Touch of Nature
Help us celebrate 150 years by making an impact.

President Delyte Morris had a passion for the outdoors and believed that students could benefit from an outdoor laboratory where they can study forestry, botany, agriculture and more.  His idea started to become a reality in 1949 when the SIU Board of Trustees bought 150 acres along Little Grassy Lake and opened SIU’s Little Grassy Lake Campus (now called Touch of Nature Environmental Center).  Since then, Touch of Nature has grown to over 3,100 acres of rolling hills and lush forests which provide the perfect atmosphere for outdoor education and adventure.

The mission is to enhance learning, promote professional development, encourage personal and interpersonal development, and increase environmental awareness.  Adventure Education, Therapeutic Recreation, Environmental Education and Veteran Adventures are a few of the programs hosted by Touch of Nature. 

Your contribution is an investment in our students’ success.  We are thankful for your generosity. Below are a list of our current funding priorities:


Mountain Bike Trails:  Funds raised to create a new Mountain Bike Park and Trail System at Touch of Nature. The multi-use mountain bike trail system will provide new recreational opportunities for SIU students, locals and visitors to explore southern Illinois’ unique landscape.  The project will also provide students with hands-on recreational resource management learning opportunities not many other universities can match. It will also provide a creative way to tie the Carbondale environment to the Shawnee National Forest.


Veteran Adventure Fund:  The Veteran Adventure Fund was developed to support the Veteran Adventures Program. The VA Program provides community building for veterans and current military personnel, presents challenging and adventurous opportunities to strengthen bonds between veterans and current military personnel, shows support and gratitude for the sacrifice that our servicemen and women have made, provides veterans and current military personnel with alternatives for mental health assistance without the stigma of traditional mental health avenues, and fosters a healthier veteran population.


Camp Little Giant Camperships:  Camperships funds provide much needed support for campers and families that need a little or a lot of financial support for camp. Camp Little Giant provides one on one care for many of its campers, this high level of care can be costly for families but shouldn’t stand in the way of a week or two at camp. Camp Little Giant Camperships are awarded to campers as partial or full scholarships but can also be given directly to a camper of the donor’s choice.


Donate and turn the world MAROON!
Rank State Gifts
1 IL 31
2 VA 3
3 KY 1
Top 5 Participating Groups (most gifts)
This includes gifts during the 24 hour Day of Giving only. Offline gifts will be counted and updated after the 24 hours.
Rank Department Gifts
1 Balancing Education, Experience, & Reality Schp. 826
2 School of Medicine 289
3 College of Applied Sciences & Arts 127
4 Strong Survivors 110
5 College of Agricultural Sciences 97
6 College of Liberal Arts 96
7 Saluki Athletics 85
8 College of Education and Human Services 79
9 College of Mass Communication and Media Arts 73
10 College of Engineering 64
11 School of Law 54
12 College of Business 53
13 Morris Library 50
14 Student Affairs 44
15 General University Scholarships 40
16 College of Science 37
17 WSIU Public Broadcasting 36
18 Touch of Nature 33
19 Saluki Alumni Plaza 26
20 Marching Salukis 25
21 Student Multi-Cultural Resource Center 23
22 Paul Simon Public Policy Institute 22
23 Graduate School 22
24 University Museum 20
25 Performing Arts 19
26 SIU Alumni Association 14
27 SIU Press 11
28 Chancellor's Scholars Program 11
29 Economic Development 11
30 Center for Archaeological Investigations 10
31 Campus Lake Fund 9
32 Police K-9 Unit 7
33 Diversity Initiatives 6
34 University Honors Program 5
35 SIU Police K-9 Unit 4
36 Fermentation Science Institute 4
37 New Student Programs 3
Top 5 Participating Groups (most dollars raised)
This includes dollars during the 24 hour Day of Giving only. Offline dollars will be counted and updated after the 24 hours.
Rank Department Raised
1 Saluki Athletics $201,798.00
2 College of Engineering $134,005.00
3 School of Medicine $91,112.00
4 College of Education and Human Services $64,980.00
5 College of Applied Sciences & Arts $32,547.00
6 Balancing Education, Experience, & Reality Schp. $32,064.00
7 Touch of Nature $28,260.00
8 Strong Survivors $17,735.00
9 College of Mass Communication and Media Arts $17,285.00
10 College of Liberal Arts $13,486.00
11 Morris Library $12,465.00
12 College of Business $11,380.00
13 College of Science $10,655.00
14 School of Law $9,045.00
15 General University Scholarships $8,805.00
16 College of Agricultural Sciences $7,480.00
17 Saluki Alumni Plaza $6,805.00
18 Paul Simon Public Policy Institute $4,860.00
19 SIU Press $3,530.00
20 SIU Police K-9 Unit $3,125.00
21 Student Affairs $2,540.00
22 University Museum $2,410.00
23 WSIU Public Broadcasting $2,405.00
24 Performing Arts $2,355.00
25 Marching Salukis $2,096.00
26 Graduate School $2,081.00
27 Student Multi-Cultural Resource Center $1,835.00
28 SIU Alumni Association $1,835.00
29 Chancellor's Scholars Program $1,445.00
30 Economic Development $1,000.00
31 Center for Archaeological Investigations $500.00
32 New Student Programs $375.00
33 Campus Lake Fund $362.00
34 University Honors Program $350.00
35 Diversity Initiatives $325.00
36 Police K-9 Unit $300.00
37 Fermentation Science Institute $140.00
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