Nicodemus Wilderness Project
Nicodemus Wilderness Project
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Nicodemus Wilderness Project


Educating by example, inspiring conservation leadership among our youth, and preserving Earth’s essential biodiversity and ecosystems compose the mission of the Nicodemus Wilderness Project and our youth environmental program, the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative™. Our service-learning program provides scholarships for undergraduates and engages youth volunteers, including those who are at-risk or disadvantaged, in environmental stewardship projects, which include trash clean-ups, wildlife habitat and trail restoration, native tree planting, community recycling programs, and invasive plant removal. Discover how our work to restore the natural beauty and function of native ecosystems worldwide is making a difference to youth, wildlife, and our environment by viewing recent Apprentice Ecologist Projects and learning more about our annual Apprentice Ecologist Awards.

"... I discovered that the Monarch's natural habitat is fading, and so is the population of this magnificent butterfly due to the continued use of pesticides, herbicides, and construction which are killing the butterfly and its host plant, the milkweed. I knew that it was my personal responsibility to take action in protecting this species and encourage others to do the same, and this is what inspired me to complete an Apprentice Ecologist project... I purchased native plants from a local nursery using proceeds from past Girl Scout cookie sales, then recruited volunteers to help plant the gardens... The area that was chosen was in a state park that has started an initiative to remove invasive plants and replace them with plants native to Ohio... After planting the two gardens, I worked with local volunteers and specialists to plan and host a Save the Monarch event for the community. I planned activities and created educational posters to teach attendees all about the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators... Each girl and parent were given native plant seeds upon departure and were encouraged to plant their seeds either in their garden or in a container on their deck to help re-establish the Monarch habitat... This entire experience and how I learned to make a difference has shaped me into a better person, who is capable of following my passion to identify and help an environment that is in peril."
-- Madelyn -- Winner of the 2022 Apprentice Ecologist Awards

We are a 501(c)(3) publicly-supported nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is:

To protect wildlife and our environment and to build future conservation leaders by engaging youth in environmental stewardship projects worldwide.


Our vision:

We envision that all young people will take personal responsibility and action toward protecting wildlife and the environment in their communities through NWP projects, and that these inspired youth volunteers will become the next generation of conservation leaders worldwide.