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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 16,345
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 17
Board meetings with quorum 4
Average Member Attendance at Board Meetings 9.25
Publicly Available Documents Most Recent 990
Most Recent Audit
In 2013, WI provided integrated programming that served 18,838 people on 318 inclusive outdoor events. WI served a diverse range of people: 50% of participants identified themselves as a person of color, 20% of those participating on multi-day trips have a disability, and over 50% of WI participants are economically disadvantaged. In general, formal evaluation of our programs show that a majority of participants experience positive changes in major life areas such as: 83% of all participants indicated that their WI experience helped them gain a new appreciation for the strengths of others; 69% of participants with disabilities indicated that their WI experience helped them gain more confidence; and 63% of participants with disabilities indicated that their WI experience made them more likely to take on new challenges in their life such as education or a new job. A 2012 study by the University of Minnesota of WI's Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures program shows improved academic learning and interest in science in low-income and underperforming students.
Current Goals
WI's goals for 2013 include: • Serve 19,500 people through more than 400 inclusive outdoor events • Serve more than 13,000 urban youth and families through the UWCA program, including deeper integration into summer school and general education through “Place-Based” education for 9th grade in Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools • Expand the Canoemobile program from 17 to 24 cities, seeding future “UWCA” programs throughout the U.S. • Update our Little Sand Bay Basecamp to recently released accessibility standards from the U.S. Access Board • Further develop outdoor employment council and integrate efforts to serve urban youth and youth with disabilities
Community or Constituency Served
Annually WI serves more than 16,000 people through over 300 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: $2,009,291 90.7%
Management: $78,633 3.5%
Fundraising: $127,882 5.8%

Unrestricted Net Assets

2013 2012 2011
End of Year: $2,297,691 $1,863,247 $1,590,178
Beginning of Year $1,863,247 $1,590,178 $1,447,593
Difference $434,444 $273,069 $142,585
Unrestricted Net Assets (End of Year), Current 990 $2,297,691
Based on information provided on 2011 to 2013
Show all standards met
List of Standards Met