Touch of Nature Environmental Center is a unit in the division of Student Affairs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is home to experiential education programs that utilize the many natural resources on and around its 3,100 acres located in beautiful Southern Illinois. These programs offer opportunities in both adventure and environmental education, and meet the needs for a wide range of groups, businesses and organizations. Touch of Nature is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art educational, recreational and professional development to our customers.
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Adventure Education provides innovative team building and leadership development programs, rock climbing sessions, a high ropes course, two ziplines, a portable climbing wall, canoeing, backpacking, day camps and overnight camps, and various outdoor education programs to meet your group's needs. Program designs range in focus from leadership development, personal skills growth, technical outdoor living skills, community development, and certifications and trainings. Our professionally-trained instructors facilitate groups and participants through challenge course programs and adventure-based activities.
Environmental Education offers exciting outdoor learning experiences in natural resource education, nature interpretation and resource management. Programs are designed to increase environmental awareness, appreciation for the outdoors and community stewardship for our lands. Our environmental education staff offer numerous educational programs, provide teacher trainings, coordinate stewardship and service projects and can design programs according to your group's needs
Therapeutic Recreation provides recreational opportunities to individuals experiencing physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. Programs like our award-winning and American Camp Association accredited Camp Little Giant have been offering recreation therapy to children and adults at Touch of Nature since the 50's. Our staff, led by a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, aims to help participants improve life skills, develop social connections, boost self-esteem and increase independence.
Veteran Adventures is a veteran program started by SIU's Touch of Nature Environmental Center. Our mission is to help ease the transition from military life to civilian life through powerful wilderness expeditions and events. Our aim is to: foster a healthy veteran community, present challenging and adventurous opportunities to strengthen bonds between veterans, offer an alternative to mental health assistance without the stigma of traditional mental health avenues, and show support and gratitude for the sacrifice that our servicemen and women have made.