For some students, having a chance to go out and to engage in an outdoor environment is a rejuvenating way to take a break from academics. This is partly what drew geography major and Nature Walk Club president junior Sarah Kowalski to the Nature Walk Club. The club is composed of environmentally-conscious students, faculty and staff who share a similar appreciation for nature.
Nature Walk Club provides an opportunity for individuals to get outside and immerse themselves in nature. According to their Facebook page, their mission is “to establish, solidify and maintain the essential relationship between individuals and nature.”
Beyond that, the club also serves as a tool for education and preservation with both student and faculty-led nature walks. These walks often take place at the Spencer J. Roemer Arboretum or elsewhere at off-campus locations such as Finger Lakes Trail, Stony Brook State Park and Letchworth State Park.
“Since I was little, I would go on outdoor walks with my grandma, so it’s nice to be able to find the same thing here,” Kowalski said.
Geneseo Nature Walk Club often collaborates with other clubs and organizations on campus––such as the Office of Sustainability––in order to bring events to the campus community. For example, the club has teamed up with associate professor of biology and Spencer J. Roemer Arboretum Advisory Board chair Jennifer Apple to partake in invasive species removal and native seed planting.
Nature Walk Club also hosted Ephemeral Arts Festival in conjunction with Art Club in October. Students expressed themselves through art by only using materials found in nature at the arboretum. Photos of the artwork were displayed in the Kinetic Gallery.
Other collaborative events that the club has done in the past include working with Yoga Club to hold a session at the arboretum.
In their official description, the club noted that they aim to provide a “transformational learning experience” and to stress the “importance of maintaining healthy, symbiotic relationships” with nature. These concepts have been explored through events like their recent White Pine Tea walk.
“Students took an educational walk to explore some white pine trees in the arboretum,” Nature Walk Club vice president sophomore Sophie Boka said. “At the end, we picked some pines and used them to make tea.”
According to Kowalski and Boka, the club is made up of a wide variety of students from many different majors. Boka expressed her hopes to see more faculty and staff get involved, especially with leading the nature walks.
“And that’s the beauty of it—anyone can come with whatever they can offer,” she said.