A Guide to Nature on CSUN’s Campus

Image: Tookapic // pexels.com

Living in the city does not have to mean living without nature. CSUN’s campus has several places to enjoy some time in nature, which is proven to reduce stress, among other benefits. Here is a brief overview of some of the most beautiful settings for walking among nature on campus.

Orange grove and duck pond

Take a stroll through fragrant orange trees near the intersection of Lindley and Nordhoff. Students are welcome to take an orange or two to eat on their visit. Pre-carved paths wind back and forth through the grove, leading you past the observatory, the duck pond, and the Orange Grove Bistro. Watch squirrels chase each other up and down the low-hanging orange tree branches, or pick a ripe piece of fruit and eat it on the bridge overlooking the pond.

Speaking of the pond, this man-made body of water is home to various waterfowl and dozens of turtles, with several benches and shaded areas to sit. Some of the picnic-style tables have outlets for charging your devices, powered by solar panels. The ducks are accustomed to humans, but resist the urge to feed them bread or crackers; processed grains are not healthy for waterfowl or turtles, and it is easy for wild animals to develop dependence on humans that feed them. CSUN students and faculty use the pond as a living laboratory, and the ecosystem is highly managed to ensure the health and longevity of the species that live at the pond.

Botanic garden

The biodiversity alone in this tiny botanic garden is astounding, with more than 1,200 plant species in only 1.5 acres of total land. It sits between the USU and Chaparral Hall, and is open from 8 AM to 4:45 PM on weekdays. If you sit on the picnic tables in the center of the garden, you can obscure the campus with a lush view of green leaves and shoots – and in the spring, colorful wildflowers.

Urban tree walk

Several species of trees common in urban landscapes are planted all over CSUN’s campus. There is a guide on identifying the species as you walk the landscape, and each walk lasts about ten to fifteen minutes at a comfortable pace. This makes the tree walks a perfect way to get in a few minutes of your daily exercise while learning about some of the most amazing organisms on our planet.

If you have visited any of these, leave a comment about your experience!

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