Environmental Education | Touch of Nature Environmental Center | SIU

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Touch of Nature Environmental Center

SIU's Outdoor Laboratory and Retreat Center

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Environmental Education Main Content

As one of the Midwest's leading facilitators of outdoor education, Touch of Nature Environmental Center offers exciting outdoor learning experiences in natural resource education, nature interpretation and resource management. Our courses are designed to increase environmental awareness, appreciation and stewardship.

Programs are offered to meet the specific needs of all interested parties including schools, scout groups, science and environmental clubs, teachers, as well as community, church and university organizations. Program content includes information from numerous areas such as natural history, ecological concepts, resource management, environmental issues and basic wilderness skills.  

Your Touch of Nature experience can be designed to supplement and enrich classroom curricula or enhance youth group experiences. With nature as your classroom, it can provide insight to groups of all ages and backgrounds. You are encouraged to request a program that serves your specific needs.

Programs and Curriculum

Land-Based Activities

Piney Creek Ravine

Our Environmnetal Education programs provide an ideal learning environment for students and other program participants. Our hands-on learning approach engages students in the world around them, creates a connection to the environment and in return builds strong stewards of the land. Click HERE to see our hiking, backpacking and classroom programs.

Custom Programs

Custom Programs

If you do not see what you are looking for from our Environmental Education department, do not be afraid to ask. Our skilled environmental education team can craft a program that fits your needs. Combine the educational components you get from hikes and paddles with overnight stays, owl prowls, campfire programs and even team building sessions. Click HERE to see what we've done for other groups.

Water-Based Activities

Cache River Wetlands

There aren't too many better ways to explore the natural world in southern Illinois than by boat! Our Environmental Education program can you get you out there on the water, learning about the unique ecology in this area and done safely by our American Canoe Association canoe trained guides. To see what programs we offer, click HERE.

Teacher Training

Teacher Training in the Learning Center

Our environmental education programs aren't just for children, teens and college students. Touch of Nature offers a handful of teacher trainings that last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. Stream Discovery Workshops, Leave No Trace trainings, Project Learning Tree and Project Wet are just a few names of the trainings we provide. Click HERE to see more.