Field station announces fall's nature programs

Nature hikes, a program on monarch butterflies, a bird-watching excursion and a session on ecology education are among the autumn activities at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station.

Nature lovers can learn more about the monarch butterfly and search for a colony of the colorful creatures during “Monarchs Rule,” 12:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9. Naturalist Pat Carney will lead the lessons and hike to the station’s Milkweed Meadow. Pre-registration and a $6 program fee are required before Sept. 1.

A series of naturalist-led Rice Creek Rambles—walks introducing participants to the birds, buds, blooms and other denizens of the station—will start at 1 p.m. on seven Saturdays: Sept. 16 and 23, Oct. 7 and 21, Nov. 4 and 18, and Dec. 2. Attendees are asked to call on the morning of the hike to check trail conditions. An adult must accompany children for this admission-free program.

A hands-on educational workshop, titled “Below Zero: Activities to Teach Winter Ecology,” will help teachers and youth leaders learn how to introduce children to ecological and conservation lessons in frozen environments. The session, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, will feature outdoor activities if weather permits. Participants will receive an activity guide and other environmental education materials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The admission fee is $16, and pre-registration is required before Oct. 4.

Bird watchers of all ages can view one of the premier stops along the Atlantic skyway for migrating birds during “Waterfowl at Montezuma,” a program from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4. Ornithologist Gerry Smith will lead this field trip to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in Cayuga County to see tundra swans, bald eagles and other feathered friends. Participants should dress for cool and windy conditions, pack a lunch and bring binoculars if they own
them. A fee of $25 includes transportation, with registration required before Oct. 27.

Program size is limited for most workshops. For additional information on any program or to make reservations, call 312-7961.

Rice Creek Field Station includes the 26-acre Rice Pond surrounded by 400 acres of land ranging from open fields to forests. The research building is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Trails are open every day from dawn to dusk.

The field station accommodates the general public and serves as a center for college courses and research. It is located on Thompson Road a quarter-mile south of Route 104 and the main SUNY Oswego campus.

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(Posted: Aug 18, 2006)