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5 Breathtaking Views to Enjoy This Earth Day

Earth Day is perhaps one of the most underrated yet important holidays. While it is crucial to recognize the environmental crisis every day, the celebratory event serves as a day of recognition, taking time out of the year to focus on Mother Nature. It is easy to bring natural beauty in local areas for granted, especially when you have lived in the same place all your life, making it easy to miss everyday beauty.

Moreover, the business of everyday life can make it increasingly difficult to appreciate simple natural beauty. As the weather becomes warmer, it is essential to spend time outdoors. Being inside for most of the winter often alters the human state of mind. It is easier to feel depressed in the winter with the lack of sunlight and fresh air. After all, nature is directly linked to mental wellness and happiness. No matter how busy you are, take some time to visit some of these natural gems if you're in the New Jersey area!

  1. Passion Puddle 

Located on the Douglass campus at Rutgers-New Brunswick, Passion Puddle is easily the most beautiful spot on campus. The pond is famous for its myth regarding love and marriage. According to a Rutgers legend, if two lovers walk around the puddle three times clockwise, they will get married. RU Wireless wifi reaches out to the Passion Puddle, making it an ideal study spot and a lounge area if you're a student or guest. The natural greenery around the small puddle will give you a sense of calm and safety. The old-fashioned architecture of the Douglass campus might even transport you back in time to days before computers. Additionally, if you go at the right times, you can spot adorable geese and turtles swimming around in the puddle. 

2. Hartshorne Woods Park

This area is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey. This historic hiking trail sits near Sandy Hook Bay. The entire park is wooded with a trail leading right up to the bayside. It is a great place to go get some exercise and fresh air. Plus, they are pet friendly so you can bring your trained dog. There are a lot of pretty sites in the park that make for great photo ops. There is something about being in the woods that I find incredibly calming. I feel one with nature while hiking on this trail. and the opposite of the passion puddle, there is not very good wifi or cellular connection in this area, making it easier to focus on nature. I especially love walking to the trail's end near the water. It feels like you are at the end of something and is a tranquil and secluded place.

3. Manasquan Reservoir 

Located in Howell Township, NJ, this is a unique spot. A beautiful wooded hiking trail surrounds the water. You will encounter bikers, hikers, and sometimes people with their dogs! This is the perfect spot to enjoy with your furry friend! Looking out at the view from the water gives me a nice serotonin boost, as I find it to be very relaxing. Being close to water is linked to happiness and calm moods—a 2013 study links being in "blue spaces" to better overall mental health. The summertime is the best time to visit the reservoir, as you can go kayaking in the water. This is easily one of my favorite summertime activities. 

4. Rutgers Gardens 

This is a beautiful spot close to the University Cook campus. There are a lot of beautiful flowers that bloom in the spring/summertime and significant areas to hike in. This is also an excellent place for cute photo ops. I love being surrounded by the beauty of nature. Flowers have always been one of my absolute favorite parts of spring. I recommend coming here if you feel down and need some beautiful colors to perk you up. 

5. Sandy Hook National Seashore 

Most people who live in New Jersey know this magnificent Monmouth County gem. Sandy Hook is the perfect beach to do just about anything at. You can hike through the partially wooded bike trail, or enjoy some sunshine along the shore! This area is gorgeous at all times of the year, yes even in the winter when you can only hike! I love looking out into the ocean and relaxing. It truly is a nice break from reality!

Whether you are girlbossing too hard or not, nature is extremely important for mental wellbeing. Take extra time this spring to spend time outside!

Julia Fuchs

Rutgers '22

Julia is a senior at Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. Academically, she is interested in Egyptian archaeology and art history. Outside of classes Julia loves fashion, coffee, art, music and is a dedicated feminist! Her Campus is a way for her to combine all of her interests in a journalistic setting, and an organization she loves being a part of!
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