ORONO – Wednesday may not have been the best day to be outdoors, but University of Maine students have a love for fresh air that’s gotten them a special title from the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.
The university was recently named the most outdoorsy school in the northeast and second in the nation.
“I think it says so much about what our students prioritize and what they love,” said Lauren Jacobs, a faculty member of the Outdoor Leadership academic program.
“Maine has a deep rooted history in outdoor recreation and we see that time and time again here,” said Chris Bartram, the assistant director of Maine Bound Adventure Center.
Over the past month, students at U Maine competed for that title through an app for the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge put on by the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.
More than a thousand students posted photos of them taking part in outdoor activities, racking up points for the university.
The Maine Bound Adventure Center, that also houses an indoor rock climbing wall, helped students participate in the challenge.
“So we had a lot of activities, I encouraged my friends to go to all our events. We had a head lamp 5-K out in the woods so a lot of my friends did that, and we just hiked every weekend, walked around campus,” said fourth year student Jake Burgess, who also was a student coordinator for the outdoor challenge.
U Maine’s photo postings put them ahead of close to 100 other schools in the country.
And while the title is cool, faculty members said it shows an interest in environmental careers here in Maine, even for students from out of state.
“We’re really connecting students to place…if they come here and do school here and fall in love with it and want to stay that’s great for the state of Maine and our economy,” said Jacobs.
This is the second time Maine has won the number one title for the northeast, and they’re looking to get number one for the nation next time.