March 07, 2018

Volunteers sought for Trail Stewardship Days at SIU's Touch of Nature Environmental Center

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Interspersed throughout Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s experiential learning, outdoor recreation laboratory known as Touch of Nature Environmental Center are miles and miles of trails. 

During a series of Trail Stewardship Days this spring, Touch of Nature invites volunteers to lend a hand in restoring and expanding that expansive trail system. 

Volunteers needed on five Sundays in March and April

On each of the specified Sundays, volunteers participate in sessions from 9 a.m. until noon, 1-4 p.m. or for the entire day. Groups and individuals are welcome; no experience is necessary. 

The schedule for the Trail Stewardship Days includes:

  • March 25
  • April 8, 15, 22 and 29 

No experience needed

Touch of Nature staff will provide all necessary tools and instructions for properly using them. Volunteers should bring water bottles and snacks. Participating SIU students can earn hours toward their community service, Saluki Volunteer Corps and Environmental Ambassador Award commitments. 

Almost six decades of environmental stewardship

Touch of Nature opened in 1961 on a 150-acre plot along Little Grassy Lake and has grown to encompass about 3,100 acres surrounded by Giant City State Park, the Shawnee National Forest and the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.

It is home to Camp Little Giant, the country’s first university-affiliated residential camping program for youths and adults with disabilities, as well as numerous other programs, activities, services and facilities, including adventure and environmental education and therapeutic recreation. 

Participants should register online at least 48 hours before each session they plan to participate in. For more information, visit, call 618/453-1121 or email