June is Great Outdoors Month and We're Headed to DCJune is Great Outdoors Month and Sierra Club Mission Outdoors is celebrating by bringing volunteers to Washington, DC, as part of Great Outdoors America week where they will share stories about the importance of reconnecting America with the great outdoors.
Great Outdoors America Week empowers our volunteers to raise their voice about the value of getting outdoors and plugs them into the broader conservation community and the threats to our natural heritage. Throughout the week, hundreds of volunteers representing diverse communities such as military families and veterans, education, and health will learn how to be effective advocates for connecting America with the outdoors. They will have opportunities to meet with members of the Administration, elected officials, and get outdoors, too, right in the heart of our nation's capitol. We are also co-hosting an educational panel with the Outdoors Alliance for Kids called Strengthening America: Connecting Military Kids and Families with the Great Outdoors. The panel is taking place at 10am on Wednesday, June 27th. If you are in DC and would like to attend, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're also looking forward to hosting nearly 100 youth from schools working with our Baltimore Inner City Outings program. The youth will talk with the Administration about the outdoors and careers in the environment. They will also take a "hike" on the National Mall!
North Star Chapter Shows You How to Ditch Your Car and Head OutsideLaunched by the Land Use and Transportation Committee of the Sierra Club North Start Chapter, the Transit to Green Space Outings Program aims to connect folks to local parks and wild areas without a car.
Each month, an outings leader plans an outing that is accessible via public transportation. Folks meet up at the local bus stop, et voila, they are outdoors enjoying nature.
So why are they doing it? Loads of reasons, actually. Hopping on the bus or train to reach natural areas reduces pollution and helps us all move beyond dirty oil. Transit to parks also reduces barriers for those who don’t have access to cars. Transit to Green Space shows how easy (and cheap!) it is to get outside in nature using local public transportation. Check out some photos, and go get your bus map! Getting there is half the fun!
We Didn't Start the Fire, But We Did Enjoy the GilaAt 8:45 AM on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, seven veterans, two National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) instructors and one Army wife trod out of the Aldo Leopold Wilderness in the Gila National Forest near Silver City, NM. It was the first trip of its kind, combining Sierra Club Mission Outdoors and NOLS to teach wilderness ethics, skills, and leadership to participants who heard about the trip from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Operation Free.
The seven day trip was made possible through the generosity of the Sierra Club Foundation and brought together an incredibly diverse group. Well, at least it looked like a diverse group. We had every branch of service minus the Coast Guard represented. Wounded warriors, a retired Navy Commander, active duty Air Force, Marine Reservist, National Guard; men and women, and a few Army veterans who represented a slice of the African American, Latino, Native American, and Caucasian experience in the United States. More than half the group had not backpacked or camped before...read more here
Check out the stories of the participants here, here, here, and here.
They Aren't Kidding (har-har): NYC ICO Celebrates Arbor DayNew York City Inner City Outings took twelve third grade students from P.S. 159 in the Bronx to the Arbor Day Celebration at The Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, NY. The beautiful grounds of the former Coe Estate was a perfect backdrop to a kid-friendly celebration of trees.
First up was the petting zoo. The kids got up close and personal with goats, sheep, chickens and bunnies. For most of the kids, it was their first time touching and interacting with any farm animal. The kids learned about each animal from the attendants and got the opportunity to feed the goats and sheep.
Next up was the Audubon Society exhibit, where the kids learned about owls and got to meet one up close. After that, they headed out for some fun at the arts & crafts and face painting stations. The kids make sun visors, lady bugs & bees, and key chains to take home to their parents.
Read more about their great trip to the Arboretum.
Our Newest Youth AmbassadorWelcome, Joaquin! Joaquin Sosa was selected as the Sierra Club's 2012 Outdoor Youth Ambassador for the 3rd annual Best Internship on Earth! Competition was tough this year, but Joaquin was an extraordinary candidate with his enthusiasm for the outdoors and creative approach to storytelling. Joaquin recently completed his third year at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he's studying digital media and photography. A self-described wilderness enthusiast, Joaquin is eager to explore all the wild places our country has to offer and share his journey through video blogging. Follow along on his cross-country adventure!