Mission & Values


Urban Nature Partners PDX empowers youth from underserved Portland neighborhoods through long term mentoring relationships and access to meaningful outdoor experiences.


To remove all barriers to meaningful experiences in urban greenspaces and nature based programs in and around Portland for youth.


We are committed to inclusivity and building social equity, both among the youth and families we serve, and in the environmental and outdoor communities as a whole.

We promote a holistic system of intertwined relationships between family, school, and community as the foundation of supporting each youth.

We take a strength-based approach by encouraging and building on the inherent capabilities in each youth.

We foster curiosity and experiential learning that promotes youth choice over curriculum driven programming.


We provide basic outdoor gear and resources, information about and transportation to neighborhood natural areas, and adult guidance to remove barriers to lower income youth taking advantage of greater Portland’s superlative network of urban greenspaces.

The Urban Nature Partners PDX program provides a tiered set of experiences designed to build comfort and belonging, outdoor knowledge and competencies, and leadership potential as youth grow. Our foundation is weekly one-on-one mentor-youth outings in neighborhood greenspaces. These are complemented by family inclusive group events offered once or twice monthly that provide more in-depth opportunities to experience natural areas and try new outdoor activities. Beyond their first year, youth are offered scholarships to partner led, nature based camps, and leadership opportunities guided by their interests and strengths.

Urban Nature Partners PDX empowers youth from underserved neighborhoods through building long term mentoring relationships and providing access to meaningful outdoor experiences. Mentor-youth activities take place in easily accessible outdoor areas in and around Portland, are driven by the interests and abilities of each youth, and are relevant to a young person’s culture and background. Group events include their family members so everyone gets to enjoy all that our great urban greenspaces have to offer.

UNP-PDX incorporates the best practices of traditional mentoring in establishing meaningful, long-term relationships that help young people build confidence, resiliency, problem solving skills, social competency, and academic success, and help prevent problem behaviors. It also draws upon best practices in education and outdoor recreation by providing informal environmental learning through direct inquiry and experience, and building a sense of place through the exploration of one’s natural environment. Combining the best of these disciplines together on one program provides young people with a uniquely relevant and long term series of opportunities that build better health and well being, teach them about the outdoors and potential career opportunities, and help them become empowered to make their own decisions and succeed in other parts of their young lives.


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