Nature Canada

Young Nature Leaders

Since 2017, young people across Canada have been demonstrating their leadership for nature through creative, nature-based projects submitted to Nature Canada’s Young Nature Leaders Grant.

Their motivation to connect, commitment to protect and passion to celebrate nature has been an inspiration to Nature Canada and the communities they engage. 

In 2022, we are celebrating the grant’s fifth year running thanks to the passion and generosity of Women for Nature members and other funders. The Young Nature Leader’s grant was created to empower, uplift and support young people looking to implement a community-based project centered around nature and sustainability. 

Alongside the six recipients of the Young Nature Leaders Grant, we are also celebrating two amazing champions for nature, Margaret Atwood and the late Graeme Gibson. This year we are providing grants in their name to honour their wishes to inspire future nature ambassadors and protectors.

We would like to give a special thanks to this year’s Selection Committee which included both Women for Nature members and Young Women for Nature. Thank you to Alana Norie, Dalal Hanna, Celeste Landon, Christine Leduc,  Iman Berry, Jessica Yu, Kirsten Reid, Mathilde Papillon, and Nikki Paskar for volunteering your time to review all the inspiring projects!

Congratulations to this years recipients who include: 

Kehkashan Basu

Kehkashan Basu will develop educational workshops and public awareness campaigns on the endangered Wood Turtle. She will engage students and the public on threats to the Wood Turtle and the conservation strategies that can be taken.

Ana-Castillo

Ana Castillo plans to launch a seed keeping program at the Young Roots Farm’s summer camp. A seeding and propagation space will be built to provide marginalized youth the opportunity to learn about farming through hands-on learning and storytelling. The program hopes to teach children about plants, food and their life cycles.

Rachel-Irwin

Rachel Irwin plans to expand the outreach of the Toronto chapter of the Feminist Bird Club by organizing birding events that promote diversity in birding. The aim is to build an inclusive, safe community of nature-lovers that engages in conversations around social and environmental justice. Events will include a birding book launch, a biking and birding event and a women in science night.

Nena-Van-de-Wouwer

Nena Van de Wouwer will launch a Green Godparent program that engages community members to become stewards for local nature spaces. As a godparent to a particular natural area, individuals commit to keeping that area clean while also connecting with nature. Nena plans to complement this program with beach clean-ups that upcycle the collected trash into art to raise awareness on pollution and educate people on protecting nature.

Margaret Atwood Young Nature Leader Grant 

Denise-Miller

Denise Miller will expand the Revitalizing our Sustenance Project at the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. The project will work to advance land and agricultural restoration using native plants and will be expanding to create educational resources on Indigenous foods and local environmental issues. The aim is to promote Indigenous community building and raise awareness on the need for climate action.

Graeme Gibson Young Nature Leader Grant

Kenzie-McCallum

Kenzie McCallum will lead a three-part outdoor program for students at local elementary schools In Halifax, NS which will incorporate outdoor learning, climate change discussions and an action-oriented service project. The program will promote connecting with nature through landmark experiences, climate change education for youth and the benefits of learning outside.

Through Nature Canada’s Young Nature Leaders Grant, youth have been motivating and empowering communities across Canada to be leaders for nature. To get inspired and read about past winners, explore their projects here. 

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