Nature group promotes student outdoor recreation
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 00:09
Many students may try to go work out at the Miami University Recreational Sports Center (Rec.) but are unable to find a machine or can’t find space and don’t know where else to go. A new initiative on campus, Project Participate, has emerged this year to show students that there are options outside of the Rec Center.
At the beginning of this year, three students all had similar ideas of ways to promote the use of places around campus and outdoor activities.
“I’ve tried working out in the Rec Center and it’s just an overflow and it’s way too crowded,” junior Lark Weber, one of the students who started the organization, said. “We want people to take advantage of the beautiful places [around campus].”
The organization wants to promote places like Hueston Woods and other trails for hiking around campus, sophomore Lauren Ross, co-founder of the organization said.
It hopes to, in a way, relieve the Rec Center from having so many students show up and to show students there are other places to go to be outside and enjoy nature, Karly Geller, the organization’s professor advisor, said.
“A lot of Miami students enjoy going Uptown and drinking and partying and I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Ross said. “But when you go out every weekend it gets monotonous and kind of boring; I want people to know there are other options.”
The organization is still in the works and the students have not decided if their main goal is to raise awareness of different options to participate in outdoor activities or to get together with other organizations on campus and make a yearly event, such as a camping trip, to Hueston Woods, Ross said.
According to Ross, for her it’s about getting people outside and enjoying nature, whereas maybe for the other students involved in the project it is partially to get students to exercise and get their BMI index down.
“The physical activity part, for me personally, that’s not my main goal,” Ross said. “We just want to get people outside and realize there are so many other things out here that people don’t even know about.”
Bob Feldman, known in the Oxford hiking and biking community as Biker Bob, is working as an advisor to the students who are working on Project Participate. Feldman said there are so many options out there like canoeing, rock climbing courses and hikathons and that the goal of the project is to raise awareness of all these activities that students may not know exist.
The organization is still in the early stages and is still trying to figure out what its main goal is and what they would like to accomplish, whether it be to hold events or promote other options for students who might feel like there’s not a whole lot to do.
“You get all these different ideas from all these different places and you get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing,” Ross said about the number of flyers and organizations available to students to participate in outdoor activities.
“We just want to let people know what’s out there,” Ross said. “We’re not sure if we want to be a club or organization yet, but we’re really looking for the ability to raise awareness.”