What is Nature RX?

Nature RX is built on the principle that spending time in nature contributes to personal well-being. Research shows that time spent in nature is good for your physical and mental health. Multiple studies conclude that spending time outdoors can:

  • Improve your cognitive ability, specifically by boosting your ability to concentrate and increasing your attention span
  • Positively benefit your mood and energy levels and improve your sense of overall happiness
  • Decrease common symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Boost your overall physical health, immune system and well-being

You can spend time outdoors any way you want to; you do not have to go on an intense hike or spend a weekend camping to receive benefits! Spending anywhere from 5-20 minutes outdoors each day is enough.

View articles and research that support the benefits of being outdoors.

Fall 2022 Programming

Connect with Campus | August 24, September 7, November 16 from 3:30-4:30

Elon’s beautiful campus is a designated Botanical Garden. Spend some time outdoors connecting with nature to enter to win a hammock. Students must spend 20 minutes outdoors and send a photo to sustainability@elon.edu to enter to win.

  • August 24 – Spend 20 minutes near a body of water on campus. Take a photo to send to sustainability@elon.edu. Include three words to describe how you felt during this time.
  • September 7 – Spend 20 minutes near your favorite tree on campus. Take a photo of yourself and the tree to send to sustainability@elon.edu. Include a sentence about why you chose that particular tree.
  • October 12 – Spend 20 minutes outdoors doing a mindfulness activity. Take a photo of yourself doing this activity to send to sustainability@elon.edu. Include three words to describe how you felt before this activity and three words to describe how you felt after the activity.
  • November 16 – Spend 20 minutes at your favorite outdoor spot on campus. Take a photo of yourself in your spot to send to sustainability@elon.edu. Include a sentence about why that spot is your favorite on campus.
Happy Hammocking | August 31, September 21, October 5, and November 2

Swing by the ELOA office (Koury 106) to rent a free hammock and pick up a sensory card designed to help you more deeply connect to nature.

Can’t make it during these times? Hammock rentals are available Monday-Friday 12-5 pm from the ELOA Office.

Nature RX Wellness Walks | September 14, October 19, and November 9 at 3:30 pm | Labyrinth located by Holt Chapel on South Campus

Spending time in nature contributes to personal well-being and has been shown to improve cognitive abilities, positively benefit mood and energy levels, decrease common symptoms of anxiety and depression, and increase your overall sense of happiness. These sessions will help you learn how to utilize outdoor spaces to better your mental health.

Outdoor Games on Young Commons | September 28, October 26 and November 30  from 3:30-4:30 pm

Drop by Young Commons to spend time outdoors enjoying cornhole, giant Jenga, and more!

Ideas for Getting Outdoors

  • Take some time to watch the sunrise or sunset.
  • Do your schoolwork outside. Take 5-minute breaks to enjoy your surroundings.
  • Meditate outdoors.
  • Have an outdoor picnic.
  • Take a walk and identify any birds you spot.
  • Stargaze.
  • Engage in other outdoor physical activity, like yoga for Frisbee.
  • Read a book outside.

Outdoor Opportunities at Elon

Echinacea (Coneflowers) at Loy Farm

  • Elon faculty members who wish to hold class outdoors may request access to Elon’s Mobile Outdoor Classroom Kit, which contains 20 outdoor chairs and a voice amplifier.
  • Elon Outdoors offers a variety of opportunities to get outside– from a variety of outdoor trips to equipment rental. Every Wednesday at 9 pm, Elon Outdoors hosts S’mores with Outdoors on the Koury Athletic Center Patio.
  • The Burlington-Elon Greenway is a 3.6 mile-long walking and biking path that runs from Downtown Elon to Downtown Burlington.
  • Elon University is a designated Botanical Garden. In 2019, Elon’s Botanical Garden earned a Level II Accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum. Use Elon’s Tree Map to learn all about a variety of trees found on campus.
  • The Elon Community Garden is maintained by the Garden Studio class and is recognized as a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The garden provides numerous spots to sit and enjoy your surroundings.
  • The Environmental Center at Loy Farm includes an agricultural farm, responsible design studio, forest classroom, and Piedmont prairie. Any class or organization can request a tour of the farm at any time.
  • The Elon Forest provides a protected natural area to serve as a teaching resource and research site.

Is your organization or department has an outdoor event or opportunity that you would like added to this list, please email the Office of Sustainability.

Outdoor Opportunities in Alamance County

  • Numerous trails are available throughout Alamance County. Trails range from easy and paved to moderate nature trails. Some nearby favorites include:
    • The Haw River Trail Systemwhich runs along the Haw River. The Shallow Ford Natural Area access is located less than 5 miles from campus!
    • Cedarock Park is a 500-acre park with over six miles of hiking trails and kayak and canoe rentals, among other outdoor activities.
  • The Burlington Recreation and Parks Department offers hiking and kayaking programs for all abilities.

             Haw River (Swepsonville River Park)

Mobile Outdoor Classroom Kit Request Form

Faculty interested in holding class outdoors may request use of Elon's Mobile Outdoor Classroom kit.  This kit includes 20 outdoor chairs, a wearable voice amplifier, and a wagon for transportation.  The Mobile Outdoor Classroom kit must be requested at least 1 business day in advance. The kit must be returned to the Curriculum Resource Center (CRC) by 9 am the following business day.
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
    What date would you like access to the Mobile Outdoor Classroom Kit?
  • :
    What time do you plan to pick up the Mobile Outdoor Classroom Kit?
  • :
    What time do you plan to return the Mobile Outdoor Classroom Kit?