Back to Natives Restoration

Rating: 4.76 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Environment, Economic Development

Location: PO BOX 6539 Irvine CA 92612-6539 USA

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!

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

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!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

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.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Better planning, better after effects.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This organization has given myself the opportunity to recognize native and invasive species more accurately, as well as appreciate their beauty

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Raise funds in order to further educate the public.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I love volunteering with Back to Natives. I meet amazing people and spend my time doing somthing I feel is very important - removing non-native invasive plants so that habitat will improve for native animals. Back to Natives also offers several great classes, educating the comunity on the importance of using native plants in landscaping. I'm proud to be involved with such a targeted and well organized non-profit!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

32 people found this review helpful

Back to Natives is a prime example of a grassroots, community oriented organization that uses it's resources wisely to accomplish the maximum amount of good. Through environmental education programs at schools and for scout groups to service learning projects involving high school students at our local wildlands to adult restoration training classes - Back to Natives involves the community in protecting habitat.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

educating the public about the importance of biodiversity, native plants and habitat restoration.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

work hard on getting funding to allow BTN to do more service learning projects. I think they are very valuable.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the sense of community I feel when I work with other program participants. The sense of accomplishment I get when I spend a few hours working hard to pull weeks. The friends I've made.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

from many different walks of life, but united in their goal of improving the environment. They were all ages - from children to retired people. It's nice to unite with others - even those who might be very different from me.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help restore a significant portion of Orange County open space, and educate the public about why habitat restoration and conservation is important.

Ways to make it better...

Back to Natives had additional tools and equipment so that the volunteers could be more productive - but we were able to improvise and use our problem solving skills to make things work!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

organizations like this, that bring the community together for a common cause, help improve the environment but also do somethig even more important. They contribute to our sense of place and help us all to respect our community and make our whole world a better place.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

this is a great non profit. It focuses on a subject I am very fond of, the natural environment. It is so important that we same the natural envrionment not only for our children but also for the future. Without the environment there will not be human beings. Back to Natives restoration pracitices what it preaches. every event the teach the wolunteers why it is important for them to be there and how much their efforts are important to the area as well as the environment. They are working on getting native habtat in the build environment by designing landscpes for homes as well as comercial ventures. I am so happy to be a part of the organization such as this.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I participae regularly in the volunteer events as wel has have earned a certificate in habitat restoration.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to figure out more ways to get people to donate money

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Rating: 5 stars  

incredible organization. wish all organizationsd with landscaping or thinking about it would contact this organization. we could save tooooons of water.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

knowledge

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand its presence in the community and mmake it mandatory that agencies contact it for their landscaping

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked with Back to Natives Director Reggie Durant in watershed management groups. Based on that work, in my view, Reggie's approach is one of the most effective ways to address environmental stewardship and Back to Natives is one of the best organizations I've been in contact with. Reggie and the Back to Natives staff are literally, down to Earth people, focused on genuine interaction with fellow stewards and on genuine results. Supporting Back to Natives will help to spread awareness of how to have, much needed, healthy interdependence and balance with Nature.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my work with watershed management organizations and groups. I work for a California state water resource management agency. Non-native species are a significant concern in water resource and habitat management. Restoring native habitat and balance in Nature in the way that Back to Natives does is key to supporting long-term health of human settlements.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide more funding, resources, and support.

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

We have been supporting BtNR for many years. Last summer Reggie gave workshops at our organization theat were very well received. He and BtNR are an outstanding advocates for the environment.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

motivating and educating people about native plants

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

go more often

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