Nature for All is committed to find, educate, develop, and encourage environmental stewards to care for our public lands and to advocate for the protection and enhancement of our mountains, forests, rivers, parks, and urban open spaces.

Our Focus

Nature for All is continuing to educate and empower environmental stewards with our leadership program. With our Leadership Academy program, we are:

  • Educating, developing and encouraging environmental stewards
  • Caring for our public lands and connecting with community members
  • Advocating for the protection and enhancement of our mountains, forests, rivers, parks and urban open spaces

Our Impact

The Leadership Academy is a long-term training program, established in 2011, to teach organizing and advocacy skills, civic engagement, and local community action. Since 2011, Nature for All has graduated more than 209 participants from diverse backgrounds:

  • 77% identify as low-income
  • 68% identify as women
  • 57% identify as Latinx
  • 90% identify as BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color)

Academy graduates have successfully executed over 100 community engagement projects around Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley, and in the San Fernando Valley. Projects have included leading educational bike tours of the watershed area; organizing community workshops to raise awareness on protecting public lands among park-poor communities; and painting trash receptacles along the West and East forks of the San Gabriel River.

Our Focus

2021 Focus:

  • Secure funding to support hosting two cohorts each year
  • Expand on our CA Naturalist partnership opportunities and funnel our Naturalists into a docent program in the Angeles National Forest to provide interpretation to disadvantaged communities
  • Re-engage our large network of alumni to support each other and offer personal development trainings and workshops with partners

Our Graduates

Fifteen graduates have traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the San Gabriel Mountains and Rivers on behalf of their community. Some of our graduates continue to stay involved with Nature for All by joining our Stewards group.

More than one-fifth of graduates have landed employment with environmental and community organizations, including Nature For All, the California Conservation Corps., the U.S. Forest Service, Treepeople, NPCA, Pacoima Beautiful, Active SGV, Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, the City of Claremont and so much more! Many more serve as volunteers at organizations working on local environmental conservation.

“The Nature for All Leadership Academy provided me with a great foundation from which to engage in community- based environmental advocacy work.”

Mika Perron, Leadership Academy graduate

“I was surprised at the level of achievement I felt after completing my project and the Leadership Academy program. It felt so good to successfully complete both. And the impact it has made on my life was a surprise — it keeps on giving.”

Leadership Academy Graduate Megan Devine
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Apply to be a part of our Leadership Academy Cohort 20!

The application for our 2023 Leadership Academy is now closed. Stay tuned for more updates!

Graduates in the News

Carolyn Jones from cohort 14 was featured in USC Story Space

Araceli Hernandez featured on LA Daily News for their Academy project: 818Hikes

Joel Glen and Christina Harrington create pictorial messages for Trump: Leave San Gabriel Mountains monument alone

Dorothy Wong elected to Altadena Town Council

Brian Velez talks to local leaders about the National Monument Executive Order Review

Amy Wong wins inaugural National Forest Foundation San Gabriel Mountains National Monument blog contest

Janet Valenzuela selected for Shift Emerging Leaders 2016

Maricela Rosales selected for Shift Emerging Leaders 2017

Bonnie Rodriguez guest blogs on The Wilderness Society

Nancy Verdin featured in Latino Outdoors for her conservation advocacy

Meg Devine’s Convert-A-Can project profiled in USFS report

Ryan Farmer featured on Skate Slate for his skateboarding skills and San Gabriel Mountains conservation

Elias Salgado builds meditation labyrinth at Century Villages at Cabrillo inspired by Leadership Academy training


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