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Nature center offers educational programs

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The June 19 issue of the Times featured an article on the “Nature-Up-North” initiative that gave the impression that there is no active nature center in the north country. This clearly is not the case. By way of clarification, and as many of your readers know, the Indian Creek Nature Center (ICNC) in Rensselaer Falls puts on annual spring, fall-winter educational programs and field trips at the center and the surrounding area.

A not-for-profit organization, the Nature Center promotes and provides an accessible setting for nature education and appreciation. Importantly, the ICNC runs half to full-day events for area schools in the late spring. This year, over 200 school students experienced hands-on immersion into various aspects of the natural world and its conservation using the center’s facilities of ponds, woods, and trails.

Our Conservation Day for sixth-graders has been an annual event for over 45 years, which translates into thousands of students over the years. We continually strive to improve our facilities as well as maintain them. Over the past couple of years we have constructed new trails, produced a large illustrated entrance trail map, trail signs illustrating points of interest, a self-guided trail pamphlet and a bird-count pamphlet. And, in the late summer we will be building a new upper and lower lakes shelter and overlook. We are hardly inactive.

I suspect that the unfortunate misleading comment occurred from the fact that the Nature-Up-North initiative (which we fully support) emphasizes the lack of permanent educational natural history exhibits in our area, and is attempting to remediate this by taking the innovative approach of creating web virtual exhibits. Clearly this is not the aim of the Indian Creek Nature Center. We have no building housing permanent exhibits, and are unlikely to pursue that path in the future.

We hope that many of you will visit us.

John Bursnall

Rensselaer Falls

The writer is president of Indian Creek Nature Center.

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