Rice Creek winter lineup invites public to ‘Celebrate Snow!’

The field station at Rice Creek, pictured above, will hold its “Celebrate Snow!” festival this Saturday. The family friendly event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

SUNY-aligned nature center to hold frosty festival this Saturday

OSWEGO — One of Oswego County’s premier outdoors destinations is gearing up for another year of  showcasing the beauty and grandeur of local nature.

Officials for SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station  say the renowned facility has planned a full lineup of free and low-cost nature events this January through March. Highlighting the season is “Celebrate Snow!,” a snow-themed, family-friendly festival this Saturday, Jan 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Activities include hands-on projects and crafts, snow animal sculpting, mammal tracking on snowshoes, a presentation on the science of snow and more as “Celebrate Snow” will provide different perspectives on snow and winter, from history and literature to science and recreation. Tickets are just a dollar through the campus box office online (tickets.oswego.edu) and also available at the event, officials said. For full event details, visit calendar.oswego.edu/event/celebratesnow.

On the evening of Saturday, Feb. 8, visitors are invited for a guided Full Moon Owl Prowl on snowshoes beginning at 7 p.m.. Adult-sized snowshoes are available to participants. Space is limited, so those interested are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.

The Rice Creek Ramble, a free guided nature walk, will be offered at 11 a.m. on the following Saturdays: Jan. 4, 11 and 25; Feb. 1, 8, 22 and 29; and Mar. 7, 21 and 28. Winter topics include mammal tracks, winter birds and winter tree identification. Adult-sized snowshoes are available to participants.

Rice Creek also offers special Saturday indoor events, including two special Story Hours for children: one with a Valentine’s Day theme (Feb. 15 at 11 a.m.) and one with a maple syrup theme (Mar. 14 at 11 a.m.). A naturalist will read a nature storybook related to the theme and lead a craft or activity for participants. Participants should call 315-312-6677 to sign up for these free events.

A third indoor event invites all board game lovers to drop by for nature-themed board gaming between 1 and 3 p.m. on Feb. 22. Games appropriate for younger and older children will be available.

Visitors are also invited to be citizen scientists through Project Feederwatch. Nature lovers can drop in Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and spend a few minutes watching birds and recording what they see. A naturalist can help with bird identification.

Rice Creek’s five miles of hiking trails are open daily dawn until dusk. Building hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Located on nearly 400 acres of mixed terrain accessible from Thompson Road, Rice Creek Field Station has served as a living and working laboratory and educational facility for more than 50 years. In 2013, the facility opened a 7,700-square-foot, state-of-the-art visitor center.

For more information, visit oswego.edu/rice-creek or call 315-312-6677.

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