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SUNY Potsdam WISER Center Hosts ‘Escape from Winter’ Event

February 14, 2023

SUNY Potsdam’s Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research Welcomes Public for Open House on Feb. 24 

SUNY Potsdam’s Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research will host a WISER Escape from Winter event all day on Friday, Feb. 24.

SUNY Potsdam’s Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research and the Department of Biology will host a WISER Escape from Winter event on Friday, Feb. 24. All are welcome to join and get your mind into spring in the dead of winter! 

Visitors can stop by events in the WISER Greenhouse and the Barrington Student Union throughout the day, and attend hands-on workshops on plant care, hydroponics, and how to care for your indoor plants. The day will be filled with fun educational events and activities, as follows: 

WISER Escape from Winter: Friday, Feb. 24 

Barrington Student Union Lobby: 

  • Food security tabling (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.): Local non-profit organizations will have tables in the lobby and will be available to share information on efforts to improve food security in the North Country. 

  • Paint a pot, pick a plant, take a plate (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.): The women’s rugby club has sponsored this plant sale event, which also gives visitors the opportunity to paint the pot and choose a plate for their new plant—a great deal for a small donation. 

WISER Greenhouse (Stowell Hall Room 205) 

  • Office plants and how to care for them (10 to 11 a.m.): WISER Coordinator Ray Bowdish ’87 will give a hands-on workshop to help you develop a “green thumb” in your office. 

  • Plant propagation workshop (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.): WISER staff members Ren Bridgeford and Melanie Heidman will guide visitors through the steps of making cuttings and transplanting propagated plants, in this excellent “how to” hands-on session. 

  • Open greenhouse (12 to 2 p.m.): The WISER Center and Greenhouse will be open for casual tours. Members of the staff will be present to answer questions about the facilities and its activities. 

  • Aeroponic garden workshop (1 to 2 p.m.): Student intern Harper Barrett will guide a hands-on workshop showing participants how to construct and plant a Tower Garden. 

  • Wander around the WISER tour (4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.).  Stop in for a casual tour and Q&A session about the WISER Center facilities and activities. 

  • Greenhouse 101 (6 to 8 p.m.): WISER Coordinator Ray Bowdish ’78 will share his more than 40 years of experience to demonstrate how modern greenhouses operate. The benefits and challenges of growing in controlled environments will be addressed, and participants will be encouraged to operate environmental controls and irrigation equipment. 

Stowell Hall Room 218 & WISER Greenhouse 

  • Good bugs and bad bugs (2 to 4 p.m.): Dr. Robert Snyder will guide participants in insect identification and convince you of the real benefits of bugs! 

Questions regarding this event can be directed to Ray Bowdish or Sara Peabody at (315) 267-2264, or via email to 

WISER Coordinator Ray Bowdish ’87 (left) will lead several workshops and sessions during the WISER Escape from Winter event at SUNY Potsdam on Feb. 24.

For more information about the Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research at SUNY Potsdam, visit 

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Biology is grounded in the principle that every student should receive a quality education fitting their interests. Undergraduate research is embraced, with opportunities for hands-on learning in the fields of ecology, evolutionary biology, cell and molecular biology, environmental science, and anatomy and physiology. The department also operates the Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research. For more information, visit 

About SUNY Potsdam:  

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit 

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Alexandra Jacobs Wilke 315-267-2918

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