Sierra Club
Building Bridges to the Outdoors Newsletter

Sierra Club Thanks Our Nation's Heroes on Veterans Day and Every Day

On 11/11/11, Sierra Club's Mission Outdoors programs hosted and supported events honoring our veterans across the country. In Taos, New Mexico, hundreds gathered to participate in a ceremony and outdoor service project to celebrate our veterans young and old. Mission Outdoors co-hosted the event with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and the Local VFW post 3259.

Mark LemkeMark Lemke, Sierra Club apprentice and Marine Corps veteran, delivered remarks during the opening ceremony. His words both painted a picture of the mental and physical issues veterans face when they return from military service, and suggested connecting with the outdoors as one solution for how other veterans might begin a healing and reintegration process.

Following the ceremony, over sixty volunteers, including Sierra Club activists, pitched in to help beautify the Taos Plaza, one of the oldest gathering places in the West. Volunteers painted benches, built an outdoor play area and broke ground for a memorial tree. They also wrote hundreds of letters and sent phone cards to New Mexico"s active duty soldiers.

Read more about the Taos event.

Additionally, Mission Outdoors partnered with Mission Serve’s Service Nation in Seattle, Honolulu and Denver to host community service projects on Veterans Day.

Sierra Club would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all those who serve, have served and will serve. To learn more about how you can support veterans and military families, please visit First Lady Michelle Obama’s and Dr. Jill Biden's Joining Forces initiative.

Veterans Summit the Grand Teton on September 11, 2011

On the 10th anniversary of 9-11, Sierra Club's National Military and Veterans Representative linked up with Veterans Expeditions and Jackson Hole Mountain Guides to climb the Grant Teton. We reported on this expedition in our September edition of The Buzz. Now, we are proud to share this short video documenting the trip of lifetime.

Cincinnati Bigs Get Their Littles Outdoors

Sierra Club's Cincinnati Inner City Outings (ICO) program is joining forces with Big Brothers Big Sisters to get more kids outdoors. ICO will train the big brothers and sisters so that they can mentor the little brothers and sisters in outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, biking, swimming, fishing, canoeing and animal tracking.Cincinnati Inner City Outings According to Sierra Club's Kent Lyle, "the great thing is we can provide the venue and leadership for the outing, while the Bigs can focus on their Littles and what's going on around them, and all the things they can learn from the natural world. Plus, the Littles can get together with other kids and just plain be kids with some unstructured playtime. Whether we're at a playground or in a stream looking for animal tracks and fossils, it's wonderful to watch kids connect with each other and with nature." Read more about the partnership and about Cincinnati ICO.

Looking to get outdoors this holiday season?

Sierra Club's local outings are open to members and non-members alike. Our outings leaders are Sierra Club volunteers, and the range of outings is as diverse as their interests. Depending on where you are, you can choose from day hikes, peak scrambles, bicycling, cross-country skiing, bird-watching, conservation-oriented walks, or forays into the remaining natural areas of our major cities. Find a Sierra Club chapter or group outing in your own backyard!
Building Bridges to the Outdoors
The goal of the Sierra Club's Building Bridges to the Outdoors (BBTO) program is to give every child in America an outdoor experience...leave no child inside! Find out more on our website.

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National News

Healthy Kids Outdoors Act Introduced in Both Houses of Congress: The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act was recently introduced by Senator Mark Udall of Colorado and Congressman Ron Kind of Wisconsin. If passed, the bill would encourage the development and implementation of national and state comprehensive strategies to reconnect kids with the outdoors. Read the announcement from OAK (Outdoors Alliance for Kids).

And check out this great Letter to the Editor from Sierra Club activist Gwen Miller. Gwen participated in Great Outdoors American week in September where she educated decision-makers about the importance of the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act.

America's Great Outdoors 50 State Report: Interior Secretary Salazar released a 50 state report on the America’s Great Outdoors initiative. Two projects in each state will help to protect and reconnect people, especially youth, with our lands and waterways.

OAK (Outdoors Alliance for Kids) continues to grow: This month, OAK welcomed four new organizations to the national alliance to promote the reconnection of children, youth and families with nature.

Welcome Public Lands Service Coalition, Robert Bateman Get to Know Program, Wilderness Inquiry and Adventure Advertising. Learn more about OAK and its members.

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