Monday, 18 August 2014 00:00

Fall Programs to Begin at Rice Creek Field Station

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     SUNY Oswego's Rice Creek Field Station will offer informational science programs, nature stories, guided walks and bird banding, all free and open to the public, this fall.

     The first of three Sharing Science presentations, each of which will take place at 11 a.m. on a Saturday, will help kick off the season on Sept. 13. Educator Erica Schreiner and district forester Joe Chairvolotti of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District will discuss the emerald ash borer. Following an information-sharing session, the district staff will lead participants on a short walk focusing on how to identify ash trees and potential lookalikes.

     The sessions will focus on recent work and resources, making the information available to children, families, teachers and youth leaders, according to Dr. Diann C. Jackson, administrator of programs at Rice Creek Field Station. Since program size is limited, the "Sharing Science" sessions cannot accommodate groups, and adults must accompany children.

     On Oct. 11, the program will offer "Composting Fundamentals," helping participants sort out whether they need to create a bin, pile or tumbler; the key ingredients for healthy compost; and why Rice Creek Field Station uses a three-bin system. Attendees are invited to share tips for successful composting at home.

     "Attracting Birds to Your Yard" on Dec. 6 will consider how to enhance one's yard to encourage birds to visit, stay and return.

     Bird banding will resume at Rice Creek, located on Thompson Road, about a mile south of State Route 104. Visitors to Rice Creek are welcome to observe birds in hand during capture, banding and release of resident and migrating songbirds.

     Visitors also can tour the field station and adjacent Ruth Sachidanandan Herb Garden from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The new field station, dedicated last year, is a $5.5 million, 7,700-square-foot, energy-efficient research facility and headquarters featuring labs, offices, an adjacent observatory, a new pavilion and other features.

     Rambles and stories

     Family-friendly Rice Creek Rambles will take place at 11 a.m. on six Saturdays this fall: Sept. 27, Oct. 4 and 25, Nov. 8 and 22 and Dec. 13. A naturalist will lead walks to explore trails and wetlands to see the changes that autumn brings to the property's 400 acres of diverse terrain.

     Those planning to attend should call 315-312-6677 the morning of each hike to check trail conditions. Adults must accompany children, and a limit on program size means the hikes cannot accommodate groups.

     Designed for elementary schoolchildren, Story Hour -- tales of nature, animals' wild ways and humans' relation to the world around them -- will take place at 11 a.m. on three Saturdays this fall. An adult needs to accompany children.

     Poetry of the season will inspire children Sept. 20 as they take a short "Wild Words Walk" to help them create tales of their own.

     On Oct. 18, "Indian Tales for Little Folks" by W.F. Phillips will introduce young participants to Native American animal stories and legends in pictures and words.

     "A Coming of Winter to the Adirondacks" by Brian Heinz and illustrated by artist Maggie Henry of Oswego, on Nov. 15, will help youngsters learn more about the signs of the changing seasons.

     The trails of Rice Creek are open seven days a week during daylight hours. Rice Creek Field Station will be open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 24 and 9 to 3 a.m. Oct. 25 for SUNY Oswego's Family and Friends Weekend.

     For more information -- including a new interactive map of Rice Creek and its trails -- visit or call 315-312-6677.

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