Ithaca College Campus Nature Rx provides learners with resources for improving emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and environmental wellness through a connection with nature.
The natural world is a lifetime resource, and members of the IC community have many opportunities to engage with it in the local area—from the IC Natural Lands, to campus green spaces like Muller Pond, to parks and gorges in the wider Ithaca area. By establishing a regular relationship with nature, IC students, faculty, and staff can support wellness.
Ithaca College Campus Nature Rx is an extension of the national Nature Rx movement that strives to improve the health of students and community members by connecting them with the outdoors. Our goal, and the wider goal of Nature Rx, is to foster lifelong relationships between people and nature that will improve both human health and the health of the environment.
Ithaca College is unique in having access to many natural areas including on the campus Natural Lands and off-campus parks and hiking trails. We aim to engage students with these spaces and educate them on the health benefits of being outdoors through a wide range of activities. Having come from many different backgrounds, IC students have different levels of familiarity with the natural world, and our goal is to help students form connections with the local environment regardless of prior experiences.
In an increasingly disconnected and digital world, we encourage members of the IC community to pause to engage with the natural world. We work closely with the Ithaca College Natural Lands to encourage learners to use natural spaces for socialization and recreation and we coordinate and promote activities related to nature, leisure, and health. Our goal is to help all students find a way to experience nature in a way that interests them.
As climate change becomes an increasingly important issue that will define the next few decades it is crucial that students are able to understand our cultural impact on the environment and their own place in it. This means making environmentally conscious decisions and questioning the current systems in place that have impacted climate change. We provide resources for students to learn about these topics and the space to encourage sustainable relationships with nature.
Research shows that spending time outside reduces stress, boots immunization, improves physical health, and makes an individual more environmentally conscious. We encourage members of the IC community to make time in nature part of their daily routines, establishing a lifelong practice of mindful, healthful time in the natural world.
Establishing or reestablishing a mindful relationship with nature is particularly important to heal from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We connect students with resources to help them explore their own connection with nature and define their own place in it.