Exploring Nature

Exploring Nature Live

Summer 2020

To support public health and comply with SUNY Oswego directives, we will not be offering Exploring Nature in-person this year. However, this doesn't mean we've stopped exploring! During Summer 2020, join Rice Creek staff member Kristen and associate Paul for weekly live nature programs for kids.

Live programs will be streamed each Tuesday at 2:00 pm from the RCFS Facebook page. Archived videos are available here. You do not need a Facebook account to watch videos. Note that a Facebook account is needed for submitting comments, but this is purely optional.

Children who tune in for at least 5 programs and complete the associated "challenges" described in each video will receive a mailed completion certificate for Exploring Nature 2020. Challenge responses should be emailed to rcfs@oswego.edu. All challenge responses must be received by August 21, 2020.

This program is completely free and open to all children who wish to participate.


Please note that we have kept 2020 dates and links on this webpage as a reference for next year; we ask that you do not register or make payments at this time.

Summer nature program for youth ages 5 to 16

Explore, learn, and play this summer through science activities, games, and nature walks at Rice Creek Field Station. We invite you to experience our state-of-the-art science facility, 350-acre natural area, and 5 miles of trails skirting forests, fields, ponds, and streams.

Exploring Nature is an area tradition, first established in 1983. Our dedicated and passionate instructors have been involved with Exploring Nature for many years, and most are certified teachers.

Children in pavilion  

2020 Schedule

(prior to cancellation, for future reference)

Exploring Nature runs for two weeks each summer. Register for one or both weeks.

Dates program was scheduled for:

  • Week 1: July 6–10, 2020 
  • Week 2: July 13-17, 2020

Daily schedule:

  • Monday through Friday, 9 am to 2 pm. Drop-off begins at 8:45 am.
  • New for 2020: Optional after-care program for participants from 2 to 5 pm. More details below.

Teens in pond Child holding insect


Registration runs from March 1, 2020 to June 20, 2020 (May 31 for scholarship consideration) or once the program has reached capacity.

Online Registration

  • Online fillable registration form (form closed)
  • Online credit card payment link (link removed)

Paper Registration

  • Printable registration form; copies are also available for pickup at Rice Creek Field Station
  • Directions for mailing/dropping off form, immunization records, and payment provided at the bottom of the form


  • Per week, standard rate: $150
  • Per week, Rice Creek Associates member rate: $130
  • Per week, after-care from 2 to 5 pm: $60

Note: There is a $25 fee per child per week for withdrawing from the program if we receive written notification by June 20 that your child cannot attend. Due to instructor plans, we will not issue refunds after June 20.


Full and partial scholarships are available based on financial need through generous funding from Rice Creek Associates and private donors. Families can apply for a scholarship using our regular registration form. We will notify families of their scholarship decision by June 5 and payment (if any remaining) will be due by June 20, the registration deadline.

Kids in a stream

After care

New this year, we are providing optional daycare for program participants from 2 to 5 pm. This is a time for monitored free play, with no formal programming. We will provide a safe space, books, puzzles, games, and a snack for participants enrolled in after care. After care costs $60 per week (just $4 per hour).


Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have additional questions? Please contact us at rcfs@oswego.edu or (315) 312-6677.

Child with muddy hands