Inspiring Connections Outdoors: New Name, New beginning

By Anne Marie Buron

Photo credit: Sierra Club Planet

Photo credit: Sierra Club Planet

As of July 1st, the Sierra Club’s Inner City Outings program received the new name Inspiring Connections Outdoors. The program began in the early 1970’s and now includes 55 chapters and 14,000 participants across the country.

So why change the name? The Sierra Club explains that, “to some people the words “Inner City” have negative connotations, and have been a barrier to deeper engagement on the part of many participants, volunteers, would-be volunteers, donors, and agency partners.” Additionally, because the outings club also occurs in rural and suburban neighborhoods, the name just didn’t seem to fit anymore.

The program strives to provide youth the opportunity to explore the outdoors as well as opportunities for personal growth and development. You might say that the program is about inspiring a generation of environmental advocates, and so, the new name Inspiring Connections Outdoors captures the essence of the program and our pride for the program.

The name change comes at a perfect time for our own MN ICO program as volunteers work to expand and revamp the program. In the past few months, we have been recruiting new volunteers, strengthening agency partnerships and building new ones. We are excited for the future of the program!

If you’d like to get involved, please join our new leader training on Monday August 18th at 6:00 at the Sierra Club office located at 2327 E. Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. For more info or questions, please contact Liz Dengate at

Anne Marie Buron is a volunteer leader and summer intern with the North Star Chapter’s Inspiring Connections Outdoors program.


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