Central Oregon Inner City Outings
Helping Kids Get Out in Nature
With over 50 chapters around the country, Inner City Outings is focused on reaching kids who might not otherwise get to enjoy nature for social, environmental or financial reasons and introducing them to the outdoors in a fun, safe and educational way. After nine months of planning and networking, three dedicated Juniper Group volunteers have made a successful application to the Sierra Club’s national office to start a program here in Central Oregon. We have lined up three partners in the community—the Latino Community Association, COPY, and Sisters Parks and Recreation—and are hoping to lead our first outing this fall. A leader from our community partner will join us on all of our outings.
Exciting as this step is, we need a handful of people to help us move forward by:
- becoming ICO trip leaders
- volunteering with logistical aspects
- suggesting community organizations that might be interested in becoming "partners"
This is a wonderful opportunity to engage with the next generation of Sierra Club members and truly "make a difference” in our mission to enjoy, explore and protect our planet for the future. Interested? Want more information? Contact Chair John Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org, come to the September 11 meeting where we will have a short presentation on the brand new Central Oregon ICO, or check out the Sierra Club Inner City Outings website.
First Hike with Big Brothers/Big Sisters
By Gretchen Valido
Our first Central Oregon Inner City Outings hike took place along the Metolius River near Sisters on October 13. Partnering with us were Big Brothers Big Sisters, and staffer Jenna Rands was an enthusiastic, bubbly presence who provided an important link to the BB/BS pairs.
As we walked down the trail, outings leader John Griffith in the lead, we stopped often, thrilled by salmon we spotted swimming close to shore. Nikoll, a cute 10-year old, was particularly intrigued and eagerly often pointed out fish for us to come see. Here’s one, here! There was a healthy current to the river and people flyfishing dotted both sides, and so we talked about the concept of catch and release.
Lunch was a nice break, by which time the group was comfortable with one another and feeling invigorated by the fresh autumn air and fun the kids were having. John was masterful at giving brief, spontaneous conservation messages.
We probably went a little too far on the trail before turning back, which didn’t leave much time to explore the fish hatchery. When we arrived back at the parking lot, homemade chocolate chip cookies hit the spot, a nice treat. Some of the BB/BS left for home and some stayed to feed fish at the hatchery, and the outing ended on a very pleasant and upbeat note. I was exhilarated by our first ICO outing, quite a success!