SUNY Oswego's Rice Creek Field Station will offer a diverse array of free community programs this fall, spanning astronomy to arts and crafts, and serving both youths and adults.

The lineup includes:

  • Trick-or-Trail: A family-friendly Halloween event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, will feature a treats trail (no scares), a scary trail, crafts and seasonal refreshments. Sturdy shoes or boots are recommended.
  • Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing: Visitors will enjoy a short lecture at noon on Saturday, Oct. 14, followed by a safe viewing of the partial eclipse through solar glasses and portable telescopes outfitted for solar viewing from noon to 2:30 p.m.
  • Telescope Observation Nights: Visitors will gaze through Rice Creek’s large 16-inch telescope inside the rotating dome to view celestial objects like the moon, bright planets, galaxies and nebulae. Since clear weather is required, visitors should call 315.312.6620 after 6 p.m. on the evening of each program to hear a recorded weather update. Viewing will take place Fridays through Sundays, Oct 20 to 22, from 7 to 9 p.m.; and Dec. 15 to 17, from 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Story Walk — "The Very Last Leaf": Thanks to a partnership with Oswego Public Library, visitors can enjoy a new Story Walk for the Fall season. Visitors will read about Lance Cottonwood, a leaf who is afraid to fall, while walking the Green Trail, an easy 0.75-mile loop. The session is ongoing and self-guided; the trail starts near the building entrance.
  • Tree Seedling Giveaway: The Canal Forest Restoration Project at Rice Creek will give away hundreds of free 8- to 12-inch native tree seedlings, including white oak, swamp white oak, and tupelo from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct 27, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 28, while supplies last.
  • Pod Critters: Junior Naturalist Program: Young nature lovers and their families are invited to this monthly themed program. November’s theme is “pod critters” –- where young visitors will have the chance to collect and use natural plant materials to make animal figurines. The program is offered twice on Saturday, Nov 4: from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Experience Rice Creek: Current Discoveries, Research and Projects: This event, hosted by Rice Creek Associates, is Rice Creek’s annual event to share scholarship with the public. The event features a social hour followed by presentations from scholars and researchers awarded small grants in 2023. Presentations this year will discuss the establishment of a bird banding station, an art-science project involving insect diversity and crochet, and a project related to emerald ash borer biocontrol. Participants can join in person or by Zoom. The event on Saturday, Nov 11, will feature a social facet from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by presentations from 2 to 4 p.m. RSVPs are requested but not required for in-person attendees to by Nov 6.
  • Guided Nature Walks: Let Rice Creek's naturalists be your guides to exploring the fields, forests and wetlands of Rice Creek Field Station. Participants are encouraged to keep their eyes open for discoveries and ask questions along the way. Walks will take place on Saturdays, except the first Saturday of the month, from 11 a.m. to noon.
  • Exploring Evergreens: Junior Naturalist Program: Young nature lovers and their families are invited for a nature walk to learn more about evergreen trees and how to identify them. Use of all senses, including smell, is encouraged. This program is offered twice on Saturday, Dec 2: from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

For all outdoor events, visitors are encouraged to dress for sun and tick protection and wear boots or sturdy shoes due to occasional muddy spots along trails. Additionally, at all events, children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

To learn more about any of these events or to sign up for Rice Creek’s monthly program email list, visit

Rice Creek Field Station’s visitor building hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The station’s five miles of trails are open from dawn to dusk every day. Visitors are asked to please keep pets on a leash and to respect the station’s policy of no fishing, hunting or trapping on the property.

A unit of SUNY Oswego, Rice Creek Field Station is committed to advancing environmental and science education and research. The 350-acre property, composed of fields, forests and wetlands, is a living laboratory for understanding the natural world. Rice Creek serves the SUNY Oswego community and is also open to the general public. To learn more, visit