Rice Creek Field Station to explore winter wonders

observing natureNature hikes, storytelling sessions, a printmaking program and a birdwatching excursion are among the winter activities scheduled at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station.

Participants will learn how to create simple monotype art during a printmaking session from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 20, at the station. Artist Mary Pierce will lead the program, which costs $15 to attend. Pre-registration is required before Jan. 10. Materials will be provided, although those with rolling pins are encouraged to bring them.

Children can learn about animals, their wild ways and how they relate to humans during three “Nature’s Story Hour” Saturday programs. These free storytelling sessions will begin at 1 p.m. Jan. 20, Feb. 17 and March 17. The tales are tailored to elementary school children, but all are welcome. Adults must accompany kids under 7 years of age.

A series of naturalist-led Rice Creek Rambles—walks introducing participants to the wintertime sights and sounds of the station—will start at 11 a.m. on five Saturdays: Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and 24, and March 10 and 24. Attendees are asked to call on the morning of the hike to check trail conditions. A limited number of snowshoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. An adult must accompany children for this admission-free program.

Bird watchers can take a daylong journey to view wintering birds during the “North Country Hawks” program from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. Ornithologist Gerry Smith will lead this van tour around Central and Northern New York in search of the short-eared owl, snowy owl, bald eagles and other active animals. Participants should dress for wintry outdoor conditions, pack a lunch and bring binoculars if they own them. The fee of $50 includes transportation, with pre-registration required before Jan. 30.

Program size is limited for most events. 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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PHOTO CAPTION: Winter sights—Rice Creek Field Station volunteer Mary Pierce and visitors Ian Smith and Karen Snyder look at evidence of beaver activity during a Rice Creek Ramble last winter.

CONTACT: Diann Jackson, 312-7961

(Posted: Dec 13, 2006)