We’re No. 1!
HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY earned the title “outdoorsiest” school last fall, after winning a national contest to encourage people to get outside and reconnect with nature.
The 2016 Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge urged students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members at 87 colleges to get outside and log their activities on a mobile app. For HSU, the goal was to make fresh air inclusive and push the idea that there’s an outdoors for everyone. Hiking, biking, kayaking, quick walks, stargazing, and even hammocking earned participants points.
As a prize for being the “National Outdoor Champion,” HSU received $3,000 worth of North Face gear, which students can now borrow for free.
“It’s a really impressive win, and I was honored to stand behind Humboldt State in their social justice approach to this competition,” says Ruby Jean Garcia (‘16, Recreation Administration), HSU’s Outdoor Nation student coordinator. “The most important part of this challenge was using it as an opportunity to empower students, and foster their connection to nature.”
Humboldt State enjoys a special relationship with nature, being nestled among the redwood trees on a rugged part of the Northern California coast.
“At Humboldt State, we’re lucky to live and learn in such a beautiful natural environment,” says HSU President Lisa A. Rossbacher. “That puts us in a unique position to inspire the future stewards of our planet. I’m extremely proud of the HSU community for winning this competition and, most importantly, making a statement about how important it is to experience nature.”
Center Activities Manager Bridget Hand agrees. “This competition means so much more than winning,” Hand says. “It is about students connecting with each other to get outside and take advantage of the amazing places in Humboldt.
“The outdoors is one of the best resources Humboldt has for health and fitness, self care, research and education, connecting with new friends, and just having fun. The competition was a celebration of that fact. Most importantly, the outdoors is available to everyone.”
HSU had several high-scoring participants, including HSU student Jordan Johnson. He earned more than 2,000 points completing five outdoor activities a day, making him among the highest individual point earners in the country.
“During my time competing in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge I was having a blast spending quality time in Humboldt’s amazing environment and it fired me up! In other words, it was too lit to quit!” said Johnson (read more about him in his Meet Humboldt profile).