By Angela Veatch, Associate Director of East Campus
As with the work of many people during the pandemic, the workload for the staff of East Campus hasn’t changed; it has just shifted. This shift has allowed us time to think about our property and how it can be utilized differently, and also gave us the opportunity to tackle some of these ideas that otherwise might have been left on the back burner.
Two things are always front of mind for us: how can we leave this space better than we found it (one of the seven “Leave No Trace” principles), and how can we increase our figurative footprint.
In the past year, we have supported these goals through numerous improvement projects.
This project, which expands the physical footprint of the Pueblo, was funded 100% by the Friends of East Campus. At roughly 1,800 square feet, the patio was designed to accommodate a 30’ x 55’ tent. This new space will give students a new oasis to study at and a new space to host events for both internal and external groups.
Welcome Sign with Maps
We are working with Justin Compton, faculty member from the environmental science department to create the maps. Justin’s experience with the Geographic Information System (GIS) has allowed this project to come to life. Numerous maps that we can switch out depending on the season will be generated. The variety of maps will help our students, campers, and participants navigate the property.
Accompanying the unveiling of the new maps will be marked trails, allowing our students and visitors to have a self-guided experience at East Campus. The trails will be labeled with the appropriate distances so that individuals looking for a specific mileage to run or walk will have accurate knowledge of trail location and length.
Rebuilt Pride Climb
The original climb was built by East Campus in 2011 and needed to be replaced. This is one of our most featured high elements since it consists of four different triangles. The new one, designed by Ben Taylor, will be slightly different, but still unique to East Campus and Springfield College. It is being built by Ben and Sean.
Updated Disc Golf Course Signs
East Campus currently has two 18-hole disc golf courses. With the support of East Campus graduate fellows and Rachel Keyworth, assistant professor of therapeutic recreation, new signage will give our participants a better idea of where each hole is located and the distance of the hole, providing a more user-friendly adventure.
Strength in Nature Circuits
We reached out to the department of strength and conditioning to help support this endeavor. The vision of this project was to give our students a new outlet to exercise in the outdoors. We created three different circuits and within those circuits are unique exercises for all ability levels. Dr. Brian Thompson, Dr. Mary Kate Feit, and Dr. Adam Feit helped identify core exercises, and graduate students from the program have been working on the exercise descriptions for posting on the circuits. The new equipment was built by Ben Taylor, Angela Veatch, and graduate student Sean Foster.
New Water Fountains
Because the existing water fountains were rapidly deteriorating, East Campus Director Ben Taylor designed new fountains. The facilities department supported the plumbing aspect of the project but construction was completed by Ben. The new design increases the number of spigots, as well as their accessibility. This is something that our students, campers, and participants will immediately notice when they walk up to our picnic grove.
This new program will be offered to the Springfield College community. Competitions will be created that will incorporate all three sides of the triangle. Groups comprised of four or five individuals will compete against each other in a variety of physical and mental challenges. The number of challenges that have been established will allow East Campus to run numerous programs, each unique to the others.