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Our Impact

At Nurture Natives, we are passionate about empowering youth through environmental initiatives that enhance native biodiversity and address the threats posed by invasive plant species. Our youth-led programs engage communities across the East Coast through educational outreach, native plant giveaways, and advocacy efforts, all aimed at fostering a healthier, more sustainable environment. Discover how our initiatives are making a significant difference and join us in our mission to create a thriving ecosystem where both our youth and environment can flourish.

Measuring Our Impact

Empowering Action

Through the distribution of 56,380 native seedlings and 550 native saplings, the planting of 2.2 million native seeds, and the dissemination of 150 self-designed Nurture Natives Guides to nurseries across seven East Coast states, Nurture Natives has engaged with over 9,280 youth and 64,730 individuals. From a local 4-H club to a nationally recognized youth-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we have discussed Nurture Natives’ mission with President Joe Biden, Governor Wes Moore and Lt. Governor Aruna Miller of Maryland, the University of Maryland Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dr. Craig Beyrouty, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and TIME 2020 Kid of the Year Gitanjali Rou, among other esteemed figures and youth leaders. Partnering with organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the University of Maryland, and National 4-H, Nurture Natives has distributed 364 acres’ worth of foliage and approximately $24,000 worth of native plants to underprivileged communities.

The Guiding Vision

Nurture Natives is dedicated to empowering youth through environmental initiatives that enhance native biodiversity. As Nurture Natives grows, our resolve remains resolute: to inspire, educate, and advocate for a future in which our youth and environment thrive. Nurture Natives pursues its vision through two core objectives:

 

1) Empower youth. We aim to cultivate an environment in which young individuals can ignite their passions, find their voices, and drive positive change. We strive to increase mental health wellness by convincing every youth of their inimitable worth and impact.

2) Increase biodiversity. Our team is passionately working to raise biodiversity levels across the East Coast by supporting local nurseries and farmers and educating communities on native species and ecologically-based gardening.

A Path to Progress

Nurture Natives empowers youth through environmental initiatives that enhance native biodiversity through three key components.

01

Inspiring Youth Through Hands-On Education

Through collaboration with numerous community partners, Nurture Natives has educated 9,280+ youth, aged 3-18, on native species and biodiversity. Through hands-on programs, Nurture Natives has involved youth in planting over 2.2 million native seeds, dividing 56,380+ seedlings, and installing three native gardens at Malcolm Elementary School, the College of Southern Maryland, and the Neighborhood Creative Arts Center. In February 2024, Nurture Natives was selected as the only youth-led organization in the U.S. to be awarded a Wild Ones Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant. The funds will allow Nurture Natives to involve Southern Maryland youth to lead the creation of a Native Peace Garden at the East John Youth Center in Lusby, MD. Our Nurture Natives Curriculum and "Nurture Natives" Web Series, sharing insights into native plants and guidance for youth engagement in environmental advocacy, has accumulated over 117,000 views.

02

Increasing Native Biodiversity and Accessibility Through Giveaways

In 2022, Nurture Natives was selected by the National 4-H Council to receive a Mini Grant and was subsequently recognized as one of two projects nationwide to receive the prestigious Scale for Success Award. Through this funding, Nurture Natives hosted its inaugural Nurture Natives Tree and Shrub Giveaway in October 2022, distributing 150 native saplings and shrubs to over 70 community families in Southern Maryland. Collaborating with the University of Maryland for Maryland Day in April 2023, Nurture Natives educated 13,290+ individuals on native biodiversity and distributed 400 native saplings and shrubs, reaching residents from all 23 MD counties, including Baltimore City. In October 2023, Nurture Natives hosted the first-ever Community Led Satellite Giveaway sponsored by the Bona Terra LLC Plant Grant, at which 3,420+ native seedlings were distributed. Nurture Natives has since hosted numerous seedling giveaways at events such as the Wild Bee and Flower Festival, NatureFest, and Maryland Day 2024, among others. With a total distribution now exceeding 56,380 native seedlings and 550 native trees and shrubs, Nurture Natives Giveaways have engaged hundreds of youth, primarily from minority communities, and provided communities with approximately $24,000 worth of plants.

03

Promoting Native Purchases Through Youth-Designed Nurture Natives Guides

In 2022, our team published Nurture Natives: A Guide to Invasive Species and their Native Look-Alikes in collaboration with the University of Maryland Extension Master Gardeners. The 25-page Guide explains the impacts of native versus invasive species on ecosystems and agriculture; in addition to a plant profile featuring pictures and descriptions of native alternatives to 12 popular invasive horticulture species in the Eastern United States. To date, 150+ copies of the Nurture Natives Guide, published by the University of Maryland, have been distributed to nurseries across Maryland, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Massachusetts.

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