies.
This is a great way to honor those who have so bravely fought for the freedoms we enjoy every day and a great family experience for both young and old.
For more information or to add your name to our volunteer list call Somerset Hills Memorial Park at 908-766-0522.
We always want families to remember and celebrate the lives of their loved ones, and with that in mind we are placing a big, fresh tree in our mausoleum for everyone to hang a shining star. The middle of the stars can hold a picture of your loved one, the grandkids, a pet, a special occasion to remember, a new baby, the sky is the limit.
Somerset Hills has the stars available at the office for $3.00 each, with proceeds going to support our veteran’s program.
For more information or to order a star, call our office 908-7660-0522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us as we brighten the mausoleum with your Shining Star!
Why not, an abundance of birds and a quiet place to observe!
The first Friday of each month, renowned birder Randy Little will be guiding bird enthusiasts through Somerset Hills Memorial Park and Mausoleum. We’re putting up houses and doing all we can to encourage our avian friends to visit SHMP. Come to the office to begin your tour and enjoy a cup of hot coffee while Randy provides information to help identify the birds. Knowledgeable or novices all are welcome.