The Nature’s Voices Project combines the power of environmental education, storytelling and youth voices to build support for a sustainable, resilient and equitable world. We amplify the voices of young people by collecting, sharing and showcasing their environmental inspirational stories with decision-makers, educators, our allies and the general public through online and community platforms. Nature’s Voices is a fiscally-sponsored project of the Green Schools Alliance, and was founded with the support of the Green Schools Initiative.
TO IMPACT: We want to inspire funders, educators, decision makers and others to support youth environmental programs; to amplify the youth perspective related to environmental issues; to reach new audiences by encouraging teachers and creative arts programs to participate in environmental education programs; and to understand that environmental education programs transform individuals, our communities and the planet.
TO TEACH: Our standards-based lesson plans make a crucial link between Language Arts and hands-on environmental education programs, by asking students to reflect upon, then write about and publish their narrative or expository writing.
TO EVALUATE AND PROMOTE: We partner with environmental education providers to evaluate and promote their programs, through the power of the stories and testimonials written by their youth participants.
TO EMPOWER YOUTH: We provide meaningful online and community platforms to support youth in SPEAKING UP to share their stories and testimonials about how environmental education programs have impacted them; and showcase their work as environmental thought leaders, activists and solutionaries.
“Thank you so much to the Nature’s Voices Project for giving me the opportunity to speak up about my environmental education experiences!” — Rosalyn, age 17 (2014 Green School National Network Writing Contest winner)
Susan Silber founded the Nature’s Voices Project after reflecting on how to build more support for the the field of environmental education after two decades of work in this field. Her story:
“I have worked with thousands of children and youth over the years. I’ve backpacked in the snow and gone mountain biking with urban youth in the wilderness, have cried while listened to youth speak passionately about the need for climate change action; and been wowed by children who are challenged to learn inside of four walls yet thrive while learning in an outdoor classroom. I saw how these programs save lives, how they truly represent education at their best. Yet the environmental education and Green Schools movements consistently struggle for funding and support.
How can we best articulate the diversity of benefits that our programs bring – to youth, to communities, to the planet? Stories. Stories. Stories. There is research, there are adults telling adults how crucial these experiences are… and then there are the inspirational stories of the youth themselves. Stories of how their lives have been transformed by environmental education programs.
I invite you to read, to collect and share stories, to support youth voices and the programs they have been transformed by; and to listen actively to the generation who will be the most affected by climate change.”