3 reasons to choose St. Mike’s if you love … being outdoors

Whether you love rock climbing or gardening, if you’re an outdoor and environmental enthusiast, check out Saint Michael's College.

June 23, 2021

Let’s say you’re planning to major in environmental science or you’d like an environmental studies minor to pair with your business major. Maybe you’re passionate about rock climbing—or perhaps you enjoy a leisurely bike ride through nature every Saturday morning. 

Whatever the specifics, you love being outside, and at Saint Michael’s College, so do we. 

With that, here are three reasons to consider St. Mike’s.

1. The Center for the Environment

The Center is a campus hub that focuses on interdisciplinary education in and about the environment. Several departments, such as environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, biology, and education integrate the center into their curricula—but the center’s resources are open to any student, group, or office on campus. These four “Living Laboratories” make up the Center for the Environment:

  • The entire College facility. We consider our campus an instrumental learning space for students interested in helping build the sustainability of our infrastructure and gain practical skills for environmentally connected careers.
  • The Natural Area. This space covers 340 (!!) undeveloped acres on campus and a variety of ecosystems such as wetlands, sandplain forest, floodplain forest, and fields. 
  • The Farm. Established in 2008 by two students, the farm now grows on two acres and includes a large hoop house, a fruit orchard, raised growing beds, and 12 deep-bed vegetable production field plots. 
  • The Teaching Gardens. Created in 2004 by the departments of education, biology, and applied linguistics, this beautiful active outdoor learning laboratory includes an arboretum, a children’s literature garden (“Books in Bloom”), a Native Plants of Vermont garden, the International Garden, and the Word Garden.

2. Our Northern Vermont Location

Put simply, our region is a magnet for environmental enthusiasts. Whether you’re into warm-weather adventures like hiking, biking, and watersports or cold-weather sports like skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing, Burlington has it all:

  • Water Sports: Rent a paddleboard or canoe and set off on a Lake Champlain adventure. Want to enjoy the water without the sweat? Try a Lake Champlain sunset cruise or a trip across the lake on a ferry.
  • Hiking: A wealth of great hiking trails await in and around Burlington. This list from New England With Love offers 14 different excursions suitable for novices to experts. 
  • Biking: Take a ride down the Burlington Greenway, eight miles of paved path that offers beautiful views of Lake Champlain. It’s part of the longer Island Line Rail Trail, nearly 14 miles long, which takes riders out into the middle of the lake (on land, of course!). 
  • Winter Sports: You’ll have your pick of prime resorts for skiing and snowboarding to choose from, including Bolton Valley (30 minutes away); Sugarbush, Stowe, and Smugglers’ Notch (1 hour away); and Killington (2 hours away).

3. The Adventure Sports Center

Buckle up, literally. Our Adventure Sports Center can help you take advantage of every opportunity our location affords you. Here are just a few things you can do through the Center:

  • Explore a variety of hiking programs, ranging from relaxed foliage hikes during leafing season to intense multi-day adventures in the nearby Adirondacks. 
  • If skiing and snowboarding is more your speed, we have a partnership with Sugarbush that provides discounted access to multiple mountains and an affordable Learn to Ski/Ride program if you’re new to snow sports. 
  • Go on climbing adventures with the St. Mike’s Adventure Sports Center. On every climbing adventure, you’ll be with at least two certified student instructors who have gone through extensive training including: In-house Top-Rope Facilitator Certification, American Mountain Guide Association Single Pitch Instructor Certification, and SOLO Wilderness First Responder or EMT.
  • Participate in our Instructor Training Program: A year-long educational experience, the ITP involves training in both classroom and applied backcountry settings. The competitive application process begins shortly after the start of the fall semester.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the gear: The Adventure Sports Center’s outfitter makes sure you’re equipped for fun—and safety—whatever activity you choose.

Whether your reason for seeking a campus interwoven with nature is for fun or your future career, St. Mike’s has something you’ll love. Don’t take our word for it; come see us for yourself.

Plan your visit to campus today.

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