Georgia’s Berry College ranked second out of 30 small colleges deemed best for nature lovers, according to a list compiled this month by Great Value Colleges.
The online college information company used data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator database and the individual schools’ websites to rank the schools, which all have student populations under 10,000. The number of outdoor-oriented sports, clubs and teams; the proximity to outdoor opportunities; the university’s green status and number of nature-focused courses and degree programs were also considered.
Humboldt State University in Arcata, California was named the top school for nature lovers.
Berry is located near Rome, and has a student enrollment of about 2,220. At 27,000 acres, the private school claims to have the largest college in the world. About 16,000 of those acres are a wildlife management area including 40 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. The entire campus is considered an outdoor classroom, and Berry “has begun to establish itself as a world-class destination for studying the environmental sciences,” according to the school’s website.
Berry’s close proximity to the Little River Canyon National Preserve, Talladega National Forest and the Chattahoochee National Forest also factored into the college’s high ranking.
Berry is also home to pairs of bald eagles that have become online celebrities through live video streams over the past few years that have shown the birds caring for eggs and newly hatched eaglets, and fending off an attack by a great horned owl.
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