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Richard J. Sullivan Center & Pinelands Education Exhibit
Candace McKee Ashmun Pinelands Education Exhibit
RJS Center Background

Candace McKee Ashmun Pinelands Education Exhibit

The new Candace McKee Ashmun Pinelands Education Exhibit is now open to the public.

Located in the Commission's Richard J. Sullivan Center for Environmental Policy and Education, the exhibit features more than 400 square feet of displays, a 90-gallon aquarium with native Pinelands fish, a terrarium with live, carnivorous plants and dozens of Pinelands artifacts.

The mission of the exhibit is to raise awareness and appreciation of the natural, cultural and historic resources of the Pinelands. The Commission will seek to achieve this mission by using the exhibits as a destination for educational programs and as a “jumping off” point for visitors who want to learn about the Pinelands before exploring the region.

It is suggested that groups of more than 10 people contact the Commission's Public Programs office to arrange and schedule their visit. The exhibit will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., excluding State holidays.

Public Programs office contact:
(609) 894-7300 ext. 125





The Commission began working on the project in early 2009, after receiving funding from the National Park Service. A portion of the funds were used to hire the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry Center to assess the potential for creating new exhibits in the Commission’s Richard J. Sullivan Center for Environmental Policy and Education (RJS Center) on 15 Springfield Road in Pemberton Township, NJ.  Krista Kovach-Hindsley of the NPS completed the Exhibit Assessment in May 2009, and it served as the foundation for all of the work that followed.

The Commission then used the remainder of the NPS funds to hire Content Design Collaborative LLC of Scituate, Massachusetts to complete a comprehensive design plan for the Pinelands-themed exhibits and other building enhancements associated with converting a portion of the RJS Center into a Pinelands Visitor Center. Content Design Collaborative LLC completed the Final Exhibit Design Plan in May 2012.

In 2016, the Commission hired Drill Construction of West Orange, NJ and Split Rock Studios of St. Paul, Minnesota to build and install the exhibit and complete all other work needed to convert the Richard J. Sullivan Center into the Candace McKee Ashmun Pinelands Education Exhibit. The project was completed and opened to the public in January of 2019.


RJS Center Background

In December 2001, the Pinelands Commission opened the Richard J. Sullivan Center for Environmental Policy and Education. The nearly 12,500-square-foot facility is located on the grounds of Fenwick Manor, the 5-acre historic farmstead which houses the offices of the Pinelands Commission. The Sullivan Center is comprised of office space, a lecture hall/public meeting room, conference room, library and technology resource center.

The center is named for former Pinelands Commission Chairman Richard J. Sullivan, who served in that capacity from 1988 to 1998. A champion of the Pinelands, Mr. Sullivan was also the first Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection from 1970 to 1974 and was a chief architect of the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan.

The Richard J. Sullivan Center houses two of the Commission's staff offices and hosts Commision meetings and special events such as the Pinelands Speaker Series.

The long-term objectives of the Richard J. Sullivan Center for Environmental Policy and Education are to:

  • foster awareness, appreciation, understanding and commitment to the New Jersey Pinelands;
  • support the mission of the Pinelands Commission to improve the Pinelands Protection Program;
  • better enable those individuals and organizations charged with implementing Pinelands programs to achieve their objectives;
  • provide opportunities for public dialogue to address and discuss planning, scientific and regulatory issues, information and long-term strategies;
  • promote the acceptance of the Richard J. Sullivan Center as a integral social, cultural, and educational component of the Pinelands community; and
  • ensure efficient and effective use of Pinelands programmatic resources.