Young Nature Leaders
Celebrating Young Nature Leaders
The inspiration, passion and initiative shone through the numerous nature project ideas submitted by young people from all across Canada who applied for the Young Nature Leaders grants last month.
Established in 2017, thanks to the generosity of Women for Nature members, the goal of the Young Nature Leadership Grant is to encourage, foster and nurture youth to demonstrate their own leadership for nature in their local communities.
A big thank you to our nine Young Women for Nature: Nina Andrascik, Cheyenne Currie, Dalal Hanna, Sammie Heard, Emma Kirke, Mathilde Papillon, Natasha Pronko, Kirsten Reid and Alana Tollenaar who volunteered on this year’s Steering/Selection Committee for the $1,000 grants along with Women for Nature members, Jeminah Hu (Project Leader), Dominica Babicki, Dr. Amelia Clarke, Dr. Leslie King and Terri LeRoux.
Congratulations to the 2021 Young Nature Leadership Grant recipients who include:
Miranda Baksh plans to educate youth through a virtual field trip of nearby nature that will tie in with the climate movement/justice. The ‘virtual field trip’ project will be catered to marginalized and BIPOC youth who live in urban spaces who are often excluded from the nature/ climate justice movement.
Iman Berry will develop a Green Curriculum with the non-profit Green Ummah, aiming to promote sustainable living habits, awareness about climate change, and planting seeds for conversation about the environment within Muslim communities all across Canada. This curriculum aims to provide a toolkit for younger generations to take the lead on fighting climate change and the conservation of nature.
Leah Davidson will expand her pilot project of online environmental “escape rooms” that can serve as a virtual field trip for schools affected by the pandemic and make learning about nature conservation and climate change fun for kids.
Kareina D’Souza will be organizing and launching the ‘Women of Colour Leadership in Nature’. It is a 5-month pilot that aims to foster women of color as leaders to advance their professional development. Through the nature-based program, participants engage in facilitated sessions to connect with nature, form community, and develop as leaders for nature sustainability.
Alana Norie plans to launch the SKIES (Supportive Kids in Environmental Stewardship) program at Camp Querencia in Squamish, BC. Each young camper will participate in two sessions during their week at camp. These sessions will follow a simple schedule; explore, learn and act. Exploring the outdoors and at their surroundings, learning more about the species and fauna in the area, and taking action for nature with creative projects that week and moving forward.
Sonya Suraci plans to launch a pilot Interpretive Nature Program tailored specifically to new Canadians in London, ON. which will promote environmental awareness and nature protection by addressing some of the major obstacles that stop immigrants from meaningfully experiencing Canadian nature.
Past Winners from 2020 include:
Niagara Falls, ON
St. Johns, NF
Past Winners from 2019 include:
That is why I co-launched Riparia, a not-for-profit that brings Canadian youth on free freshwater science expeditions where we strive to help foster a next generation of science champions who love and value the natural world. I am so thrilled to have received funding from Nature Canada’s Women for Nature to help support Riparia's inaugural expedition!"
Everything at one point came from nature. We are all sharing this incredible planet however we are destroying it. Now, more than ever change needs to happen. My hope for project Green Bellies is to educate young people about how we don't need all of the single-use packages that we consume on a day to day basis. It’s my hope to ignite an internal flame and drive others to make a change in their own lives.”
Introducing youth to Elders and Knowledge Holders is a great way to help spark that inspiration to learn more about themselves and Mother Earth.”
My passion for nature comes from a deep desire in me to help people connect with and be curious about the world around them. In creating memorable connections through programs like Escape into Nature, I hope to inspire environmental stewards in the next generation!”
Swift Current, SK
I am incredibly excited to start working on this project and I am so thankful that Nature Canada’s Women for Nature are allowing me the opportunity to share my passion for the natural world with those around me through their generous grant.”
Spruce Grove, AB
“As the Honorary Chair of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature initiative, I am delighted to see that Canada’s nature is in good hands. These young women and their projects being recognized are a step in the right direction to help enable more young Canadians to connect with nature and assist in protecting our precious wildlife and habitats.”
The Honourable Senator Diane F. Griffin, Honorary Chair of Women for Nature