Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rubber Loons Flocking Back to Adirondacks

ESF loonThe Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) celebrates the beginning of spring with plans for its second rubber loon race, billed as the only event of its kind in the United States. “Common loons migrate back to their breeding grounds in the Adirondacks in the spring. Our rubber loons will be back in action, too,” AIC Program Coordinator Paul Hai said.

Dubbed the “Loon Drive,” the race will be a highlight of the Memorial Day Weekend festivities that celebrate the AIC’s second year of operation as part of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Newcomb Campus. The college took ownership of the facility in 2011. The loon race last year used American-made rubber waterfowl manufactured by CelebriDucks of California.

This year’s race will be part of a daylong event called Loons and Logs, which focuses on the two most iconic symbols of human and natural history in the Adirondacks.

Hai said the “Loon Drive” will be reminiscent of the log drives that used to clog nearby Rich Lake every spring with harvested trees being transported out of the forest and down the Hudson River to mills in Glens Falls.

The Loon Drive will begin at 3 p.m. May 25, when the loons drop into the outlet and float 425 yards down the Rich Lake outlet. Prizes will be awarded to those who sponsored the winning loons; other prizes will be awarded through a drawing. All proceeds will support educational programs at the AIC.

Anyone wishing to sponsor a loon in the race, or purchase a loon to keep, should visit the AIC online at www.esf.edu/aic.  For additional information on the race and other Loons and Logs day events call the AIC at 518-582-2000.

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