Touch of Nature
#SIUDAY March 7, 2018

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:


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.


Freeberg Legacy Fund:  The Freeberg Legacy Fund supports the dreams of Dr. William Freeberg who worked tirelessly throughout his career at SIU to provide camps and programs for children and adults with disabilities. Dr. Freeberg’s work includes the first University affiliated program of its kind in Camp Little Giant, the first ever accredited camp by the American Camping Association, and the cofounding of the Special Olympics – the largest sports organization in the world for people with intellectual disabilities.


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 your state MAROON!
Rank State Gifts
1 IL 26
2 NY 3
3 TX 1
Top 5 Participating Groups (most gifts)
Participating Groups with the largest number of gifts
Rank Department Gifts
1 College of Agricultural Sciences 203
2 School of Medicine 137
3 College of Applied Sciences & Arts 128
4 College of Education and Human Services 100
5 School of Law 78
Don't forget to share!

Questions? See our FAQ.

Or you can contact us at