(PRESS RELEASE)_(Palm Beach County, FL – August 16, 2023) The Loxahatchee Group of the Sierra Club Florida Chapter is touting its volunteer-driven program Palm Beach County Inspiring Connections Outdoors (or PBCICO), which is dedicated to exposing underserved South Florida youth to the wonders of nature.
The program was featured in the July 1, 2023 issue of Sierra, the nonprofit organization’s national magazine. Under the headline, In Florida, a Program Helps Children of Migrants Connect to the Outdoors, the article focused on the group’s work with one organization, the Migrant Education Program of Palm Beach County, which serves children of migrant workers.
Written by Allison Salerno, a journalist who accompanied youth on an outing dip-netting and birdwatching in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Refuge, the article quotes local ICO trip leader Alyssa Cadwalader saying, “The philosophy is if we get kids exposed to the outdoors who might not otherwise be, they will come to appreciate nature. Maybe some of them may be inspired to take a role in preserving and protecting it.”
Meant to expose children to the natural world who don’t have such opportunities, PBCICO currently partners with four organizations: the Migrant Education Program of Palm Beach County, the City of Greenacres Youth Program, The Bridges of Lake Worth West program, and the Palm Beach Pace Center for Girls.
According to PBCICO Chair Meryl Davids, “In 2019, before the pandemic, we had a total of 18 outings serving 176 children and teens… in the coming school year, we hope to get back to our regular numbers.”
Inspiring Connections Outdoors outings have included overnight tent camping and day outings, including hiking at Everglades National Park, kayaking and bicycling at Riverbend Park, snorkeling at Phil Foster Park, swimming in the ocean, and visits to Mounts Botanical Garden and the Florida Oceanographic Institute.
People interested in volunteering for PBCICO should contact Meryl.Davids@Florida.SierraClub.org. Donations to help fund these outings can be made online at https://www.sierraclub.org/florida/palm-be
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"