Natural Bloomington's tourism/fundraising side offers guided tours through the scenic, natural splendor that extends south from the Bloomington area to the Ohio River. Steeped in the twin spirits of appreciation and participation, our mission is dedicated to the principles set down by the International EcoTourism Society for “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.”
Natural Bloomington's ecotourism business is the first and only of its kind in Indiana, at least as far as we can tell. We do get out and experience our destinations up close, but our hikes are short in length and easy to moderate in difficulty. We specialize in tours for international students.
Natural Bloomington is a project of Bloomington-based environmental journalist, author and photographer Steven Higgs, who has spent 40 years exploring, photographing and writing about Southern Indiana. From 1985 to 1996, he worked as the chief environmental reporter at the Bloomington Herald-Times. From 1996-2000, he served as the senior environmental writer at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Since 2002, he has published the online news site The Bloomington Alternative.
His work has been featured in regional newspapers and magazines, as well as websites around the world, including CounterPunch, The Progressive, NUVO, Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, Indiana Alumni and others. His journalism has been recognized by journalistic organizations like the Society of Professional Journalists, Hoosier State Press Association and Associated Press Managing Editors, as well as public and private groups, including the Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana Environmental Institute, Indiana Public Health Association and Indiana Environmental Health Association. In 1996, he authored Eternal Vigilance: Nine Tales of Environmental Heroism in Indiana, IU Press.
Higgs has won more than three dozen awards for his writing, most recently in 2009 and 2010, when stories he penned for NUVO in Indianapolis were awarded second and first places for best reporting on the environment by the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2009, the Age of Autism named him Best New Blogger by for his Autism and the Indiana Environment blog, which he produced from 2008-2012.
Since 2002, he has served as an adjunct lecturer at the IU School of Journalism, teaching online and traditional classroom courses in information gathering; reporting, writing and editing; online journalism; and the environment in the news.
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