Inner City Outings

Louisville, KY


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Previous Outings
Helping Out
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Our Mission:

To promote personal development by linking cultures, fostering respect of self and others and providing leadership skills;

To promote appreciation and protection of our local and global environments through a process of outdoor exploration, education, spiritual growth and sharing.

 So, What Does That Mean?

Inner City Outings (ICO) is a Sierra Club community outreach program.  Through  ICO, Sierra Club members provide outdoor experiences for nonmembers who might not otherwise have them.  Most of the participants are young people from urban communities, but ICO leaders also conduct trips for physically disabled persons and hearing or visually impaired individuals, or any population that does not have access to wilderness activities, nor environmental appreciation. 

The goal of the Inner City Outings program is to help people discover the beauty and challenges of the wild lands we treasure, acquire the skills necessary to enjoy them safely, and learn that human activity and the natural world are interrelated.  This means trust and communication are necessary, as are physical safety and respect for limits, and recognizing the fragility of nature (environmental education).  The program’s success helps to increase the environmental awareness, interpersonal skills, and self-esteem of the participants through active involvement with nature. 

To recruit participants for the outings, ICO leaders build partnerships with community agencies or schools that want to provide outings for their members, but who do not have the resources needed to do so.  Staff from the agencies are encouraged to work closely with the ICO leaders to make the outings successful experiences.  Local partner agencies have included Brooklawn, Maryhurst, Jefferson County Public Schools, and Portland Neighborhood House. 

ICO furnishes most of what is needed for wilderness adventure: skilled leadership, equipment and sometimes even food and transportation.  Most outings are day hikes or weekend trips with 6 to12 participants, 4 ICO volunteer leaders and one or more agency staff.  The group usually visits a nearby park or wilderness area.  Local outings have included: day hikes to Tioga Falls and the Falls of the Ohio, caving outings, and overnight trips to the Red River Gorge, Mammoth Cave National Park, Big South Fork Recreation Area,  and Hoosier National Forest. 

ICO leaders are volunteers.  Although ICO is a National Sierra Club program headquartered in San Francisco, each local ICO group functions as an activity section or subcommittee of its local Sierra Club Chapter or Group.  We are linked to the Louisville Group of Kentucky’s Cumberland Chapter.

For more information, please feel free to email our current leadership, Josh McMinn and Paula Mitchell




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 Contact Us (Last updated 02/13/08 )