Natural World

Being outside in nature for just 20 minutes in a day is enough to boost vitality levels in college students. How much time do you spend outdoors? Do you feel better after being outdoors? There are endless opportunities to take advantage of nature. How do you appreciate the beauty of nature?

" Life is a paradise for those who love many things with a passion."

Leo Buscaglia

Looking Back:
A Self-Reflection

How would you describe your relationship with the natural world?
Check out our worksheet.

Quiz Ideas

  • Are you an indoors or outdoors person? Lots of people get stuck indoors in our modern world. Take this quiz to find out which one you are.
  • Do you know three ways to help save the environment? Do you participate in any of those behaviors? Use this test to find out about your environmental impact.

Moving Ahead:
The Challenge

What are your definitions of success? What is the role of nature in this?

Check out our worksheet.


  • Natural World - TURN OVER A NEW LEAF
    • Susan Johnson, M.S., Director, Hemlock Overlook Center for Experiential Education, School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism, Freshmen Center
    • Susanna Adams, Recruitment Coordinator, Project Peak Coordinator, Hemlock Overlook Center for Experiential Education, School of Recreation, Health and Tourism, The Freshman Center

Campus Resources

  • Project Peak
    Project Peak is a two-phase, one credit course offered to first-year students. The first phase consists of a 5 day wilderness adventure trip held the week before the first semester begins. The second is a University 100 class which meets once per week throughout first semester.
  • Social Action and Integrative Learning
    SAIL is an evolving community of Mason students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and community partners who are active and passionate collaborators in effecting positive social change. SAIL fosters integrative, innovative, and experiential learning opportunities on campus, regionally, and globally that educate and activate towards a more equitable, just, nonviolent, and sustainable world.

Additional Resources

  • City of Fairfax Parks and Recreation
    City of Fairfax Parks and Recreation offers listings of parks, trails, pools, athletic field, and more.
  • Fairfax County Park Authority
    Fairfax County Park Authority offers listing of county parks, recreation centers, special events, campgrounds, trails, fitness and recreation venues.
  • Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority
    NVRPA depends on volunteers to keep their parks running. They offer opportunities to give tours and programs, staff visitor and nature centers, assist with clerical tasks and special events, work on trail and landscape improvements and more.
  • Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
    DCR covers such programs as state parks, soil and water conservation, natural heritage, dam safety, recreation planning, and land conservation. News releases, jobs postings, publications, laws and regulation, special events, and environmental education are additional links available.
  • Peace Corps
    Peace Corps is an international service organization of the United States that sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service and they become global citizens and serve their country.
  • National Wildlife Federation
    The NWF protects America’s wildlife by representing the power and commitment of four million members and supporters along with affiliated wildlife organizations in 47 states. The web site has the history and structure of NWF, a list of what they do, and awards and honors given.
  • U.S. National Park Service
    U.S. National Park Service, under the U.S. Department of the Interior, has many opportunities to become involved in a stewardship of these national treasures by volunteering, working, or interning in one of 380 parks. They offer information on exploring nature, discovering history, and finding parks.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is concerned with our nation’s wildlife and land conservation. It offers many recent articles of events and occurrences. Also, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is broken down into many sections of the United States, and links to each section are found by region. Other links include employment and volunteer opportunities, history, laws and policies.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    The EPA is the federal agency primarily responsible for setting, maintaining, and enforcing environmental standards. They lead the nation’s environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts for a cleaner and healthier environment for American people. The EPA includes many topics such as the Clean Water Act, global warming, hazardous waste, human health, recycling and more.
  • United Nations Environment Program
    UNEP provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP includes resources for governments, scientists, journalists, businesses, civil society, and children and youth.