Rice Creek Field Station sets winter activities

imageWonders of winter stories, snowshoe hikes, studies of wildlife tracks, a waterfowl tour and a workshop are among the winter activities taking place at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station.

“Nature’s Story Hour” will take place at 1 p.m. Saturdays Jan. 29, Feb. 26 and March 26. These sessions invite children and others to gather around the warm tales of animals, their wild ways and how people relate to them. There is no fee for these sessions.

A series of naturalist-led Rice Creek Rambles—hikes among the birds, buds and creatures of the station—will start at 11 a.m. on five Saturdays: Feb. 5, 12 and 19 and March 5 and 19. Participants should call the morning of the hike to check trail conditions. A limited number of snowshoes, which fit most children 10 years of age and older, can be loaned out on a first-come, first-served basis. An adult must accompany children for these admission-free hikes.

Pat Carney will teach how to identify animal tracks and recognize signs of some of Rice Creek’s residents at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22. A hike will follow the indoor session. Participants should dress for the weather and bring a mug and spoon for a hot beverage. An adult must accompany each child under 7 to the event, which has a $5 registration fee. Pre-registration is required by Jan. 14.

Feathered friends of the field will be the focus of “Ducks and Gulls of Oswego Harbor” at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. Ornithologist Gerry Smith will lead a tour of the Oswego Harbor and lower Oswego River. Smith also will discuss the identification, behavior and winter ecology of the species. The program is not recommended for children. Program size is limited and pre-registration is required before Feb. 10. There is a $12 program fee.

“Project Wet,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, will familiarize teachers and youth leaders with activities and lessons that can get students involved in environmental action projects. A curriculum guide and other educational materials from the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation will be provided. Since parts of the workshop may take place outdoors, weather permitting, participants should dress accordingly. There is no fee for the program, but pre-registration is required by March 2.

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, with exhibits and an indoor viewing gallery, is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Trails are open every day for hiking and biking 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 State Route 104, just west of the main SUNY Oswego entrance.

For additional information on any of these programs, or to make reservations, call 312-7961.

Program sizes are limited, so early registration is strongly encouraged for the special sessions.

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(Posted: Dec 08, 2004)