Mt. Rainier Photo

Going Outdoors...Sustainably!

Being a good steward of the earth involves being aware of your place in the environment. What better way to connect to the Earth than to immerse yourself in the outdoors! Being apart of the outdoors is beneficial for many reasons. Outdoor recreation is great for your health, both mental and physical. And it's good for the environment too! National and State parks rely on outdoor excursions which help them to stay protected and free from development. You can help out by minimizing your personal footprint when going outdoors!

Leave No Trace

To Leave No Trace when you adventure outdoors means that the environment is left the same (if not better!) as before you were there. This keeps the ecosystem consistent and minimizes the impact of humans on nature--which can often be detrimental. To avoid that, try to stick to these 7 principles and learn more:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors3   

SU and the Outdoors:

  • Outdoor Adventure Recreation (OAR): OAR offers a huge variety of trips all year round from surfing to snowshoeing! Trips focus on raising awareness of the outdoors and the Leave No Trace principles. Trips are all led by SU students who are trained in outdoor recreation and leadership. Learn how you can apply here! This spring's activities will include sailing. climbing, kayaking, a film festival and more. Find the full list of activities here and sign up!

  • Research at SU:
    • Dr. Marsolek, Associate Professor Civil Engineering, is part of a team researching the environmental impact of human waste in the region of Mt. Everest base camp. The solution? A high altitude biogas digester using only human waste as the input fuel. This has never been done before! Stay updated with the project and learn more here.
    • Dr. Efird, Professor Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work, is a 2016-2017 CEJS Faculty fellow. His research project compares environmental learning centers and "nature schools" in Japan, China, and the United States, in order to better understand the kinds of learning experiences that foster sustainability and environmental justice.

  • Grounds and Landscaping:
    • There are many ways to connect to nature right here on campus! SU is a designated Wildlife Sanctuary. Countless gardens can be found around campus with their own unique theme. The gorgeous SU landscape is maintained without the use of chemical pesticides. And you can eat the organically-grown fruit, vegetables and herbs in the campus gardens. Learn more here. You can also grow your own food on campus through Food With Spirit, a student-run club.
  • Events:
    • May 6: Neighborhood Community Service Event: Restoration at Frink Park
      When: Saturday, May 6, 2017      Time: 10:00AM-2:00PM
      Where: Frink Park, 480 Lake Washington Boulevard South, Seattle, WA 98144

      Description: Join SU’s CEJS, OAR (Outdoor Adventure Recreation), and Earth Corps in an effort to protect open spaces. Help out at Frink Park by removing English ivy, an invasive plant that covers trees and results in a loss of native habitat. 20 spots are reserved for SU community, friends, and relatives. See here for a fun video on what to expect! Register Here! RSVP requested by May 3.

In the Community

Support your beautiful local parks by visiting!

  • Less than 4 miles away
    • Washington Park Arboretum
    • Madrona Park
    • Volunteer Park
  • Worth the drive
    • Olympic National Park
    • Golden Gardens State Park
    • Alki Beach

Get involved with a sustainable outdoors organization near Seattle!

  • Friends of the Cedar River Watershed engages people to enhance and sustain the Cedar River Watershed through restoration, education, and stewardship.
  • Forterra protects, enhances, and acts as a steward for our region’s most precious resources – its communities and its landscapes.
  • Earth Corps builds a global community of leaders through local environmental service.  
  • Islandwood is a 225-acre outdoor learning center located on Bainbridge Island designed to provide exceptional learning experiences and inspire lifelong environmental and community stewardship.



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