About Friends

Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization as defined under the laws of the state of New Jersey and the United States Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)(3). Corporate offices are maintained at 32 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding Township, NJ. The mailing address is: 241 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. Our EIN is: 22-3674438.

The Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1999 in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Our focus is refuge-centric; we support the goals, projects, and mission of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Our operations and activities are managed by an all-volunteer board of directors and committees.

The Friends is part of a network of more than 200 friends groups nationwide, each associated with one or more national wildlife refuges, all committed to improving and protecting our unique refuge resources.

Funds to support refuge projects and activities are received from memberships, Nature Shop sales, donations, and grants.

The Board with Sally Jewell

The Board with Sally Jewell

Mission Statement

Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is an independent, volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to

  • Promoting stewardship of the natural resources of the Refuge
  • Inspiring an appreciation of nature through education and outreach
  • Engaging in partnership activities that support and enhance the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and the National Refuge System

Board of Directors

Joseph Balwierczak, President
Stephen Herdman, Vice President
Walter Willwerth, Secretary
Laurel Gould, Treasurer
Jane Bell
John Berry
Allen Dreikorn
Randi Emmer
Susan Garretson Friedman
Ellen Greenhorn
Jim Mulvey
George Solovay
Janet Stadelmeier
Kathy Woodward
Jonathan Rosenberg, GSNWR Liaison

The Friends of Great Swamp Board of Directors meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Visitor Center at 32 Pleasant Plains Road. All members of the Friends are welcome to attend Board meetings.

Contact Friends
Visit us at the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center, 32 Pleasant Plains Rd. in Harding Township, NJ.

Send us mail at 32 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge NJ 07920.

Phone us at 973-425-9510.

For general information, email info@friendsofgreatswamp.org.

EIN: 22-3674438

Library Documents

How Friends Help the Refuge

We host events, including:

  • Second Sunday educational programs
  • Sunset Walks during National Wildlife Refuge Week
  • Annual Turkey Walk
  • Annual Fall Festival
  • The Big Sit! Birding Event
  • Great Backyard Bird Count

We provide funds for:

  • Habitat Improvement Projects
  • Research studies on wetlands, waterfowl, fish and invertebrates
  • Head-start Wood Turtle Program
  • New trails, kiosks, benches and interpretive signs
  • Publications like the Tree & Shrub Guide and Wildlife Tour Route Guide
  • Refuge summer interns
  • Viewing scopes at Visitor Center
  • Annual volunteer recognition event
  • Annual Refuge Photo Contest

We volunteer and coordinate volunteer resources for numerous events, including:

  • Removal of invasive plant species from wildlife habitats
  • Upkeep of demonstration gardens
  • Bird walks, Wildflower walks, Nature walks
  • Trail maintenance
  • Visitor Center staffing
  • Wildlife Observation Center staffing during the Spring and Fall migration seasons
  • Annual Fall Festival


Friends Outreach Service

Video • Presentation • Handouts
about Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

A 45-minute program offered to
Clubs • Schools • Civic Organizations

Contact Randi Emmer for more information, 908-647-1321.