Smart See, Smart Do: Binghamton University

How many laboratories can offer 182 acres and 200 species of birds?

Binghamton University Nature Preserve

 Photo by Johnathan Cohen, Binghamton University

When visiting college campuses, something that cannot be said for most schools is that you should make sure to check out their science labs. At New York's Binghamton University, however, you’d be missing out on a major attraction if you didn’t stop by. That’s because the university’s most exciting, interactive lab comes in the form of a nearly 200-acre nature preserve.

The Nature Preserve is comprised of 182 completely undeveloped acres of the campus’s 900 total acres. It features 20 acres of wetland, a hemlock forest and oak woodlands, many species of invertebrates, a diverse population of amphibians and reptiles, many mammals including deer, beaver, fox, mink, muskrat, porcupines and small rodents. Additionally, over 200 species of birds have been sited on the preserve. Not only does the site allow students an invaluable and practical learning opportunity, but it also affords students, faculty and members of the community the convenience of hiking and trail-walking experiences. The stunning preserve is the perfect aesthetically pleasing study atmosphere, and a site students found worth fighting for.

In the fall of 1969 protests against the proposed use of the preserve for athletic fields arose around campus, causing quite the legendary uprising. Though parts of the wetland had already began to be filled in, the students’ and faculty’s passionate push against the movement halted any further progress, and the land was deemed a preserve. The 1999 acquisition of 72 acres put the official measurement to 182 acres, though most of the Binghamton community considers much of the campus’s surrounding land to be part of the beautiful landscape. The fight it took to maintain the land’s natural state is one that has benefited campus life immensely, making it uniquely beautiful and offering advantageous field experience for many students.

Guided campus tours are available by registration at the Binghamton visitor's page, or, if you’d prefer, print out a map and take a self guided tour. Also offered on the visitor’s page is a virtual tour. To contact the admissions office call 607-777-2171.

Binghamton University State University of New York
PO BOX 6000
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

Planning to visit Binghamton University? Click here to search for a nearby hotel. Be sure to check out Travel Tips to help you plan your college visit. You may also download or print our free Smart College Visit evaluation for to help keep track of all of your campus visits.




Valerie McGinnis is a freelance writer and student at Liberty University. Val will graduate in 2011 with a degree in English. Smart See, Smart Do™ is a regular series appearing on