Friday, October 7

Entertainment: Exploring the importance of immersing in nature (9/7/22)

Seasonal worker at Trail of Tears State Park Anna Zembsch holds one of the Trail of Tears Visitor Center’s oldest snakes. Zembsch encourages college students to spend more time in nature so they can experience Missouri wildlife.

Photo by Molly Phegley

Stress can be a large part of college students’ daily routines, and it is important to take a break and get some fresh air from time to time. Luckily, the Southeast Missouri region has plenty to offer for college students wanting to get outside and enjoy nature.

Outdoor Adventure Club advisor and Sports Management professor Tom Holman is passionate about encouraging students to remove themselves from technology and other distractions and spend a few minutes outdoors every day. Holman refers to nature as Vitamin N – an essential part of our health.

“I’ll ask my students, ‘How many of you take a shower every day and how do you feel after?’ The answer is always that they feel refreshed and ready to start their day,” Holman said. “I tell them to start taking green showers, as I like to call them. It’s a restorative power, whether it’s psychologically or my emotions and stress.”

Holman helps the Outdoor Adventure Club organize and host multiple different trips every year, some as close as Giant City State Park in Southern Illinois and some as far as overnight camping trips in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Seasonal worker at Trail of Tears State Park Anna Zembsch finds peace in spending time outdoors, which helps her to build a deep respect for the nature that surrounds her.

“I believe if people cared more about our environment, it would be an easier world to live in,” Zembsch said.

Zembsch recommends college students to explore and become familiar with the hiking trails near the Cape Girardeau area, specifically the Eastern Peewah Trail at Trail of Tears State Park.

Biology wildlife and conservation junior and worker at the Conservation Nature Center Jenya Zoughaib teaches marginalized communities about the importance of spending time in nature and keeping our world sustainable.

Many college students don’t realize if you just set down your phone and spend five minutes outside, you will see a world full of critters and different species surrounding you, Zoughaib said.

Zoughaib provides fishing equipment and lessons for visitors at the Conservation Nature Center, along with other outdoor equipment such as maps, nets, and binoculars.

There are many opportunities for college students to immerse themselves in a world away from the hustle and bustle of college life. For more information on hiking trails, state parks, and outdoor activities, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website.





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