Nature on campus



I just want to get a notice out to other students about UTM’s nature element! We hear a lot about how environmental we are. But how many of us actually know what it has to offer in concrete terms? Not feeling good as in “I saved a tree”, but feeling good as in “I’m among trees”? As far as I know, UTM has three easily accessible nature areas.

Level 1: The Pond, south of the Davis Building. Or as I still call it, the South Building. There are a couple of places to walk down and look out over it. True, it’s beside a parking lot, which is not really part of nature. But it’s actually kind of scenic, especially at night. And the geese seem to like it.

Level 2: Oldfield. Even further south, past the parking lot, there’s a broken part of the fence and a little path that joins a trail in the woods. (So apparently you’re supposed to take the long way around, which opens nearer to the Alumni House, not the shortcut. Whatever…) Down the trail is a nice open field, and at the other end a gazebo and a Bridge Over the River Credit. Try sitting there and doing your reading, before winter, anyway. But go even further and you get to Oldfield, which has a lot of walking space, a long gravel trail for hiking on one side, and on the other side, a playground and a beautiful old church.

Level 3: UTM Nature Trail. And Lislehurst. This time, go north of the North Building, which still has a name that tells you where it is on the map. A bit down the road, you’ll see a paved road that goes into the woods and a sign for “Lislehurst”. Along this there are a few spaces where you can sit on the grass or a bench, and it doesn’t feel like our campus at all. There’s even another small pond (decorative) with a stone bridge over it. Perfect for sitting and reading. Or doing cheesy photoshoots. That’s not the end of it, though. At the end of the road is a narrow trail beside a sign that says UTM Nature Trail. At a reasonable pace it takes half an hour to walk, and if you take your time maybe an hour. It goes right through the dark woods, is pretty rough in some places, goes awfully close to the steep chasm—and is really beautiful. You can leave it at an emergency exit that comes out near Davis or you can keep going until you arrive at the other side of Oldfield… an added bonus!

These are great little spots of nature on a campus that keep getting more technologically advanced, so take advantage of them before it gets too cold, and keep them in mind for spring! You’re welcome!

Kelly Ibsen