Since 1971 Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) has been connecting those with limited access to the outdoors – especially youth. Today, the Sierra Club has 45 ICO groups nationwide whose volunteer leaders conduct more than 900 outings for approximately 14,000 people each year. By helping these participants discover, enjoy and explore the beauty of natural places, ICO helps the Sierra Club build support for environmental protection in urban, suburban and rural communities across the country.

Through ICO, people who would not otherwise be able to spend time in nature learn how to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. From simple day hikes, museum visits to weekend camping or longer backpacking trips, ICO offers a range of age-appropriate activities to help underrepresented communities explore, enjoy, and experience feeling connected with the natural places near their homes and far from their neighborhoods.

Locally: ICO is run entirely by volunteers who work with elementary students in the greater Cincinnati area. Current outings for ICO include a once a week after school programming at the Academy of World Languages (Cincinnati public) and Newport Primary (Northern Kentucky). There are also occasional weekend outings with these schools.

Do you love outdoors and kids? Can you share your time? Volunteer with Cincinnati ICO! Volunteer opportunities include assisting with weekend outings, after school programs, treasurer responsibilities, and training for new volunteers.

Contact Roberta Shawhan: 812-204-7921 or [email protected]

ICO Kids

View this picture of one of our activities with the Inspiring Connections Outdoors Committee!

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“It’s neat to go out with a kid who in the morning says he would rather have stayed home and played with his computer who then ends up with a big smile on his face and has a great time."
- ICO Volunteer
“I like Sierra Club because this is my first time attending and I am already having the time of my life”​
- ICO Kid
“Oh my goodness. Thank you so much I’m so proud of him for getting on the ice! Thank you for making it happen and for those that were by his side. I’m very grateful.”​
- ICO Parent
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