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Boulder Valley ICO Outing
Boulder Valley ICO participants at Bow-tie Arch near Moab, Utah

Sierra Club’s Boulder Valley Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) provides free nature outings and wilderness adventures to children from low-income families in Boulder County.  The vast majority of our participants have had no meaningful exposure to the natural world outside of ICO, even though they live in close proximity to the Rocky Mountains.

Through hiking, canoeing, biking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, river rafting, and service trips, our all volunteer leaders expose these children to the natural world in ways that inspire wonder and a concern for the environment.  “That place was so cool.  I can’t believe we actually got to go there.” says one long-time participant, Cris López, of our trip to Yellowstone National Park, “‘Cause our homes lives are so bad.  Just about the only fun we ever have is with the Sierra Club.”

In addition, participants learn earth and life sciences, leadership skills, and the basics of environmental stewardship through our free Compass Youth Leadership program.  For example, we teach orienteering through a combination of in-class lecture and a special field trip in which kids have to use map and compass to find movie gift certificates that we’ve hidden in the forest.

Boulder Valley ICO depends entirely on donations to provide transportation, food, equipment, and leader training to keep the program running. We have no paid staff and no overhead, so all contributions to The Sierra Club Foundation for Boulder Valley ICO go directly to fund outings.  Your donation really makes a difference for the children we serve.

We recognize all gifts on our website, unless the donor requests anonymity.  Donors are listed according the following levels of giving:

Hiker  - up to $199
Trekker  - $200 to $499
Explorer  - $500 to $999
Expeditionary - $1,000 to $1,999
Discoverer - $2,000 or more

Anonymity in a gift can be requested at

Donors may also sponsor individual outings.  To sponsor an outing, please contact us at  Corporate donors can contact us to find out how we can provide recognition for your support of our program.


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The Sierra Club Foundation stewards charitable contributions and assets responsibly. We are proud to have earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and an A+ from CharityWatch. Our high ratings from nonprofit watchdog organizations demonstrate our commitment to sound fiscal management, good governance, and commitment to accountability and transparency.