NEWCOMB - The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry took over programming at the newly named Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb Jan. 1, expanding services to both visitors and area residents with programs that will explore science, recreation, natural history and culture.
The interpretive center at ESF's Huntington Wildlife Forest in Newcomb will remain open all winter, with 3.6 miles of trails available for those wishing to snowshoe, cross-country ski or look for signs of winter wildlife. Trails are open dawn to dusk daily.
The interpretive center's main building is scheduled to be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, providing a place for visitors to warm up and watch winter birds, such as finches, nuthatches and boreal migrants, at the feeders outside the lobby windows. However, during this transitional period, the building might be closed occasionally during those hours. Visitors wishing to ensure the building is open when they arrive are advised to check in advance by calling 582-2000.
The facility was formerly operated by the Adirondack Park Agency and was known as the Visitor Interpretive Center. When ESF assumed ownership, the name was changed to reflect both its location and its mission to serve regional residents as well as visitors from beyond the park's boundaries.
"We want to carry forward the legacy of the Adirondack Park Agency's interpretive program," said Paul Hai, an educator with ESF's Adirondack Ecological Center, who is planning programs for the interpretive center. "We want the facility to be more than a nature center. We want to offer educational and recreational programs that are based on a foundation of natural history and science."
Hai is finalizing plans for three programs that will be among those held next spring and summer.
• Fly-fishing: A series of workshops will explore the natural history of fish and the culture of fly fishing and teach fly-fishing techniques. Participants will have an opportunity to fish waters in the Huntington Wildlife Forest that are otherwise inaccessible to the public. Participants can choose to attend one session or all in the series, which will be held periodically through the spring and summer.
• "Working Forests Working for You": This series will bring experts to the center for programs and presentations on various aspects of forestry and the forest products industry, from silviculture to forest management and pulp and paper mill operation.
• "Northern Lights": This series on luminaries in the Adirondacks will include presentations on famous people whose work had a relationship with the Adirondacks. Subjects will include John Burroughs, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Winslow Homer.
Other programs include professional development workshops, a series exploring the role the Adirondacks in modern philosophy, a book club and canoe skills training.
For more information about the Adirondack Interpretive Center, go to www.esf.edu/aic.