Chicago ICO outings take local youth to the many beautiful
natural areas in Chicago, Illinois and neighboring states.
local forest preserves and nature centers, especially when there are
special programs, to learn about local plants and animals. We hike and
camp in state parks enjoying beautiful scenery, campfires and
star-filled skies away from city lights.
In winter you will find us at Starved Rock State Park watching the
eagles that gather there and checking out the frozen waterfalls.
[ Click on pictures to see larger versions]
With spring approaching we head to a Maple Syrup tapping event at a local
forest preserve. We try our hands at tapping the trees, watch the sap being
boiled down and then, after a hike in the woods, taste the final
product on pancakes.
As the weather warms up we explore further.
The Indiana Dunes provide a nationally
recognized area full of interesting ecology and great beaches. Ranger
led hikes explain how the dunes were formed and explore the plants and
animals that inhabit them.
Starved Rock State Park has many hiking trails, great river views and
canyons to explore on summer days.
Camping trips are always a big hit. Fishing, hikes, canoe paddling, campfire stories
and, of course, smores all make for a great escape from the city.
We also do service activity trips. We regularly take groups to
help with Earth Day events the Chicago River Clean Up and
Great Lakes Beach Clean Up. We
also have popular trips to forest preserves around Chicago to help remove invasive
plants and learn more about local habitats. Several groups have signed
up with the Adopt a Preserve program and are taking greater ownership of
their chosen sites.