RENEW Delaware Futures Summer March Experience at Ashland Nature Center

Reaching and Engaging through Nature to Empower Wilmington (RENEW)

Through RENEW, DelNature is addressing the barriers to being outside to ensure it’s a more inclusive, accessible, joyful and positive experience.

RENEW – Because the Outdoors is a Human Right

RENEW after schoolDelaware Nature Society (DelNature) believes the joy of the outdoors is a basic human right and everyone deserves the opportunity to live in a healthy community. We believe that everyone has connections with the outdoors, but not everyone is offered the opportunity to contribute, belong, feel safe, and welcome in outdoor activities. We believe that when we get outside, we connect with ourselves, with other people, and to the world around us. This connection is both natural and difficult to describe, but it helps us create a sense of belonging and acceptance which gives us another key to our health and social well-being. Ultimately our communities are strengthened and we all benefit, as we realize we are not only stakeholders, but we can be decision makers and contributors to a healthier future.

Increasing Opportunities to Access Nature

DelNature knows engagement outdoors can be a transformative experience. We are committed to identifying and creating outdoor opportunities that resonant with all residents of Wilmington.

We Help Give Outdoor Experiences to All Communities Through RENEW

DelNature’s RENEW is designed to engage youth from Black communities in Wilmington outdoor education opportunities. We work with youth to deepen their connections with a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) utilizing activities that make learning about the outdoors relevant and fun. Anchored at our DuPont Environmental Education Center (DEEC) location, RENEW encourages and elevates participants’ comfort levels with the natural world. As a result, the youth develop deeper connections to the outdoors and learn about other environmental career opportunities through enriching experiences, which they share with family, community members, and friends.

RENEW Signature Programs

Youth Nature After-School Programs

Youth Nature After-School Programs

Our after-school programs work with youth from H. Fletcher Brown Boys & Girls Club, Kingswood Community Center and William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center. Through outdoor recreation like canoeing and biking, water quality testing, gardening, food education, service opportunities, and STEM-based activities, young people are increasing their connection to nature and their awareness of environmental health.

Trail Ambassadors Youth Development Program

Trail Ambassadors Youth Development Program

Each year, eight Wilmington youth are hired as Trail Ambassadors – a workforce development and science-education position. Youth explore nature year-round, learn to interpret the outdoors to the community and visitors, and complete environmental community-informed service projects. Learn more.

Apply Now

RENEW Wilmington Youth Environmental Corps WYEC

Wilmington Youth Environmental Corps (WYEC)

This program for City of Wilmington residents ages 13-18 provides hands-on outdoor activities, career exploration, exposure to environmental issues, and mentorship for younger youth. Participants earn a $350 stipend and complete nine after-school sessions. Learn more.

Learn More and Apply

RENEW Green Jobs

Green Jobs

DelNature partners with the City of Wilmington’s Green Jobs Program providing a 6-week summer internship that is an environmentally focused employment experience. The program introduces City of Wilmington youth, to natural spaces, environmental issues, hands-on environmental work and career skills.

Summer with Southbridge

Summer with Southbridge

In the Southbridge neighborhood just across the Christina River from DEEC, DelNature partners with Neighborhood House to supplement their summer activities with youth. We provide a series of engagement experiences with nature, including trips to DEEC to learn the relationships between healthy water, healthy land, healthy food and healthy living.

RENEW Delaware Futures teen

Summer Marsh Experience

Students from Delaware Futures participate in an immersive week-long residential service-learning program doing outdoor projects that support our restoration and education work in the Riverfront’s Peterson Wildlife Refuge. Students give a final presentation of their work to friends and family.

Community Mini-grants

Community Mini-grants

Grants are available annually to community members in the City of Wilmington to improve the environment in the City of Wilmington. Three grants of up to $300 are provided per year until funds are expended.

Learn More

Summer Work Opportunities

Students from the community work in the summer to support our visitor services and education work. Many of these young people have previous involvement with one or more RENEW activities and have expressed an interest in pursuing an environmental career.

Get Involved

Learn more about RENEW and the exciting ways you can get involved, including giving financial support.

Contact Us to Get Involved Financially Support RENEW

Thank You

DelNature extends our sincere gratitude to the following foundations, organizations, and individual donors who have given their support to RENEW including: BlackRock, Chemours, Corteva, DuPont, PSEG Foundation, REI, William Penn Foundation, Brokaw Foundation and Guardian Donors, June Peterson and Richard & Jessie Benjamin.

Thank you to our program partners: H. Fletcher Brown Boys & Girls Club, Kingswood Community Center, Wilmington Parks and Recreation, Hicks Anderson Community Center, Delaware Futures, Neighborhood House, and Riverfront Development Corporation.