Atlanta Inner City Outings
Have you been longing to get outside but feel like you need to have more of a purpose? Check out our Inner City Outings Program! Since 1988, Atlanta Inner City Outings (ICO) has been bringing children from inner city settings to the great outdoors where they are surrounded by towering trees and pristine lakes. For kids used to hearing sirens and city buzz, the cheerful chirping of birds and serene sounds of nature is a refreshing escape; many of them have never set foot outside the communities they call home. ICO is one of the most fun parts of the Sierra Club mission to explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
The Atlanta chapter currently works with four agencies, including John Hope Elementary School, the Brookhaven and Warren Boys and Girls Clubs and the newest agency, Parkside Elementary Unity Club. These agencies all have one goal in mind; they all want to get their kids outside, in nature, but lack the resources to do so. That's where ICO steps in, providing the agencies with resources such as equipment, food and transportation, in addition to covering all expenses associated with the outing. With the goal of 8-10 trips per year per agency, this is no small feat, but comes easy to the team of dedicated volunteers that keep the Atlanta chapter of ICO running.
Recently, eight girls from the Warren Boys and Girls Club and three ICO volunteers started off their ICO season for 2010-11 with a trip to the Chattahoochee Nature Center, which was also part of the national day of service on September 11th called Serve Outdoors. Upon arrival, the group was greeted by a nature center volunteer with a red-shouldered hawk on her arm. She explained that this hawk, along with all birds kept at the Center, are ones who couldn’t survive in the wilderness for various reasons. After a lunch filled with interesting foods, the group visited the butterfly gardens, which were in full bloom. Following a hike on the trails, the group went to the amphitheater for a program about reptiles and amphibians. On their way to the Center to look through the giant microscope, the group saw some female hawks, who have distinctive white heads. Ayana was the first one to spot the male. The girls are looking forward to a trip to a corn maize in October and an overnight camping trip at Indian Springs State Park in November.
Atlanta ICO is always looking for volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering, please visit http://atlantaico.org/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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