WICO led nine outings in 2011, serving 51 youth with over 299 hours of youth time spent outdoors or on educational pursuits. Although this is a decrease from our previous year, we are proud of the accomplishment as several volunteers and our program chair retired from the program. 2011 was a year of transition which saw most trips coordinated by 2 new leaders, Cecilia Trudeau and Joan Wolf with the help and guidance of long-time Sierra Club mentor Barbara Powell.
October 15: WICO took 10 children age 8 to 11 from Bryant Community Center to Alber’s Orchard in Manchester. At the orchard the youth found their way through a corn maze, viewed the cider mill, ate donuts and drank cider, took a hayride to a pumpkin patch where everyone picked out a pumpkin, went to the barn and petted the baby calf, fed the goats and saw some cute bunnies.
Summer: WICO worked with the Green Baxter based Community Action Network Summer Middle School Day Camp on two outings in July and August.
One was a trip to Matthaei Botanical Gardens, where WICO was given a classroom for volunteer, Jan Brimacombe to set up her wonderful display of living monarch butterflies in various life stages: eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis. Jan asked the children leading questions to engage their observation skills and after about 40 minutes the group of 8 children and leaders went outside and visited the Children’s and other gardens. The children saw several butterflies including monarchs, swallowtails, and viceroys flying and feeding on flowers in the gardens.
The other WICO trip organized for the middle school summer campers was intended to be a kayak outing on Silver Lake in Pinckney Recreation Area. Due to a sudden thundershower, plans were altered. And although the 8 middle school children were disappointed, an important lesson was learned: to respect nature’s warning signs and avoid the water when lightening is present. The group still had fun, the park’s Junior Explorer Leader led an animal identification game and John Cologne, from nearby Hell, MI generously treated everyone to ice cream at his shop, Screams.
For many years we have enjoyed taking youth to the annual Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter retreat at Camp Miniwanca on Lake Michigan. This is the highlight of the summer outings and in 2011 WICO leaders hosted a family of four from Bryant Community Center, a 10 year old boy and his 8 year old sister along with their mom and aunt, for a memorable family weekend away. This is a rare event for the families that we work with and they were extremely grateful for the opportunity to enjoy time together away from the city. Fortunately, the weather was phenomenal and the family enjoyed playing in the sand dunes, relaxing at the evening campfires, observing the stars each night, canoeing, hiking and enjoying all the fun activities planned.
Other 2011 trips included a trip to Kensington Park’s petting farm in the spring, a winter night sky hike at Independence Lake, and a fall hike and campfire in the Pinckney Recreation area.
November 20: Eight youth from Hikone visited the Leslie Science Center for a hike, close-up observation of birds of prey and a visit to the critter house. Outing leader was Cecilia Trudeau assisted by Barbara Powell.
November 13: Eight youth from Bryant visited the Eddy Discovery Center at Waterloo Recreation Area for an interpretive hike along the bog trail and a class in mammal study provided by DNR employee Matt Millar. Outing leader was Tom Dayss assisted by volunteers from Circle K.
October 23: Eight youth from Hikone went horseback riding at Brighton Recreation Area. Outing leaders were Brandon Nascimento and Michelle Nawal.
October 9: Twelve youth from Bryant visited Alber apple orchard in Manchester. Outing leaders were Tom Dayss and Brandon Nascimento.
September 25: Nine youth from Hikone attended the Oakwoods Metropark Fall Festival where they enjoyed a guided canoe trip in a giant voyager canoe, hiked, visited the nature center and learned how apple cider is made. Outing leader was Brandon Nascimento assisted by Barbara and Ralph Powell and Cecilia Trudeau.
September 25: Six teens from Bryant enjoyed a hike, campfire and making smores under the full moon at the S.E. Michigan Land Conservancy - LeFurge Woods. Outing leader was Tom Dayss assisted by Joan and Jon Wolf.
August 27-29: The Womble family (two adults, three children) from Hikone attended the Sierra Club - Mackinac Chapter Retreat at Camp Miniwanca on Lake Michigan. Outing leaders were Tom Dayss and Cecilia Trudeau.
July 29: Seven youth from Bryant learned about the monarch butterfly and went hiking at Oakwoods Metropark. Outing leader was Tom Dayss.
July 22: Youth from Bryant enjoyed canoeing on the Huron River. Outing leader was Tracy Bialk.
July 19: Nine youth from Green Baxter enjoyed fishing at Silver Lake in Pinckney Recreation Area. Outing leader was Tom Dayss.
July 11: Six youth from Hikone attended Huron River Days. Outing leader was Tom Dayss.
June 12: Six youth from Hikone took part in a fishing outing at Silver Lake. Outing leader was Tom Dayss.
June 5: Six youth from Bryant took part in an outing to Parker Mills. Outing leader was Barbara Powell.
April 6: Six youth from Bryant took part in an outing to Kensington Metropark's Farm and Nature Center. A highlight was one participant hand-feeding a woodpecker. Outing leader was Tom Dayss.
February 20: Eight youth from Hikone enjoyed ice skating at the Buhr Blitz. Outing leader was Tracy Bialk.
August 28-30: WICO Outing leaders Michelle Nawal & Matt Vernier hosted the Johnson family of five from Green Baxter at the Annual Sierra Club - Michigan Chapter Retreat at Camp Miniwanca on Lake Michigan. Assisted by volunteer Cecilia Trudeau.
August 1: Hikone fishing at Bruin Lake. Outing leader was Tracy Bialk.
June 13: Five teens from Bryant Community Center enjoyed fishing at Rolling Hills County Park. Outing Leader was Barbara Powell assisted by Faye Stoner and Tom Dayss.
May 23: Six youth from Hikone enjoyed a hike, games & a picnic lunch at Huron Meadows Metropark. Outing Leader was Tracy Bialk assisted by Matt Vernier.
May 16: Our Very First Outing with Bryant Community Center. Eleven Bryant youth enjoyed an evening hike at Pinckney Recreation Area followed by a campfire and making smores. Outing Leader was Vera Hernandez assisted by Jan Brimacombe and volunteers from Circle K.
March 28: Thirteen youth from Hikone hiked at Oakwoods Metropark, visited the Nature Center and enjoyed a picnic. Outing Leader was Barbara Powell assisted by Ralph & Tom Dayss.
March 21: Seven youth from Green Baxter hiked in Nichols Arboretum to search for signs of spring. Outing leader was Matt Vernier.
February 21: Eleven Hikone youth went ice skating at Buhr Ice Arena. Outing leader was Tracy Bialk.
February 7th: Seven Green Baxter youth went ice skating at Buhr Ice Arena. Outing leader was Vera Hernandez.
January 24th: Eleven Green Baxter youth went skiing at Hudson Mills Metropark. Outing leader was Matt Vernier.
November 22: Five Green Baxter youth went hiking at Leslie Science Center. Outing leader was Tracy Bialk.
October 19: Green Baxter went horseback riding at Highwater Corral near Pinckney Recreation Area. Outing leader was Matt Vernier.
September 20: Seven Hikone youth went horseback riding at Highwater Corral near Pinckney Recreation Area with Hikone. Outing leaders were Matt Vernier and Michelle Nawal.
August 22-24: A family of four attended the Mackinaw Chapter of Sierra Club retreat at Camp Miniwanca. Outing leaders were Michelle Nawal and Matt Vernier.
August 9: Eleven Green Baxter youth went fishing at Silver Lake in the Pinckney Recreation Area. Outing leader was Vera Hernandez.
July 26: Four youth from Hikone went canoeing on the Huron River. Outing leader was Matt Vernier.
July 19: Eight youth from Green Baxter went canoeing on the Huron River at Gallup Park. Outing leader was Tracy Raymond assisted by Vera Hernandez.
May 17: Fifteen Green Baxter youth visited the Kensington Farm Center and went on a hayride. Outing leader was Matt Vernier.
May 3: Ten youth from Hikone visited Domino Farms to see the baby animals. Outing leader was Vera Hernandez.
April 19: Five Hikone youth hiked and pulled garlic mustard at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Outing leader was Barbara Powell.
March 14-16: Seven Hikone and Green Baxter youth returned to McGuire's in Cadillac, Michigan for a weekend of cross country skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, sleigh rides and more. Outing leaders: Matt Vernier and Michelle Nawal.
March 8: Thirteen youth from Green Baxter visited the U of M Exhibit Museum of Natural History for the Polar Science Adventures Discovery Day. Outing Leader was Vera Hernandez.
February 9: Five youth from Hikone visited the Nature Center and Farm Center at Kensington Metropark. They went for a hike and fed the birds. Outing leader was Barbara Powell, assisted by Ralph Powell, Matt Vernier and Tracy Raymond.
February 2: Eight youth from Green Baxter went ice skating at Yost Ice Arena. Outing leader was Vera Hernandez, assisted by Jan Brimacombe.
January 26: Hikone youth went cross country skiing at Hudson Mills Metropark. Outing leaders were Matt Vernier and Michelle Nawal.
October 28: Fourteen Hikone youth enjoyed apple picking at Wasem's Orchard in Milan. Each youth selected a pumpkin to take home.Trip leader was Vera Hernandez.
October 20: Seven Green Baxter youth went horseback riding at Highwater Corral in Pinckney Recreation Area. Trip leaders were Matt Vernier and Michelle Nawal.
October 6: Seven Hikone youth went horseback riding at Highwater Corral in Pinckney Recreation Area. Outing leaders were Matt Vernier and Michelle Nawal.
September 29: Seven youth from Hikone went fishing at Rolling Hills County Park. Trip leader was Barbara Powell assisted by county park nauralist Faye Stoner.
August 24-26: Three youth from Hikone attended the Mackinaw Chapter of Sierra Club retreat at Camp Miniwanca. ICO trip leader was Michelle Nawal.
July 28: Youth from Hikone visited Independence Lake for a picnic, hiking and swimming. ICO trip leader was Vera Hernandez.
June 27: ICO outing leader Barbara Powell is also a docent at the U of M Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Barbara gave a tour of the conservatory to eleven Green Baxter youth. Afterwards, they donned raingear to hike one of the trails.
June 23: Matt Vernier led a canoe trip on the Huron River with eight youth from Hikone.
May 19: Barbara Powell took ten Hikone children on a 45 minute boat ride on the Island Queen II on Kent Lake. They also had a picnic lunch and visited the Kensington Farm Center.
April 21 or 22: Matt Vernier led a hike with seven youth from Hikone to Matthaei Botanical Gardens to look for signs of spring.
April 9: Vera Hernandez led a Motawi tile making outing with eleven Green Baxter children. The children toured the facility and made nature-related tiles.
March 3: Barbara Powell took six Green Baxter Court children to maple syrup-making at County Farm Park assisted by Magda Spiewla.
January 13: Vera Hernandez, Dana Jackman and Magda Spiewla took six Green Baxter Court youth and staff to the Leslie Science Center's "Back from the Brink" program about raptors.
October 28: Vera Hernandez led an outing to the U of M Exhibit Museum to check out the "Sky Tonight" planetary program with nine Hikone participants.
October 20-22: Vera Hernandez, current WICO Co-chair, attended the Inspiring Connections Outdoors Midwest regional retreat in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
September 16: Barbara Powell led a hike and cookout at Lillie Park with nine youth from Hikone.
July 26: Vera Hernandez and Barbara Powell escorted twelve Hikone youth on the "Eye of the Eagle" Discovery Cruise on Lake Erie.
July 14 - 16: Michelle Nawal and Matt Vernier led a Weekend camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes with nine Hikone participants. Sponsored by the Traverse City Sierra Club.
June 3: Megan Beardsley and Matt Vernier took seven Hikone youth canoeing at Crosswinds Marsh. They loved checking out the nesting eagles through a spotting scope.
May 20: Barbara Powell and Phyllis Ford escorted six Green Baxter participants on a trip to Kensington Metropark for a hike, visit to the Nature Center and Farm Center.
May 10: Vera Hernandez led a Hikone visit to the Farm Center and Nature Center at Kensington Metropark with sixteen participants.
April 29: Barbara Powell and Phyllis Ford escorted seven Hikone participants to Lake Erie Metropark for a hike and visit to the Nature Center.
April 8: Vera Hernandez and Barbara Powell led a hike with four Green Baxter participants to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
March 25: Matt Vernier led a hike to look for signs of spring to Matthaei Botanical Gardens with eight Parkridge participants.
March 11: Vera Hernandez led a trip to the Leslie Science Center for the "Cold Blooded Creatures Program"with six participants from Hikone.
November 19: The River Raisin Raptor Rehabilitation Center visited Parkridge Community Center.
November 5: Michelle Nawal and Matt Vernier led a horseback riding trip with Parkridge.
October 29: Vera Hernandez led a trip to Leslie Science Center with Hikone.
October 22: Michelle Nawal and Matt Vernier led a horseback riding trip with Hikone.
October 8: Matt Vernier led a trip to the U of M Arboretum with Parkridge for hiking and games.
October 1: Susan Hollar led a trip to Wasem Fruit Farm for apple and pumpkin picking with Greenbaxter.
July 23: Peter Bednekoff led a day trip to Kensington Metro Park with Parkridge for swimming and the osprey festival.
July 19: The River Raisin Raptor Rehabilitation Center visited Greenbaxter Day Camp.
July 16: Barbara Powell and Matt Vernier lead an overnight camping trip to Kensington with Hikone.
June 11: Megan Beardsley led a canoe trip at Crosswinds Marsh or Gallup Park with Parkridge.
June 4: Matt Verinier and Vera Hernandez led a canoe trip at Crosswinds Marsh with ten Hikone participants. A picnic lunch followed.
May 21:nbsp;Barbara Powell led a trip to Park Lyndon South with seven Hikone participants. Faye Stoner, Washtenaw County Naturalist, led a nature hike followed by a campfire with s'mores.
April 9: Megan Beardsley led a hiking trip to Waterloo Recreation Area with eight Parkridge participants.
Feb 26: Matt Vernier led a Cross Country ski trip with a hay ride and visit to the Farm Learning Center with eight Hikone participants at Kensington Metropark.
Jan 29: Megan Beardsley led a Cross Country ski trip with eight Parkridge participants at Willow Metropark.
October 30: Matt Vernier and Michelle Nawal led a trip with six Hikone participants horseback riding at Brighton riding stables.
September 25: Susan Hollar led a night hike at LeFurge Woods (part of the SE Michigan Land Conservancy) with Green Baxter participants. The weather was beautiful and the kids enjoyed the campfire and making smores.
September 10-12: Barbara and Ralph Powell attended the Sierra Club Retreat at Lake Miniwanca with five Hikone participants. They enjoyed hiking in the dunes, the Lake Michigan beach and evening campfires under the stars.
July 24: Susan Hollar led a Canoe trip with Parkridge on the Huron River.
June 19: Susan Hollar led a canoe trip on the Huron River with both Hikone and Green Baxter. The weather was gorgeous! The river current was very swift due to all the rain this spring.
June 12: Matt Vernier led an Orienteering trip to Nichols Arboretum with Hikone.
May 8: Megan Beardsley led a Pond Study trip with Parkridge to Scarlett Mitchell Woods in Ann Arbor.
April 17: Barbara Powell led a trip with Parkridge to Kensington Metropark.
March 20: Megan Beardsley led a trip with nine Parkridge Community Center kids to the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History.
March 13-14: Vera Hernandez led a trip to McGuire's Lodge in Cadillac with six Hikone kids. They went snowshoeing, sledding, on a sleigh ride, and did other outdoor activities.
February 21: Barbara Powell led a trip with Hikone to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
February 7: Susan Hollar led a trip with four Green Baxter Court boys to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens for a docent-led tour of the conservatory. There was also a brief hike outside.
January 31: Matt Vernier led a cross country ski trip with Green Baxter Court kids to Hudson Mills Metro Park.
January 24: Susan Hollar led a trip with two Hikone Center kids to Oakwoods Metro Park. Dana Jackman was the assistant leader on this trip. The group went on a hike led by an ICO volunteer who is a naturalist at Seven Ponds Nature Center. We learned about how the Native Americans utilized the natural environment, how animals survive the winter, and how to tell poison ivy from other vines (hairy is scary and leaves of three, leave them be).
January 17: Megan Beardsley led a trip with six Parkridge Community Center kids to Oakwoods Metro Park. They went on a hike with interesting stops supplemented by information in a brochure. They also visited the nature center where they were able to handle a fox snake. Barbara Powell was the assistant leader on this trip. There were three other ICO volunteers and one agency staff member.
November 16: We led a trip with six children from Hikone to see the folksinger Walkin' Jim's "Wild Things Need Wild Places" concert at Allen Elementary School in Ann Arbor. There were three additional WICO volunteers and one agency staff member.
November 8: We led a horseback riding trip at the Brighton Stables with Hikone and Green Baxter. Eighteen children participated in this trip as well as a couple parents.
October 25: We planned to lead a group of children on an outing to pick apples and pumpkins, but due to rain opted to visit the Museum of Natural History at U of M. Fifteen children from Hikone and Green Baxter participated on this outing.
September 27: Twelve kids from Hikone and Green Baxter took part in an evening campfire and hike at the LeFurge Woods near Ypsilanti.
August 2: Six children from Hikone went canoeing on the Huron River and had a picnic at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor.
June 28: Seven youth from Parkridge went canoeing on the Huron River in Ann Arbor.
June 19-22: Three girls from Hikone went camping on South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan over this weekend.
May 3: Three middle school students from Hikone went orienteering at Yankee Springs State Park near Grand Rapids. This was a joint outing with the Grand Rapids Inspiring Connections Outdoors group.
April 5: Ten children from Parkridge went on a "practice backpacking" hike at Kensington Metropark.
March 1-2: Seven kids from Hikone participated in a winter overnight trip to Cadillac in northern Michigan. They skied, sledded, went on a sleigh ride, and one even went snowshoeing.
February 8: Nine children from Hikone visited the Cranbrook Science Museum in suburban Detroit.
January 25: Seven youths from Parkridge visited the Cranbrook Science Museum in suburban Detroit.