Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission

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Events and Happenings

Salamander migration updates for Spring 2016 -  click here
Community Garden registration is open for
returning gardeners

Click here to register online.
More information at

NEW gardeners registration will start January 1, 2016.
Thanks to everyone who helped with Freecyling -

East Brunswick Vocational and Technical High School
East Brunswick Youth Council
R. Mor Enterprises Inc.
Rutgers Environmental Science students and professors
Friends of the EBEC board members

About the Friends

The Friends of the East Brunswick (NJ, USA) Environmental Commission is a nonprofit (501 3C) organization dedicated to local conservation and environmental education.

Past and present Friends projects include:

Community garden


Salamander migration

Butterfly park

Moth Nights

Farmers Markets

Interactive website for members

Online guide to local butterflies

Raptor survey                                    

Lectures and presentations

Beautiful E Brunswick photo contest 

Worm composters to EB schools

Big tree completion Elm tree at Central school

Boy Scout Eagle & Girl Scout Gold Award mentoring

Online guide to local backyard birds

Online guide to town parks

Big day birding

The organization is run by an all-volunteer board

Click to see East Brunswick Environmental Commission and Friends Awards/Recognition

Membership and all of the Friends events and projects are free and open to all.

Please support the Friends so we can continue bringing events and environmental project to East Brunswick. You can donate any amount by clicking on the PayPal Donate button below (You do not need a PayPal account).

All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

About East Brunswick

East Brunswick is a fast growing suburban town in Central New Jersey, situated midway between New York City and Philadelphia. Close to 50,000 people call East Brunswick home.

Much has changed in East Brunswick during the past 80 years. With modern Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Digital Historical Aerial Photographs, we can glimpse back in history and make comparisons to current conditions in ways we never were able to do before. I have attached two aerial photographs of East Brunswick, one from 1930 and the other from 2007. They are both at the same scale and are high resolution, so they can be enlarged to take a closer look at details. 

In 1930, East Brunswick was a patchwork of small farms interspersed by woods and streams. Extensive tidal wetlands were present along the South River and the Raritan River. It must have been incredible to see at that time. A real breadbasket of farms on some of the most productive farmland in the state and with vast natural communities that were at the intersection of northern and southern habitats. A few roads bisected the township linking the small areas of development with surrounding towns, but most (if not all) of these were likely dirt at the time.  During the next 80 years, East Brunswick, like most of Middlesex County, would undergo significant suburban development altering the natural landscape in many ways. Extensive forests and farms were converted to housing, commercial development and other uses (landfill, golf course, the NJ Turnpike, etc.), streams were channelized, diverted or piped and wetlands and vernal pools were filled in. This is not to be critical of these changes, but simply to acknowledge that they occurred and to understand the changes to the environment.

We are very fortunate that remnants and even extensive portions of these original habitats remain in East Brunswick providing a glimpse, if not an even a wider view, of what East Brunswick used to look like. Stroll through the incredible Pine Barrens habitats of Jamesburg Park, or through Frost Woods, or hike into the tidal swamp along the South River at Keystone Park, or explore the southern portion of the township near Dutch Lane, Church Lane and Fresh Ponds where a number of farms have been preserved and woods still dominate much of the landscape.  This is our natural history, and although much has changed, there are still many gems that remain. We can also use the aerial photographs to learn from our mistakes and from our successes in terms of conserving our remaining natural landscape as well as setting priorities on preservation and restoration.  As the saying goes, "Think Globally, but Act Locally." If we aren't stewards of what is in our own town, you can be certain no one else will either.

Check out the Parks Guide on the Friends website at to learn where some of our best remaining natural areas are. They are well worth exploring. The Parks Guide is a work in progress and new Parks will be featured over the next few months.  There are also high resolution aerial photographs of the vernal pools along Beekman Road where we have worked so hard to protect our migrating salamanders and frogs.   



The “Friends” is a New Jersey and 501C3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to local environmental education and conservation. Projects initiated by the Friends have been widely recognized by the New Jersey Audubon Society, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Senate and General Assembly, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, United States Environmental Protection Agency, New Jersey Association of Landscape Architects, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions and the East Brunswick Department of Parks and Recreation and Mayor and Town Council. These projects have also received extensive media coverage from local, state, national and even international press. Our Board includes environmental consultants, educators and researchers and allows for a wide-diversity of experience and backgrounds providing an excellent foundation for environmental projects in our community.

Read more about our past and present projects and meet our Board Members

 East Brunswick Environmental Commission and  Friends Awards/Recognition
Friends' projects, events and membership are always Free and open to all.
The Friends' are funded only by private donations. 
Donations to the Friends are  tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Write to us if you have questions about donations or project sponsorship. Click here to send us an email.
To donate to the Friends using a credit card or PayPal account - Click the 'donate' button below.
If you wish to sponsor a Friends' project, please let us know with a note on the  'Add special instructions to the seller', when you fill out the online payment form.
Friends Projects are sponsored by:











Anonymous  Families


Ongoing support of the East Brunswick Community Garden



 Website and other projects





Freecyling events

Monetary donations



Butterfly Park, Salamander Migration, Option Green, Green Living, Monetary Donations.


 Friends membership is FREE.   

Members get  e-mails with updates and reminders of Friends events and projects.

Members can upload pictures and comment .      

Buy t-shirts, mugs, shopping bags and other items with the Friends' logo

  Contact us  




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