Student Interest Leads Maverick Adventures to Expand from Earth Week to Earth Month

Madison Vandersee, the Assistant Program Coordinator for Maverick Adventures, has been working on the Earth Month schedule and has received strong positive feedback on the number and type of experiences offered. In April alone, Maverick Adventures has partnered with 21 different groups across the University and in the community to provide 17 different events related to Earth Month. These events include volunteer opportunities, workshops, discussions, craft activities and some excursions that “allow us to have a wide variety of programs and different ways for people to interact,” Vandersee shares. Students across campus from a wide variety of majors have been participating in the outdoor programming, with many events seeing quickly filled registrations.

One of Vandersee’s favorite memories with Maverick Adventures is the State Parks Road Trip that took place during Earth Week last year. Throughout the one-day event, 18 students and three staff members stopped at three state parks in southern Minnesota to explore and hike. Another highlight for Vandersee from prior Earth Week events has been volunteer campus cleanups, like the one last year that focused on tobacco waste, which also had an educational component and impacted campus beauty. Tobacco waste cleanup is again scheduled this year during Earth Month.

This year there are even more unique events for students, such as a bike trip involving volunteering at a community farm, a day trip to the Niagara Cave and making wildflower seed balls. Other events are also open to the public including an ethics and animal discussion with author Peter Singer, the screening of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time and an evening exploring Indigenous astronomy at Jeffers Petroglyph.

Earth Month events are listed online at the following link. Students, staff and community members interested in participating can find a full list of events and activities, event-specific details and register for events directly on the website. Certain events are limited in size and require registration, while others are open to anyone interested in participating.

About Maverick Adventures

Beyond the Earth Month events, Maverick Adventures offers a variety of programming to both students and the surrounding community. Maverick Adventures has long offered team building and leadership development programming, both indoor and outdoor rock climbing on the climbing walls on campus and outdoor programs and equipment rentals to encourage people to explore southern Minnesota's natural resources and the wide variety of outdoor activities in our backyard.

Maverick Adventures has been working in recent years to expand offerings within outdoor programs, giving Minnesota State Mankato students opportunities that include canoeing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, hiking and caving trips. Maverick Adventures Program Coordinator Sam Steiger adds that “getting outside is a great way for our students to relieve stress, refresh their energy, make connections with other students and make connections with the natural world.” Maverick Adventures is focused on continuing to expand in the coming years by offering more programming and increasing the outdoor equipment rentals offered.

If you would like to support the work of Maverick Adventures through donations or sponsorship, please visit the following link or contact