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Welcome spring during Nature Preserve celebration

By : Shirley Yi Lin

Binghamton University’s Nature Preserve and Natural Areas will host a Nature Preserve Celebration from Thursday, April 29 to Sunday, May 2. Various events throughout the weekend will include hikes, lectures, presentations and a “tyke hike” for children.
After months of bitter cold, harsh winds and heavy snow, spring has finally shown the first signs of arrival on the Binghamton University campus and people are beginning to flock outdoors.

In an effort to celebrate spring’s arrival while honoring the campus’ natural attractions, Binghamton University’s Nature Preserve and Natural Areas will host a Nature Preserve Celebration from Thursday, April 29 to Sunday, May 2.

“We are trying to make people more aware of the campus’ natural areas and what they to offer,” said Richard Andrus, associate professor of biological sciences. “Springtime is a nice time to do it. There are a lot of birds coming back and the turtles are coming out. It’s a nice place for little kids.”

The celebration, which will include lectures, hikes and nature walks, will be highlighted by a “tyke hyke,” beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 1. BU alumni John Maerz and Victor Lamoureux will lead the tours for children from 3-5 years old and their parents. Children will be able to scan the area for snakes, turtles, bugs, frog eggs and beaver dams.

Lamoureux, a biology teacher at Union-Endicott High School, said the hike will be a great activity for children to receive their first exposure to nature.

“They are at an age where they can walk relatively well,” he said. “A hike in the Nature Preserve is a great way for kids to explore their five senses. They will be able to see things, touch things and smell different plants. It should be a lot of fun.”

Lamoureux began conducting tyke hykes while attending graduate school at Binghamton as part of the Binghamton Outdoor Pursuits program. However, the hikes have not been offered during the past five years. The weekend celebration marks the first grand-scale event to center around the Nature Preserve, Andrus said. Five biology and environmental studies honor students have also chosen the Nature Preserve as the subject for their senior honors project.

“The series of events is intended to build a case for the wonderful resource that is the Nature Preserve, and serve as a small demonstration to students, faculty and the community about everything we can learn from it,” said Lindsey Krecko, a senior psychobiology major participating in the project.

“We want people to realize the importance of recognizing the value of open spaces and natural areas,” Krecko said. “They can offer us so much in the way of information, recreation, relaxation and yet they are often overlooked.”

All events held during the Nature Preserve Celebration are free and open to the public. For more information email Andrus at
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Last Updated: 10/14/08