KALAMAZOO COLLEGE CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP & LILLIAN ANDERSON ARBORETUM
PARTICIPANT AGREEMENT: INCLUDING ASSUMPTION OF RISKS AND AGREEMENTS OF RELEASE AND INDEMNITY
Please read this document carefully. It must be signed by all participants. “Participant” includes adult and minor participants and includes anyone participating in the program, including but not limited to leaders, staff, alumni, and guest instructors. If the participant is a minor (under the age of 18) at least one parent or guardian (referred to below as “Parent”) must also sign, as evidence of Parent’s acknowledgement and agreement to the following, on Parent’s behalf and on behalf of the minor participant. In consideration of the services provided by Kalamazoo College Center for Environmental Stewardship, I agree to the following:
ACTIVITIES AND RISKS
I understand that Kalamazoo College Center for Environmental Stewardship provides trail maintenance, volunteer work days, guided hikes, and potential transportation by bus, car, van, train and/or plane. Further, I understand and acknowledge that the activities of the program have risks, including certain risks which are inherent.
Inherent risks cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique character of an activity. The same elements that contribute to the unique character of an activity can cause loss or damage to equipment, accidental injury, illness, or, in extreme cases, permanent trauma, disability or death. The following describes some, but not all, of the inherent risks of Kalamazoo College Center for Environmental Stewardship:
– Water travel: Rapidly moving, deep or cold water can increase the risk of hypothermia and drowning. Rivers and bodies of water also contain potentially dangerous obstacles such as rapids, waterfalls, submerged rocks, downed trees (“strainers”), undercut rocks and unstable ice, as well as other hazards. Foot entrapment is a serious risk, especially in moving water. Many lakes and rivers are used by motor craft and float planes, and there is risk of collisions. Traveling at night increases all of these risks.
– Wildlife encounters: Bears inhabit forested areas and have attacked and even killed humans. Rodents and other mammals can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, including Hanta virus, which attacks the respiratory system and can be deadly. Stinging or biting insects can cause pain and discomfort, or occasionally even serious allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. Mosquitoes and ticks are unavoidable and can carry diseases that are harmful to humans. The bite from poisonous snakes can cause serious illness and even death in some. Humans will be encountered, and these can be very dangerous animals as well!
– Wilderness environment: There are many inherent risks in the outdoors, including falling or rolling rock, lightning, high winds, falling trees or branches, hail, flash floods, landslides, mud slides, avalanches, weather that may change to extreme conditions without notice, extreme temperatures, and other unpredictable forces of nature.
– Effects of participation in outdoor trips: Additional risks include allergic reactions, psychological distress, hypothermia, hyperthermia, sunburn, heatstroke, dehydration, and other mild or serious conditions. Exposure to the natural elements can be uncomfortable or harmful. Program staff may carry prescription medications such as epinephrine and may administer epinephrine to an individual who appears to be exhibiting signs and symptoms of a serious allergic reaction.
– Food and water: Participants are often responsible for providing their own food. Improper food handling and sanitation can cause illness. Food may be mislabeled or ingredients may become mixed, which can be harmful to those with food sensitivities or allergies. Participants may acquire water from natural sources which can contain harmful viruses or bacteria such as giardia and cryptosporidium. These viruses and bacteria can remain in treated water as well. Participants may use iodine to chemically treat drinking water which can cause illness in some.
– Motorized travel: Participants may travel by bus, 12 passenger van, minivan and car between locations and are subject to inattentive drivers, objects in the road, equipment and vehicular failure, impacts with animals and other road related hazards.
– Wilderness travel: Travel by foot is often in rugged terrain and may occur on steep slopes in which participants could fall from a height, slip, become disoriented and lost, become separated from the group, dislodge rocks and be hit from rocks falling from above.
Bottom line: There are risks associated with the activities of the Kalamazoo College Center for Environmental Stewardship! It is the responsibility of the participant to familiarize themselves with the activities of the program and the nature of the risks associated with those activities before participating.
I have read and understand the Kalamazoo College Center for Environmental Stewardship promotional materials. Kalamazoo College and the Center for Environmental Stewardship office staff have been available to more fully explain the nature and physical demands of the activities in which I will be engaged, and certain inherent and other risks of my activity with Kalamazoo College and Center for Environmental Stewardship.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ASSUMPTION OF INHERENT AND OTHER RISKS
I understand and acknowledge that the description above (“Activities and Risks”) of the inherent risks of my activities is not complete and that other, including unknown or unanticipated, risks, inherent and otherwise, may result in property loss, injury, illness or death. I acknowledge that my participation in this program is purely voluntary, and I wish to participate in spite of and in knowledge of the inherent and other risks involved. I ACKNOWLEDGE AND ASSUME THE INHERENT RISKS DESCRIBED ABOVE AND ALL OTHER INHERENT RISKS OF MY ACTIVITY. IN ADDITION, I EXPRESSLY ASSUME ALL RISKS OF ENROLLING AND PARTICIPATING IN A PROGRAM, INHERENT OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER OR NOT DESCRIBED ABOVE.
AGREEMENTS AND RELEASE OF INDEMNITY
If I am an ADULT participant, or the parent of a minor participant I agree, for myself and on behalf of the minor participant for whom I sign, as follows:
I HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS AND AGREE NOT TO SUE KALAMAZOO COLLEGE, CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP, ITS OFFICERS, TRUSTEES, AGENTS, AND STAFF INCLUDING EMPLOYEES, VOLUNTEERS AND INTERNS (“RELEASED PARTIES”), with respect to any and all claims of loss or damage to person or property by reason of injury, disability, death, or otherwise, suffered by me or by a minor participant for whom I sign, arising in whole or part from my, or the minor participant’s, enrollment or participation in any activity of Kalamazoo College Center for Environmental Stewardship. I AGREE FURTHER TO INDEMNIFY (“INDEMNIFY” MEANING TO DEFEND, AND TO PAY OR REIMBURSE, INCLUDING COSTS AND ATTORNEY’S FEES) RELEASED PARTIES against any claim by a member of my, or the minor participant’s, family, a rescuer, another participant, or any other person, arising in whole or part from an injury or other loss suffered by me or caused by me, or by the minor Participant, in connection with my, or the minor participant’s enrollment or participation in an activity of the Kalamazoo College Center for Environmental Stewardship.
THESE AGREEMENTS OF RELEASE AND INDEMNITY INCLUDE CLAIMS OF NEGLIGENCE.
Kalamazoo College may use my or the minor participant’s name and photo or other image in promotional materials and press releases.
Damages, loss or theft:
I agree to be responsible for any damage I, or the minor participant, may cause to facilities gear. Kalamazoo College Center for Environmental Stewardship is not responsible for loss, theft or damage to a participant’s personal belongings stored at Kalamazoo College Center for Environmental Stewardship facilities.
This agreement shall be governed, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Michigan. Any action concerning any dispute arising hereunder shall be filed and maintained only in a state or federal court sitting in the State of Michigan. The parties’ execution of this agreement shall be considered as consent and submission to the jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in Michigan.
This agreement constitutes the entire agreement and understanding between the parties regarding the subject matter described, shall be considered a complete and exclusive statement of the terms thereof, and supersedes all previous agreements with respect to the subject matters covered by this Agreement. No modification or amendment to the agreement shall be valid unless in writing, signed by the party against whom such alteration or modification is sought.
If any provision of this agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable, the other provisions of the agreement shall remain valid and enforceable in accordance with their respective terms, and any such invalid or unenforceable provision shall be modified by a court of competent jurisdiction to render such provision valid and enforceable.
This Agreement may be executed and delivered by facsimile or electronic transmission, in one or more separate counterparts, each of which when executed and delivered shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall constitute the same agreement.
THE PARTICIPANT AND THE PARENT(S) OR GUARDIAN OF A MINOR PARTICIPANT HAVE READ THIS PAGE AND THE PREVIOUS PAGES OF THIS DOCUMENT AND UNDERSTAND AND VOLUNTARILY AGREE TO ITS TERMS, WHICH SHALL BE BINDING UPON THEM, THEIR HEIRS, ESTATE, EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS. THE AGREEMENT MAY BE MODIFIED ONLY IN WRITING.