Nature Consortium 


From the classroom to the forest, Nature Consortium is fulfilling a need to draw a deeper connection between people, arts, and nature. Through education and hands-on engagement, we create opportunities for people of all ages to discover their creativity and give back to the environment. 

In less than two decades, we've rallied more than 23,000 environmentalists of all ages to help us plant more than 41,000 trees and understory plants in Seattle's largest contiguous forest: the West Duwamish Greenbelt. This spectacular forest is home to foxes, red-legged frogs, coyotes, hawks, bald eagles, and more than 40 other species of birds. 

We've engaged more than 15,000 youth in 9,000 classes in our Youth Art Program, which spans disciplines in music, dance, theater, culinary arts, visual arts, gardening, and much more. As a community cornerstone, the Arts in Nature Festival has brought more than 22,000 people together to experience inspiring performances and intriguing art installations, taking place throughout one of Seattle's most beautiful parks.

Mission Statement
Nature Consortium connects people, arts, and nature.
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Nature Consortium
4408 Delridge Way SW Ste 107 
(206) 923-0853 

Nancy Whitlock 
Interim Executive Director 


Nature Consortium Programs

Our Youth Art Program classes are designed to increase youths' artistic skills, a deeper connection to the environment, enhanced social competence, and an improved positive identity. We combine unique class offerings (including visual arts, digital design, performance arts, gardening, and many more) with skilled teaching artists. We've actively changing the inner and outer landscape for urban youth in our community. Says Mahlet S., Teens in Public Service intern for the Youth Art Program, "this amazing program inspires students to help keep our earth clean, teaches leadership, and shows them that they are capable of doing anything."  

Our Urban Forest Restoration Project works to restore habitat in Seattle's largest remaining forest, the West Duwamish Greenbelt. All year round, we lead bring volunteers together to remove invasive weeds, reintroduce native conifer species, maintain restoration sites, and provide environmental education. A labor of love, the Restoration Project's efforts rely on an army of volunteers to, rain or shine, dig out blackberries, mulch newly planted native species, and clean up litter. The 62 acres that we maintain may seem like a lot, but knowing that we are just beginning the task of creating a healthy, old-growth forest for future generations makes the commitment worthwhile.   

Our annual Arts in Nature Festival is a celebratory summer weekend full of entertaining performances, beautiful experiential art, and sound installations placed throughout the woods at Camp Long. Since its inception in 1998, the Festival has provided a feast for the senses, immersing festival-goers young and old in a broad range of performances, interactive multimedia experiences, and arts activities -- all under a beautiful canopy of trees and open sunny meadows. According to Steven Arnston, a musician and Seattle resident, the "Arts in Nature [Festival] is my favorite music festival in Seattle. Instead of a sweaty crush of bodies, bad food, and scarce tickets, we're treated to a beautiful park, leisure wandering, wonderful lunch on a sun-speckled patio, and the most diverse array of performances."

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Nature Consortium recently launched it's Environmental Education Exchange Program, where NC educators will provide environmental education lessons in exchange for attending service learning in forest restoration. In the 2011-2012 school year, we reached 367 students as part of their school curriculum.   

One of our organization's greatest needs include general operating support to assist with expenses. We believe strongly in providing a living wage to our artists and performers, who are an integral part of our teaching model.


As an environmental arts organization, the Nature Consortium (NC) connects community residents to each other, to their neighborhoods, and to the natural world through a multi-pronged approach. They offer over 300 days of programming a year through three programs: the Youth Art Program, the Urban Forest Restoration Project and the annual Arts in Nature Festival.

NC’s Youth Art Program collaborates with numerous schools, districts and nonprofit organizations. Classes are held out-of-school time, year-round, at multiple low-income and public housing community locations throughout Seattle and King County as well as during in-school time at partner schools in Seattle and Highline school districts. They have designated sites at the Yesler Community Center and the Rainier Vista community, partially supported through a contract with the Seattle Housing Authority.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
NC programs have significant reach, serving thousands of youth and adults each year in neighborhood-based settings like community centers, public libraries, and other nonprofit organizations. They particularly focus on low-income, underserved communities, exposing them to a wide range of cultural art forms, artistic mediums and environmental learning. New and repeat participant numbers continue to grow.

NC is led by a committed founding Executive Director and a growing working Board. They have been intentional in their growth of Board members, finding people with particular skills and connections, while the Board as a whole takes on a greater focus in fundraising, marketing and outreach.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

6/10/2014 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
10/1/2008 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/21/2006 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.


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