Rice Creek Field Station showcasing winter wonders

Nature hikes, storytelling sessions, a snowshoe outing and a bluebird workshop are among the winter activities scheduled at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station.

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. 19, Feb. 16 and March 15. 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 six Saturdays: Jan. 26, Feb. 23, and March 1, 8, 22 and 29. 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.

“Walkers of the Snow,” at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, will feature a quick snowshoe lesson followed by a nature hike. Naturalist Pat Carney will lead snowshoe instruction and a search for the traces of wildlife at Rice Creek, followed by an indoor warm-up with hot chocolate. A limited number of snowshoes are available for those who do not own them. Cost is $6, or $10 for two people, with pre-registration required by Jan. 16.

Participants can learn about the state’s official songbird and how to build nest boxes for these feathered friends during “Bluebirds in Your Yard” at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9. John Rogers of the New York State Bluebird Society will discuss the eastern bluebirds’ natural history, current struggle for survival and how to encourage them to nest. Attendees can use pre-cut lumber to make their own nest boxes, with cost for this material included in a $10 program fee. Additional boxes are available for making and/or taking for $6 each. Those not wanting to make a nest box may attend for $5. Pre-registration is required by Jan. 30, and participants should bring their own hammers.

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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CONTACT: Diann Jackson, 312-7961

(Posted: Jan 02, 2008)