Rice Creek Field Station slates spring activities

Nature hikes, spring bird watching, chemistry for kids, a search for calling creatures and an environmental workshop highlight upcoming activities through SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station.

A new program titled “Kool Koncoctions for Kids” will show youngsters how to create simple chemical reactions using everyday household items. Kirsten Stanton and Nichole Thibado will lead this hands-on session from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 1. The program is designed for both children and educators. There is a program fee of $5, due with advance registration by March 23.

A series of naturalist-led Rice Creek Rambles—walks introducing participants to the birds, buds, blooms and creatures of the station—will start at 1 p.m. on four Saturdays: April 8 and 29, and May 13 and 20. 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.

Bird watchers of all ages can view one of the premier stops along the Atlantic skyway for migrating birds through a “Waterfowl at Montezuma” program from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Ornithologist Gerry Smith will lead this excursion 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. The program is not designed for children under 16. A fee of $25 includes transportation, with registration required before March 30.

The spring calls of amphibians around the field station provide the soundtrack of “A Peep at Spring” from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22. Pat Carney will lead visitors to listen to the likes of spring peepers and wood frogs and to search for secretive spotted salamanders. Attendees should dress warmly and wear boots for this indoor and outdoor program that will include wetland exploration. An adult must accompany children age 7 or younger. Registration fee is $5, due before April 13.

A hands-on educational “Flying Wild Workshop” will help teachers and youth leaders learn how to introduce children to environmental and conservational lessons. The session, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 6, 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. There is no admission fee for participants, but pre-registration is required before April 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, just west of the main SUNY Oswego entrance.

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CONTACT: Diann Jackson, 312-7961

(Posted: Mar 08, 2006)