Our mission is to provide meaningful experiences in nature and improve the quality of life of students, youth and the Northeast Florida community through experiential education in the Sawmill Slough Nature Preserve on campus. Eco Adventure is part of the Recreation Department in the University of North Florida. It had its beginnings 30 years ago when the nature trail system began and the university began to rent canoes to students. Today Eco Adventure is composed of gear check out and adventure trips for students; but also environmental education and challenge course experiential education programs that are open for the public to sign up for.
We currently have field trips for K-8 students: Colors and Shapes, Insects and Others, Wild Neighborhoods, Nature’s Narratives, Backyard Botany and Nature’s Detectives. Approximately 5,000 students attend each year. Our weekend programs include guided nature hikes for community groups and scouts. We also host canoeing, hiking and games centered birthday parties.
Our outdoor adventure summer camp, Eco Camp, hosts 90 campers aged 6-14 each week for 8 weeks. We have an extensive challenge course made up of a zip, low and high ropes elements. It is open to the public. We have a medium sized lake with an island in the middle accessible by bridge. There is a small beach ramp. Our Sawmill Slough nature preserve is 382 acres of lake, swamp, forest and sand hill with 5 miles of publicly accessible trails running through it.