• Gardens open daily, 8:00 am to sunset throughout the year
  • Self-guided tours of the core gardens available to the public
  • The Morris County Park Commission offers seasonal programs. Visit www.morrisparks.net for more information
  • Tours of the gardens and house available for groups of 10 or more. For more information on tours, please call 973.326.7627
  • The New Jersey Conservation Foundation, which leases offices in the main house, presents numerous programs on natural history throughout the year
  • Tented weddings or special events also permitted
  • To obtain a photography permit, request venue information, pricing, or book the facility, call 973-326-7627
  • On-site parking
  • Restrooms
  • Free

Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center

170 Longview Road, Chester, NJ 07931


Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center, located on 687 acres, was once known as Merchiston Farm. It was home to William and Martha Brookes Hutcheson from 1911 to 1959. Martha Hutcheson, one of America's first female landscape architects, attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and Planning, along with other famous female garden designers of that time. She helped advance the fields of civic horticulture and horticultural therapy through her use of native plants and involvement in garden clubs, including her own Garden Club of Somerset Hills. Martha opened her own landscape design office in 1901 and became a member of the Society of Landscape Architects in 1935.

Merchiston Farm, when purchased by the Hutchesons, included a house dating from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, 100 acres of fertile land, and several out-buildings. The farm became a living laboratory for Martha Hutcheson; by 1927, the property had evolved to include terraces, a lawn, pond, pool, waterways, walks, an orchard, kitchen gardens, and a tennis court. Martha shared her vision through extensive writings, professional associations, the Garden Club of America, and lectures for both professional and lay audiences. Today, Bamboo Brook is a living, breathing example of an early integration of native plants in a designed landscape. The site is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.


  • Explore the beautiful grounds imagined by famous landscape architect Martha Hutcheson
  • Attend a seasonal program or event
  • Take “The Spirit of the Garden” Cell Phone Tour

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