Meet Our Donors

Doug Walker
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Doug Walker (in red shirt, below) firmly believes that exploring and enjoying are what leads us to protecting the environment. He has worked with the Sierra Club on a number of issues, but it’s the Mission Outdoors program that really inspires his enthusiasm:

"Pretty much all my life I've been involved in outdoor pursuits. I grew up in a semi-rural section of South Carolina; lots of hunting and fishing, and camping. My first camping trip with no grownups was with my brother when I was six and he was eight.

So often, we drive kids someplace and say, 'Look at this pretty scenery,' but that's not really going to help connect them, just looking at it from the car window. If we want them to connect to the outdoors we have to immerse them in the physical, tactile experience of it - eating something off the campfire that's something kids really do enjoy. That's where we can get their attention and say, 'Look, the outdoors is cooler than anything you're doing.'

I'm really big on getting that story out there; time and again I find it's remarkably salable. People complain kids are all into the electronic world, but even the most electronic kid will find the outdoor experience overwhelming in a likable way. And then we can help them make the connection emotionally: What if that place is gone and we can't ever go back there?

I give to The Sierra Club Foundation because I believe in the greater power of Sierra Club, which is considered the largest and most effective of all the environmental organizations. It's a fabulous brand and it's doing fabulous work, effectively. The Foundation provides another point of oversight, which is comforting.

Sierra Club Outdoors

Building the Movement, One Trek at a Time

Through local outings, conservation-oriented activities, and leadership training, Sierra Club Outdoors programs support John Muir's assertion that people who experience wilderness firsthand are much more likely to preserve it for future generations.

Inner City Outings

The Inner City Outings program promotes appreciation for and protection of the natural environment, creating opportunities for personal development through outdoor adventures, leadership training, and environmental education for people who might not otherwise have the opportunity. "Whenever kids fall in love with the outdoors, they become the future stewards," says San Francisco Bay Outings Leader Sina Szabados. "In 20 years, they will be the next us. My biggest goal is to empower them and make them want to get outside and get away from their TVs and video games."

Military Outdoors

Sierra Club Outdoors, through its Military Outdoors program, has successfully worked to bring 50,000 service members, veterans, and their family members outside.  In addition to increasing physical activity, outdoor recreation and education has successfully been used to improve academic performance, reduce stress and anxiety, and even mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury in military veterans returning from active service. In 2012, The Sierra Club Foundation also supported other organizations that are working with veterans. A partial list of funded partners includes National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Outdoor Outreach in San Diego, Blue Star Families, and Armed Services YMCA of the USA.

By supporting Sierra Club Outdoors, the Foundation is building a stronger, healthier, more inclusive environmental movement by employing a combination of strategies to reach across economic bounds, cultures, and communities to encourage people to explore and enjoy the wild places that surround them.  Getting outdoors is good for all of us. 

To learn more about the Sierra Club Outdoors programs on the Sierra Club's website, click here!

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.