assorted ropes hanging

Eco Adventure Brings Safety and Fun to Environmental Learning 

Story by: Grae Barron

As part of the University of North Florida’s Recreation and Wellness department, Eco Adventure serves the entire Jacksonville community.  

Many groups from companies, schools, and other clubs pop over to try their hands at the ropes course. The ropes course is a test of teamwork and trust, but nothing can get going without the direction of the staff. 

The staff at Eco Adventure are trained in all sorts of safety techniques needed in other sports like rock climbing to make sure that each and every participant is safe when harnessed 20 feet in the air. 

Ropes course at Eco Adventure. Photo by Grae Barron 

Amy Costa, the Assistant Director of Eco Adventure, said that the staff is certified in different safety programs and teambuilding activities before taking groups up to the course.  

“We do a lot of extensive training with them because they obviously have to have a lot of hard skills and soft skills to take people up on the ropes course,” she said. “They go through literally, like, a whole semester of learning the skills and then they get ACCT certified.” 

The ACCT is the Association of Challenge Course Technology, which brings safety courses and certification to most ropes courses in the world. With these certifications, the staff is trained in rock climbing techniques, different knots, and safe ways to get back onto the course.  

The employees at Eco Adventure are mostly UNF students with little experience going in, but by the time they are able to bring groups through the course, they are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to keep everyone safe while having a good time.  

The challenge course is available for the Jacksonville community as many different teams work on trust skills through the program.