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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Environment, Environmental Education, Land Resources Conservation

Mission: to encourage and actively participate in the restoration and conservation of Orange County and California Wildlands through education and restoration programs featuring native plants and biodiversity as a centralizing theme.

Results: Our Jeronimo Creek project in Mission Viejo, in Partnership with Earth Resource Foundation, was signed off by California Department of Fish and Game this past summer as a success! 5 years of hard work with thousands of volunteers shows that the Community can and will restore habitat for native animals and help clean the water for ourselves!

Target demographics: Everyone 0-150 years of age!

Geographic areas served: Orange County and beyond

Programs: Environmental Education programs which include Traveling Naturalists for grades K-8, Scout programs and Home School edcuation facilitation based on state science and social science standards. Habitat Restoration projects in the Cleveland National Forest, on County of Orange OC Parks land, City of Santa Ana park sites and other land managers within Southern California. Sustainable living classes including ediable landscapes, organic gardening, composting, nutrition core classes, permiculture and native plant landscape design and native plant propagation workshops. Healthy lifestyle classes including Core Nutrition training, Pilates and Boot Camp series physical fitness courses. Native Plant Landscape design for residential and commerical properties including the First LEED Platinum home in Orange County!

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Sharon193

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The amount of information I learned from their Volunteer Leader Training program was outstanding. I am more familiar with the flora and fauna around me thanks to them. Besides the educational experience, they are truly inspiring.

1 Ron_47

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

One of the hardest working groups we have battling invasive plants in our wildlands. Also promoting native plants in those same wildlands, in restoration and in urban horticulture.
Personally, I have witnessed Back to Natives tireless efforts over several years removing yellow star thistle from portions of The Santa Ana Mountains. They organize work parties, train the volunteers to be good stewards, and are cleaning our local National Forest of some very troublesome plants.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Back to natives has been great assisting me with purchasing native plants for my home. Knowledgable staff and a great variety of natives to choose from.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have purchased California native species from them multiple times and the plants are doing well in my yard. They do a great job at providing regional plant varieties that are drought resistant and need no chemical fertilizers or pesticides to thrive. This is a service to all, not just those who buy the native plants, because water is saved and urban runoff is reduced. They also use the money they make for habitat restoration projects. Over development of Orange County by real estate interests has left a lot of distrurbed earth that is over run by invasive weeds. These pose fire risks, do not hold slopes properly which leads to erosion, do not provide proper shelter for the native flora and fauna, and are unsightly. Restoring the fragmented native landscape is a true service to all the inhabitants of Orange County. Back to Natives provides a unique and essential service and for no profit. Bravo!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Grass root organizations such as Back to Natives Restoration are key in spreading environmentalism throughout cities which often feel removed from nature. This non-profit brings members of its community in and shows them how to take care of their city and beyond. When we involve office workers, girl scouts, high schoolers or anyone looking for a great place to volunteer people quickly realize that they should care about their environment. These volunteers have worked hard in restoring their city parks and to see people waste water on non-native plants instead of a low maintenance, vital native plant- can be eye opening. Back to Natives Restoration does amazing community and environmental work and in such a drought it is not only deserving but necessary.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I never thought removing invasive species and replacing them with native plants could be so much fun! Everyone is friendly and the cause is so important and worth your time. Back to Natives is the best organization to volunteer or donate money to.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BTN has taught me much about plants, animals, watershed, ecosystem, and human
effects on all of this.......especially in Orange County.

Opportunities to learn and help occur on the top of a mountain, in the creek bed,
in The Nursery, at fun(d) raisers, or in real, honest-to-goodness botany classes with
labs/field trips.

I personally removed one side of my front lawn to put in Native Plants......before the classes.
My HOA said "we'll see how it grows in", while I'm sure a few of my neighbors were
groaning about "another overgrown, brown, dusty-looking front yard".

Surprise!! After 3 years, I'm getting compliments on the color, texture, variety of heights and
mass of the whole bed. A few neighbors wish that their other-halves would let them remove
turf too!! I've learned more about specific Orange County Native Plants which
I will use when the other half of my lawn and the non-native tree come out this autumn.....or
as I kill (by accident, of course) more non-OC natives!

Oh, I forgot: The rose bed was trashed this spring in favor of OC NATIVE PLANTS which
support more than 14 types of native butterflies....including Monarchs.
ATTENTION: careful of the milkweed you plant........only 3 types are OC Natives &
NO normal nurseries carry them. If you aren't particular, the caterpillars you hatch
won't make it to the chrysalis stage and the birds will love them!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Really great organization. The restoration training was very thorough. Other restoration events, like Earth Day have also been very productive.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Think carefully before investing into this new landscape craze. Native plants are ugly and hard to manage. Your neighbors will hate the mess they cause and their lifetime is short. The maintenance is a mess, not worth the money. And even though Back to Natives may be helpful during the accepting of funds and install/design portion of the transaction the afterwards is what you need to look at.

Who will maintain my yard? How much will they grow?
Great idea, bad planning. Thanks Back to Natives.

Review from Guidestar

2 Brian M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Back to Natives is a great resource for volunteer opportunity as well as being at the forefront of Native Landscape Design. BTN offers numerous classes from Native landscape design to Native seed propagation. I will only use true native species in my landscape design as BTN teaches hybrids are damaging to future populations of native plants.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The educational opportunities are endless with back to natives, as classes and workshops range from landscape design to palates. Through participating in the various workshops over the last couple years I have increased my knowledge of Native and Invasive species. Back to Natives has been educating the public in order to create awareness about our every growing issue with endangered habitats and invasive species. By bringing awareness to these issues as well as addressing the perception of Native vegetation Back to Natives has been educating the public to know the value of a native habitat.