Nature Niños Awarded Prestigious Grant for Mi Tierra Salvaje


Great news! 

Nature Niños has been awarded the Multistate Conservation Grant from the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. This grant will be used for our Mi Tierra Salvaje project, focused on creating a toolkit to create youth programs focused on engaging underserved youth and families in the outdoors. 

Read below to learn more about the project, how to collaborate and get involved, and 

We are looking for national collaboration for this project! If you are interested in contributing your expertise, please email Laura at or fill out the form below. 

Thanks for your support and help to make this project a success for all of our youth to get into the outdoors!

About Mi Tierra Salvaje

History abounds in New Mexico. We see it across the state, such as the historic cliff-dwellings that mark where the ancestors of our Native American citizens lived before Europeans arrived, or the names that Spanish conquistadors left carved in stone to mark their passing. This history, and this rich culture, is also written in the faces of our children - our most precious resource. Through our outreach and youth events, the New Mexico Wildlife Federation (NMWF) staff have been privileged to see the smiles on kids' faces when they catch their first trout or when they see an eagle take flight for the first time. We know the rewards are worth the effort.

However, the NMWF also recognizes that many children in our state encounter high barriers to hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities due to language access, mobility, transportation, cultural trauma, parent/guardian availability, equipment cost, and distance to learning centers. The purpose of the Mi Tierra Salvaje project is to develop and test proven methods to engage children in our state's underserved populations. It will integrate national best practices and test assumptions to come up with cutting-edge solutions. We will close the gaps, meet the needs and create a hands-on mechanism to reach those children who have been left behind in these opportunities.

The New Mexico Wildlife Federation believes strongly that the future of our public lands, our wildlife, and our democracy demands that every child in our state, regardless of economic means, has access to outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, and has a  community who creates possibilities and teach understanding to respect and value our land and wildlife. 

Grant Announcement

The New Mexico Wildlife Federation, through its Nature Niños initiative, has been awarded the Multistate Conservation Grant for 2022 funded by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. We will be using this grant for our Mi Tierra Salvaje project, an initiative to create a toolkit sharing the best practices of engaging underserved youth in the outdoors. A primary focus of our project will be how to collaborate with community partners to create holistic outdoor programs that reach all of our youth.

We are excited to share this news with our local and national partners! We hope to collaborate with you and other leaders across the country in the creation of this toolkit. We are all doing such dedicated and remarkable work for our communities and each of our approaches can substantially contribute to the development and success of this project.

We are currently hiring for a Research Consultant, dedicated to the creation of this toolkit. If you are, or know of anyone, who is interested in applying, please see the press release below and reach out to Sarah at by March 4, 2022.

Press Release: NMWF Launches Project to Recruit Underserved Youth into Hunting and Fishing

The New Mexico Wildlife Federation is launching a groundbreaking project to introduce underserved youth and families to lifelong outdoor recreation and wildlife care, including opportunities for hunting and fishing.The Mi Tierra Salvaje (My Wild Land) Project is the result of the NMWF receiving funding through the prestigious Multistate Conservation Grant Program.

The first stage of the project will be to create a comprehensive "tool kit," compiling best practices from organizations and community partners around the country that connect underserved youth and families with opportunities to explore the outdoors, including getting involved in youth hunting and angling. In developing this tool kit, the federation will connect with partners such as schools and outdoor-focused nonprofits to learn from people and organizations that share the federation's interest in the great outdoors. Once the tool kit is developed, the federation will make it available to other organizations.

Sarah Candelaria, Youth Program Director for the NMWF, said the federation will put those best practices into action this summer, holding youth conservation events across the state through the federation's youth programming initiative, Nature Niños New Mexico program.

"The future of conservation in New Mexico and the country as a whole depends on introducing our youth to the outdoors," Candelaria said. "We recognize there are social and economic barriers that have prevented some kids from experiencing hunting and fishing, but we're determined to address those barriers."

The NMWF will present the toolkit this fall reporting on the success of the program. It will share results with regional partners including the NM Department of Game and Fish, the Texas Conservation Alliance, Arizona Wildlife Federation, and the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Federation. The National Wildlife Federation is aware of the project and is ready to help in any way necessary to make it a success.

The project is funded through a $245,400 grant the NMWF received from the national Multistate Conservation Grant Program, administered by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Funding for the grants comes from the federal excise tax paid by manufacturers and importers of fishing, hunting, and shooting-sports equipment. Other recipients of the award this year include Cornell University and other universities nationwide, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Pheasants Forever, Inc.

How to Support This Project: 

Support the Mi Tierra Salvaje project by:

  • Sharing this information with your community's partners who may be interested in contributing their expertise.

  • Referring an individual or community partner to our Research Consultant position.

  • Collaborating! Email Laura at with "Community Collaboration" in the subject line to join upcoming meetings, surveys, and other project progress.

We appreciate your contributions to the community and your continued support of our work in the New Mexico Wildlife Federation. We look forward to working with you to get our youth outdoors!

Send us a message if you are interested in collaborating, have recommendations for partners, or would like more information