Nature Canada

Nature Canada Announces 2022 Young Nature Leaders Grant Recipients

Feminist Birding, Green Godparents, Protecting Turtles and more. Nature Canada’s Women for Nature program celebrates youth leaders making headway for nature all across the country

(Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ottawa, August 11, 2022)—Nature Canada’s Women for Nature initiative is proud to announce our next group of recipients of our Young Nature Leaders Grant. This grant is intended to encourage, foster and nurture young people to demonstrate their own leadership for nature.

Celebrating the grant’s fifth year running, this year we continue this exciting effort to empower youth and nature lovers alike. The purpose of the grants is to empower young people to take action for nature by putting them at the heart of it. This year’s recipients include:

  • Kehkashan Basu from Toronto, ON. To protect the endangered Wood Turtle, educational workshops and public awareness campaigns that engage students.
  • Ana Castillo in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, QC. Will develop a hands-on learning seed-keeping program for marginalized youth at a local summer camp.
  • Rachel Irwin from Hamilton, ON. To expand the Feminist Birding Club events that promote diversity, inclusivity and a safe space for new birders.
  • Nena Van de Wouwer from Bouctouche, NB. To foster stewards for local nature spaces, a Green Godparent program and community beach clean-ups.
  • Denise Miller from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Will engage youth to expand local land and agricultural restoration work using Indigenous native plants. 
  • Kenzie McCallum from Halifax, NS. Will develop and engage local students in a three-part outdoor program promoting outdoor learning, climate change education and action-oriented projects. 

“It brings me great hope and happiness to see these young people taking leadership in their local communities to help and heal nature,” says the Honourable Senator Rosa Galvez. “Through their actions and advocacy, young Canadians across the country are paving the way to a cleaner and brighter tomorrow,” declares Galvez.

“It is crucial for young people to be involved with efforts directed at protecting and restoring a healthy planet: our future is, quite literally, in their hands,” says Margaret Atwood, Women for Nature founding member, recipient of Nature Canada’s 2022 Douglas H. Pimlott Award and award-winning author. 

A big thank you to our previous Young Women for Nature: Alana Norie, Dalal Hanna, Iman Berry, Jessica Yu, Kirsten Reid, Mathilde Papillon, and Nikki Paskar who volunteered on this year’s Selection Committee for the $1000 grants along with Christine Leduc, Women for Nature member and Nature Canada staff member, Celeste Landon.

For media assistance please contact:

Scott Mullenix, Director of Communications, Nature Canada


For information on the Women for Nature Young Nature Leaders grant please contact:

Jodi Joy, Director of Development, Nature Canada
613-295-6769 | 1-800-267-4088

About Nature Canada

Nature Canada was founded in 1939 because of the passion and initiative of Mabel Frances Whittemore, a teacher and nature lover whose main goal in life was to share her passion for nature with others. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of over 175,000 members and supporters and more than 1000 nature organizations across the country. Over the past 80 years, Nature Canada has helped protect more than 110 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat as well as connecting hundreds of thousands of Canadians – especially children – with nature through its activities.

About Women for Nature

Nature Canada‘s signature “Women for Nature” initiative raises awareness about the need to connect more Canadians of all ages to nature. Composed of women from diverse sectors and backgrounds, the Women for Nature initiative champions the importance of nature in the daily lives of all Canadians and encourages more Canadians to connect with nature.  Our founding members include Senator Rosa Galvez, Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and Margaret Atwood to name a few. Our members champion efforts to inspire youth and families to spend time in nature, to learn and experience our natural heritage and in doing so, ensure the health and well-being of our Canadian society.

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