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Wilderness Inquiry

The mission of Wilderness Inquiry is to connect people from all walks of life to the natural world through shared outdoor education and adventure programs. Using outdoor adventure as a medium, WI programs inspire personal growth, enhanced awareness of the environment, and community integration on a scalable basis, making a measurable impact on the environment and society.

Mission Statement
Review Completed: 6/24/2013
808 14th AVE SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: 612.676.9400
Fax: 612.676.9401
EIN 93-0708637
Principal Staff Greg Lais, Executive Director
Number of Volunteers 400
Number of Clients Served 26,000
Affiliations Wilderness Inquiry works with many partner organizations regionally, nationally and around the world. Please see our website to learn more about our partnerships:
Tags / Keywords Conservation & Protection, Disabilities, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Children & Families
General Information
Board Chair Greg Dehn
Number of Board Members 19
Board meetings with quorum
Average Member Attendance at Board Meetings 9.25
Publicly Available Documents Most Recent 990
Most Recent Audit
Since 1978 WI has served 411,000 people on 8,900 adventures worldwide. In 2015 WI will serve more than 26,000 individuals, including 12,000 people of color and 3,500 individuals with disabilities. Data and Research Highlights 84% of participants report gaining appreciation for the talent of others; 86% indicate the physical nature of the trip inspired cooperation; 93% affirm that they benefitted from the experience Since initiating in 2010, Canoemobile has served more than 100,000 youth in over 40 cities across the country. The program connects underserved youth to their local waterways in exciting new ways, creating connections both personally and academically. Results have included 92% of teachers reporting the experience supported academic learning; 88% of students agree they “worked with others as a team”; 96% of teachers agree that students acquired new skills while on the trip; 70% of students report they acquired more knowledge of how to protect the environment; 70% of youth state that they gained new skills Evaluation Notes: Youth programs are evaluated in collaboration with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI). Data and research highlights are based on University of Minnesota researchers analyzing 20+ years of data from participant surveys.
Current Goals
In 2015 we continue to meet our mission of full community integration through expanding our five primary programs for youth, adults, families and persons with disabilities. We aim to develop our UWCA programming to include more school districts throughout the state of Minnesota. This expansion will increase awareness and access to place-based education as well as careers in the outdoor industry for disadvantaged youth across Minnesota. Throughout 2015 WI plans to serve 26,000 people through more than 450 inclusive outdoor events. Serve more than 15,000 urban youth and families through the UWCA program, including deeper integration into summer school and general education through place-based education in public school districts while engaging 30 public school districts throughout MN in inclusive, place-based learning. WI will work to further develop outdoor employment council and integrate efforts to serve urban youth and youth with disabilities, especially young adults with developmental disabilities. Finally, WI is expanding the Canoemobile program to serve 10,000 disadvantaged youth in 30 cities, seeding future UWCA programs throughout the United States.
Community or Constituency Served
Throughout 2015, WI has served more than 26,000 people through over 400 events. Our trips are designed to be engaging for everyone from novices to seasoned outdoor veterans, from urban youth to families to people with disabilities.
Geographic Area Served
United States and international destinations
Impact and Programs

3 Year Average Expenses

Program Services: $1,904,848 89.7%
Management: $83,374 3.9%
Fundraising: $135,448 6.4%

Unrestricted Net Assets

2014 2014 2014
End of Year: $0 $2,442,734 $2,442,734
Beginning of Year $0 $2,297,691 $2,297,691
Difference $0 $145,043 $145,043
Unrestricted Net Assets (End of Year), Current 990 $0
Based on information provided on 2014 to 2014
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List of Standards Met