Winter, spring, summer, or fall, the Long Island campus has long provided a tranquil, serene, and picturesque setting for teaching and learning—with its 265 idyllic acres serving as a habitat for abundant flora, fauna, and wildlife in the woodlands. And while the pandemic has limited human attendance, the campus continues to be the home of countless species of birds, animals, trees, and other of nature’s bounties.
A New Campus Tour, Naturally
A new series of Forest Therapy Walks was introduced by the Office of Real Estate Development and Sustainable Capital Planning in January 2021 to give members of the campus community a new way to access the serene and restorative environment. Led by Certified Forest Therapist Linda Lombardo, the two-hour strolls cover 1.5 miles through the woodland forests on campus, with Lombardo pointing out various species of plants and other highlights along the way.
“This campus has so much natural beauty to offer our students and employees,” says Suzanne Musho, New York Tech vice president for real estate development and sustainable capital planning and chief architect. “The university is re-affirming our commitment to ecology. The forest therapy walks through our woodlands provide the much-needed respite for our students, faculty, and staff and provide a campus experience like no other. Forest therapy is an amazing way to reconnect to nature and relieve the stress that occurs in everyday life, particularly now.”
The new Forest Therapy Walks join the Healing Path, conceived and developed by NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) students, as part of the Long Island on-campus amenities to help support the mental and physical well-being of New York Tech’s campus community. New outdoor parklets provide outdoor engagement as well, with more offerings being planned.
Musho points to recent research by the University of Washington that underscores an important goal of the Nature Therapy Walks program. In the UW study, participants who participated in outdoor activities such as encountering wildlife, following trails, walking to destination spots in nature, or gazing at vistas such as mountains or water, had positive psychological experiences, such as relaxation, happiness, or wonder.
New York Tech’s medical students helped pilot the walks, which are limited to 10 participants, in January. Musho said the student feedback was extremely positive, and her team is arranging for more walks with NYITCOM. Meanwhile, upcoming Nature Therapy Walks for all students, limited to 10 participants, are scheduled for:
- Tuesday, April 6
- Thursday, April 15
- Tuesday, April 27
- Thursday, May 13
Those who are interested can register through the Study Genius app.
Bird’s Eye View
While not everyone on campus has the opportunity to see a live eagle alight from the sky or a deer graze in the forested campus grounds, a few New York Tech staff members have documented their encounters with some campus residents.
“We’ve had yellow birds and cardinals, and our favorite was the orange mohawk bird,” notes Academic Affairs Manager Bernadette Calabro, who snapped a few images of birds gathering at feeders outside her Tower House office.
When Calabro shared her enthusiastic photos with Richie Cestaro, a security guard on the Long Island campus, he returned the favor, showing her images he had taken of a red fox, deer, and an eagle on campus.
See a slideshow of their images below.
Have a photo of the natural beauty of the Long Island campus? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll consider it for our social media channels.