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Paul Smith's VIC open for the summer season

The Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center is once again open for business after getting the axe during the state's fiscal crisis last year.

The VIC is open for the summer and will operate daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day. The extensive trail system remains free and open to the public.

Regular features at the VIC Visitor's Building will include an art exhibit showing works by local artists, informational presentations, a retail space and a volunteer staffed help desk.

Staff will be available to offer educational, interpretational and recreational activities to visitors. The schedule of activities available at the VIC includes naturalist led hikes and paddles, bird walks, live music, arts & crafts, a trail run series and the popular Butterfly House.

Other events planned for the summer include: Paul Smiths Farmers Market, June 17 through Sept. 23; Summer Solstice Butterfly House Benefit Concert, June 21; VIC grand reopening celebration, June 25; Adirondack Wildlife Festival, Aug. 6; Adirondack Plein Air Festival, Aug. 19; and the Monarchs in the Meadow Concert, Aug. 28.

Brian McDonnell, owners of McDonnell's Adirondack Challenges, is managing the day-to-day operations at the VIC.

"This is just the start of what we'll be doing at the VIC," he said. "It's important that we not only continue the educational programs the VIC has been traditionally known for, but also expand our offerings. We're looking forward to offering interpretive and recreational activities, art exhibits, live music, and more to make the VIC an even more valuable resource for both local residents and visitors to the Adirondacks."

Paul Smith's College took ownership of the VIC building from New York state at the end of 2010. Since then, the college has worked with MAC's to put together an operations plan.

It has also worked closely with the Adirondack Park Institute, a nonprofit organization that has historically supported a range of educational activities at the site such as the butterfly house and programs for schoolchildren.

The college is welcoming suggestions for future activities at the VIC.

Additionally, volunteers are welcome, and organizations are invited to both host meetings at the VIC and even help create new events.

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