Touch of Nature
Forward Together

President Delyte Morris had a passion for the outdoors and believed that the university and the region could benefit from an outdoor laboratory where students in education, forestry, recreation, and others could learn and apply the lessons from the classroom all while providing the region programs in environmental education, leadership development, and inclusive recreation.  IN 1949, his dreams became a reality 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 Outdoor Education Center).

Touch of Nature has been a premier outdoor education center for over 70 years and has an incredible history including:

  • Recognized as a cornerstone in the development of the Special Olympics
  • Camp Little Giant at Touch of Nature is the first accredited summer camp in the country (nearly 2500 accredited camps in the United States)
  • Recognized as a National Environmental Education Landmark
  • Home of the first collegiate High Ropes Challenge Course

It’s with this history in mind that we look to the future on this Day of Giving.  Today, we’re asking for support to construct an inclusive Tango Tower experience as well as continued development of our Mt. Biking Trails.    

Friends of Outdoor Education 

The Friends of Outdoor Education fund supports the mission of Touch of Nature by providing funding to support all aspects of camps and programs here at the center.  This year, we’ve selected the project to construct a Tango Tower, a fully accessible high challenge course to be placed in our Camp 2 facility.  The tango tower will allow us to provide climbing experiences to larger school groups, campers with mobility issues, and community members during our festivals and events.  For more information on the Tango tower:

Mt. Bike Trails

Touch of Nature is proud to provide premier Mountain Biking opportunities for all ability levels here in the region.  With 12 miles built, our hope is to continue to grow and develop our trail system.  A donation to the Mt. Bike Trails will help us to continue to provide this incredible recreational opportunity for SIU students, locals and visitors to Southern Illinois.  For more information on Touch of Nature Mt. Bike Trails:

Groups with the Most Gifts!
Check out which groups have brought in the most gifts for SIU Day!
Rank Department Gifts
1 Balancing Education, Experience, & Reality Schp. 837
2 WSIU Public Broadcasting 765
3 Saluki Athletics 299
4 School of Medicine 260
5 College of Engineering, Computing, Tech, & Math 250
Groups by Dollars Raised
Check out which Groups have raised the most throughout SIU Day!
Rank Department Raised
1 College of Business and Analytics $819,120.00
2 School of Medicine $652,035.00
3 College of Liberal Arts $488,031.00
4 College of Engineering, Computing, Tech, & Math $156,525.00
5 Touch of Nature $123,855.50
See what people are sharing about SIU Day of Giving!
Donate and turn the world MAROON!
Rank State Gifts
1 IL 41
2 MO 3
3 GA 2
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