WHO WE ARE
Native Lands Restoration Collaborative (NLRC) is a charitable organization that empowers diverse land stewards to protect and restore resilient native ecosystems through community education. Founded in 2015 and reorganized as a nonprofit in 2023, Native Lands Restoration Collaborative utilizes a large network of project partners to protect and restore native landscapes across the greater northeast Kansas region.
After earning her Master’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at KU, Courtney realized that she had found her calling in teaching, field work, and community outreach. She worked with various government agencies, non-profits, and schools after graduation but found that there wasn’t an existing position through which she could devote herself fully to community education and restoration work - she needed to create one herself. She wanted to work directly with the public and non-profits, guiding them through their own restoration projects and connecting them to wild Kansas.
Courtney started working for herself full time in 2018. The little seed production business she started in grad school grew into an ecological restoration firm overnight! In May 2018, a grant that Courtney had written with the Kansas Riverkeeper, Dawn Buehler, and Friends of the Kaw had been fully funded. For two years, she would be able to focus a significant portion of her time on the restoration of a public natural area, with the help of community partners, volunteers, and local students.
Through the network she's built and the experiences she's gained, Courtney is able to work directly with landowners, teaching them the value of the land they have claimed and the responsibilities of stewarding that land, for wildlife and for future generations. Courtney devotes every day to bringing science out into the community, making it accessible and applicable. Every day is an opportunity to reach a new audience, share an adventure in nature, or plant a seed.
This is Native Lands.
Where We Work
Native Lands Restoration Collaborative is based out of Lawrence, Kansas. Their home property, located just north of Lawrence city limits in Jefferson County, hosts multiple native landscapes under active restoration, providing ideal settings for hands-on community education, as well as acreage for native seed and plant production.
While most of NLRC’s project sites are located in northeast Kansas, they are not limited to that region. Native Lands has collaborated on projects in the far reaches of the Kansas City metropolitan area, as far west as Manhattan, Kansas, and as far south as Emporia, KS.