Event to promote Greater Cleveland’s outdoor recreation culture


College students have several assignments every week, but rarely are they assigned to relax.
Nature Rx, a program dealing with the positive effects of being outdoors on one’s mental health, will be one of many presentations at this year’s Adventure University & Gear Swap, said Jon Levin, intramural coordinator.
“It’s kind of like a prescription for students. Staff and faculty to go outside and just be in nature,” said Levin.
Levin said Nature Rx is designed to work in conjunction with BW’s counseling services.
“We’ve been talking with counseling services and they’ve been getting capped out with the amount of students, staff and faculty coming to them,” said Levin.
Levin said the program should not be seen as an alternative to talking with someone about one’s mental well-being, but rather a supplement.
Studies have shown that going out into nature has led to “reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, an increase in energy and increase in focus,” said Levin.
The Adventure University & Gear Swap event will show people different ways to get outdoors in the community, said Christine Cancian, assistant recreation director.
“It’s meant to kind of bring all those resources in one place so that people can find all there is to do in Northeast Ohio,” said Cancian.
There will be organizations at the event that will educate people on outdoor recreation programming.
Share the River will be represented at the event, said Cancian.
“It’s an organization that helps to bring awareness to the Cuyahoga River and the different water trails,” said Cancian.
Another organization that will provide education on outdoor recreation is The American Canoe Association, said Cancian.
“The American Canoe Association has a table. They provide information on safe boating,” said Cancian.
There will also be companies that provide venues for recreational activity.
Though the final list of companies attending the event isn’t set yet, companies that may be attending include Rock Mill Climbing and Go Ape, said Cancian.
Another section of the event that people will have the opportunity to experience is the section of “try-it” tutorials, said Levin.
“We also have different try-it events. I think we’ll have at least kayaking and paddle boarding in the pool,” said Levin.
Cancian said that the presentations section will involve presentations that cover different topics like wellness, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and kayaking.
Cancian, Levin and Outdoor Adventure Program member, Haley Baker, will be presenting Nature Rx.

Outdoor recreation gear—both new and lightly used—will be sold, bought and swapped, said Levin.
Levin said REI, a company that provides outdoor recreation gear and programming, will be one of the vendors represented at the event.
Vendors will contribute gear or certificates that event attendants will have the chance to win in a raffle, said Cancian.
“We run the raffle side of it,” said Cancian. “Every person who comes through the door gets one raffle ticket, and then you can buy more raffle tickets.”
Cancian said the big prize won during last year’s raffle was a kayak.
The Adventure University & Gear Swap is free and open to members of the community.
The long-standing partnership between the Cleveland Metroparks and BW will be managing the event, said Cancian.
“We actually partner with them with a few things where they come on campus about six times a year and do kayaking classes in the pool. And then we’ve done some presentations for them that are part of their Adventure U series leading up to Adventure U,” said Cancian. “[The Adventure University & Gear Swap] is an initiative that the Cleveland Metroparks outdoor recreation had started and asked us to be a part of.”
Cancian said the event will be held in the Lou Higgins Center because it is adequate space.
“The venue just made sense—someplace with a pool that could accommodate a classroom space because there’s a lot of presentations,” said Cancian.
The Adventure University & Gear Swap will take place on Mar. 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.