Nature Canada

Winners of the 2021 Young Nature Leadership Grant!

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 and other funders, the goal of the Young Nature Leadership Grant is to encourage, foster and nurture youth to demonstrate their own leadership for nature in local communities.

This year’s promotion of the ‘Young Nature Leadership Grant’ has many young individuals showing interest in nature protection, climate change, and connecting under-represented youth with nature. This Earth day, we celebrate the six winners of our Young Nature Leadership Grant. We are excited to see their nature-based, community projects come to fruition!

Congratulations to the 2021 Young Nature Leadership Grant recipients who include:

Miranda Baksh – Brampton, ON

Miranda will be developing a virtual “environmental field-trip” video to educate children in schools, highlighting nearby nature.

“Being able to educate youth in the virtual landscape allows a larger reach to marginalized and BIPOC students to learn more about climate change and nature not only across Canada, but within their own city.”

Iman Berry – LaSalle, ON

Iman is leading on developing environmental curriculum in partnership with the non-profit, Green Ummah to provide educators with a toolbox to teach Muslim youth about nature sustainability.

“Our lesson plans are solution-oriented…to provide students an intersectional understanding of the environmental movement, equip them with sustainable and equitable solutions, and create opportunities for collaboration.”

Leah Davidson – Sherbrooke, QC

Leah 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 fun for kids.

“I am so excited about the opportunity to educate youth about nature and climate change through game-based technology and conduct workshops that make environmental education fun and interactive for schools.”

Kareina D’Souza – Dartmouth, NS

Kareina is organizing a ‘Women of Colour Leadership in Nature’ pilot in Nova Scotia, a nature-based program for participants to connect with nature and develop as leaders for nature sustainability.

“My project will empower a new generation of BIPOC women leaders by hosting professional development sessions to help them connect with nature and form a community. Although the experiences of women of color differ across race, class, and gender, I believe these leaders can support each other to navigate the collective challenges they may face”.

Alana Norie – Squamish, BC

Alana is piloting an environmental stewardship program for young girls focused on the themes, “explore, learn and act”.

“My hope is youth can leave camp with a greater appreciation for a bug, more awareness about their waste, and the confidence to speak out to make change, than they are truly embodying what the Supportive Kids in Environmental Stewardship (SKIES) Program aims to achieve.”

Sonya Suraci – Toronto, ON

Sonya plans to launch a pilot interpretive nature program tailored specifically to new Canadians in her community.

“I am thrilled to receive this grant to provide recent immigrant women in London, Ontario with the skills, knowledge, and opportunity to interact meaningfully with nature – especially since it defines the Canadian identity for so many. “

You can also read about previous winners and their nature-based community projects here.

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. 

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.