Making Lake Hopatcong a Classroom

The Lake Hopatcong Foundation provides full-day field trips for fourth- and fifth-graders at Hopatcong State Park. During their visit, students are given an opportunity to discover the lake by boat and its surroundings on foot. The purpose of the field trip program is to teach students about Lake Hopatcong, lake ecology and the importance of water for life on earth.

Field trip activities

Students experience four different activity sessions led by Lake Hopatcong Foundation staff and volunteers.

  • Hands-on learning aboard the Floating Classroom – Students are taken aboard the floating classroom for hands-on learning about lake ecology and water quality which will include testing for water quality with secchi disks; measuring pH levels, dissolved oxygen, and temperature; and viewing water samples through microscopes to see live phytoplankton.
  • Macroinvertebrate sampling in the Musconetcong River – Students learn about aquatic macroinvertebrates and how to determine water quality through exploration of the Musconetcong River.
  • Discovery hike through Hopatcong State Park – Students are introduced to the role development and forested areas play in the health of the lake environment.
  • Interactive watershed model – Students learn about watersheds and how to keep our water clean through an EnviroScape demonstration.

Nearly 800 students participated in our educational field trips last spring. For more information about our 2019 field trip program, please contact