Nature and Hiking Club combines love of outdoors with environment conservation

8 October 2019

Jaycie Calvert

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Nature and Hiking Club is an on-campus organization that connects UCCS students to not only Colorado Springs’ trails and outdoors but also to the Colorado Springs community through volunteering.

The Nature and Hiking Club hike trails right in Colorado Springs, which helps the students who are new to Colorado learn and explore the area. They try to do two hikes a month in addition to other activities. Hikes range from all levels around Colorado Springs. Starting at a range from easy to moderate, they are working their way up to harder hikes and ultimately a 14er. During this semester, the club has completed Pulpit Rock and Mount Cutler. They have plans to hike Seven Falls in November.

The club also does various other events such as planting nights, movie nights, camping trips and volunteer projects.

The Nature and Hiking Club was founded in 2018 when a group of students took a field botany class at UCCS and realized their passion for hiking. Wanting to spread their passion for the outdoors, they founded the club. Since then, the club has focused on hiking and has expanded to volunteering.

The Nature and Hiking Club is setting their sights on helping environmental conservation in Colorado Springs with passion and purpose.

Alexisa Markwirth, one of the club’s leaders, said, “We have always wanted to pursue volunteering as a club, and we’ve been discussing volunteer ideas and goals in the works since last spring.”

She added, “Our goal is to hopefully get started on opportunities this semester.”

A large focus of the club is in environmental conservation efforts. The club is looking to capitalize on this by fostering native ecosystems around campus which is one of their volunteering goals.

“We’re looking at restoration work to help preserve the local hiking trails, parks and open spaces,” said Markwirth.

Nature conservation is a priority for the Nature and Hiking Club, and they are working on ways to enhance and help the ecosystems and natural life in Colorado Springs.

“Especially living in Colorado, we are so privileged to be living in such a naturally rich environment of plants and animals and that we get to get outside to explore it,” said Markwirth.

The climate changes that the world is facing have pushed the club to wanting to have an impact both on and off campus.

“Unfortunately, we are living through a global climate crisis where detrimental species and ecosystems are falling apart, so we as a club are trying to make a conscious effort to work within our own local communities and spread awareness,” said Markwirth.

The Nature and Hiking Club meets every other Monday night in the Student Life Center at UCCS. To contact the Nature and Hiking Club, they can be found on Facebook and Instagram @nature_and_hiking_club.