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October 25, 2013

A Perfect Time to Visit Rice Creek Field Station

More than 50 different herbs are planted in the herb garden at Rice Creek Field Station, which is dedicated to Ruth Sachidanandan.

OSWEGO - After 15 months of construction, Rice Creek Field Station at SUNY Oswego opened its gates to students and the community in late August. The newly designed, energy-efficient facility is a beautiful site and now is the perfect time to visit with the fall foliage in the background.

"We are here for the college and the community as a whole," said Diann Jackson, assistant director at Rice Creek. "This fall, we have students conducting field studies as well as Saturday tours by our staff. We are offering a new program called "Sharing Science" and the return of our popular Rice Creek Rambles seasonal trail walks."

Rice Creek Field Station first opened in 1966. The new construction project marks the first time changes were made to the original building. The new facility has more than doubled in size and is more environmentally friendly. Over 20 percent of the building is built from recycled, sustainable and refurbished materials including the desks which are made from bamboo. Forty percent of the electrical needs also come from the huge solar panels on the roof.

The facility consists of five new exhibit cases at the entrance. They feature unique butterflies and moths, student's research projects and gorgeous Rice Creek photographs from photographer and chemistry professor, Joe LeFevre. The building also has a new astronomical observatory with a 16 inch reflecting telescope for star watches and astronomy students. Other interesting things to see are two rain gardens, an herb garden with over 50 species of herbs and the bathrooms which are solar-powered and "smart" as well.

Rice Creek Field Station is located on Thompson Road off of Route 104 just a mile from SUNY Oswego. It is open to students and the community Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It is made up of 400 acres of land including a 26-acre pond and four hiking trails used for biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and dog walking (leashes must be worn). A new pavilion, made from cedar wood, offers shade and a great place to have a picnic.

Rice Creek offers events every Saturday for the public to learn about different aspects of wildlife from birding to science. For more information on these events and the Rice Creek Field Station, please visit www.oswego.edu/ricecreek or call 315-312-6677.

Rice Creek Field Station is a model of energy-efficiency with its rooftop mounted solar Photovoltaic (PV) system.


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