In the News

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Latest News & Highlights

Press Release: Back to Natives Natives and USFS offer hands-on habitat restoration training

January 3, 2017 – – Back to Natives Restoration, in a cooperative agreement with the United States Forest Service in the Cleveland National Forest, will lead a hands-on training course for restoration volunteers from January 19 to March 4, 2017. This successful program is now in its ninth year. Read the entire release.

IMG_20141025_143132Press Release: Back to Natives hosts Native Plant Teas with Craig Torres

October 18, 2016 – Back to Natives (BTN) is hosting a native plant tea workshop on, Saturday November 12, 10AM – 12PM. Craig Torres, a descendant of the Native American Tongva people who inhabited the Los Angeles Basin, will talk about the uses of different native plant teas, provide materials to make tea bags, and have sample teas to drink (bring a small cup!) Register and prepay at Read the entire release.

Reginald5Press Release: Back to Natives’ Reginald Durant to Promote Native Plant Landscaping at Landscape Expos in Sacramento and Long Beach

September 13, 2016 – Back to Natives (BTN) Executive Director Reginald Durant will present two seminars at both the Sacramento and Long Beach Landscape Expos in the coming months. Read the entire release.

pimco_volunteers-with-weed-bagsPress Release: Back to Natives receives Grants from Boeing and PIMCO

September 7, 2016 – Back to Natives Restoration, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit public charity has received a $4,000 grant from the Boeing Company ( and a $1,000 grant from the Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) to restore habitat at the Back to Natives Native Plant Reserve in Dana Point known as Cuesta Kato. Read the entire release.

Pacific Life Good GuysPress Release: Back to Natives receives Grants from two Local Foundations

August 2, 2016 – Back to Natives received a $5,300 grant from the Orange County Community Foundation (  to support its successful service learning habitat restoration program along Santiago Creek in the Santa Ana River Watershed. The Pacific Life Foundation also recently granted Back to Natives $2900 to repair its 2002 Subaru used to transport tools and volunteers to the Cleveland National Forest to restore habitat. Read the entire release.

John_color__smallPress Release: Back to Natives Announces Volunteers of the Year August 20th

July 27, 2016 – Back to Natives Restoration (BTN), a Santa Ana based 501 (c)(3) non- profit public charity, connects the community to habitat restoration through service learning and native plant education. Over 250 BTN volunteers gave over 4000 hours of their time to restore habitat in Orange County over the last year. Read the entire release.

Elsinore PeakPress Release: BTN Annual Battle against Yellow Star Thistle Enters Sixth Year

June 8, 2016 – Back to Natives in cooperation with the United States Forest Service, will conduct hands-on habitat restoration events in the Elsinore Peak region of the Cleveland National Forrest. This is the sixth year that Back to Natives will host volunteer events in the Cleveland National Forrest. Every Sunday morning from 7:30 AM until 1:00 PM during the month of June, Back to Natives staff with the help of community volunteers, will focus on removing Yellow Star Thistle, (Centaurea solstitialis) an invasive plant species not native to Southern California. Read the entire release.

Press Release: BTN will install Native Plant Landscape at Kempton Park in Rossmoor

April 26, 2016 – Back to Natives is presenting a free native plant landscape workshop for the community on May 7, 2016. Participants may attend from 10AM to 1PM, or from 2 – 5PM.  Community members will help install a Back to Natives landscape design in Kempton Park within the community of Rossmoor near Los Alamitos. Participants can RSVP at Read the entire release.

Social Media_Native Plant SalePress Release: BTN Drought Tolerant Landscape featured on California Native Plant Society Garden Tour

April 5, 2016 – Back to Natives will be showcasing a drought tolerant native plant landscape on the 2016 California Native Plant Society Garden Tour on April 23 from 10AM to 4PM. The garden is located in Santa Ana’s celebrated Floral Park neighborhood. According to CNPS it is “one of 15 outstanding, successful, beautiful Orange County gardens on the tour.” Read the entire release.

Spring Garden Show Social MediaPress Release: BTN will promote Native Plant Landscaping at South Coast Plaza Spring Garden Show

March 29, 2016 – Back to Natives will have over 30 species of locally native plants available for sale at the Spring Garden Show at South Coast Plaza from April 28 – May 1. Back to Natives Executive Director Reginald Durant will present two free seminars on native plant landscaping for birds and butterflies: the first on April 29 at 1:00p.m. in Williams-Sonoma and the second on April 30 at 11:30AM in west elm. Read the entire release.

Cuesta Kato seed dispersalPress Release: BTN Receives Generous Donation of Land

December 1, 2015 – Back to Natives received a donation of land from Kato Properties. The 2.5 acres of land along Del Obispo Drive in Dana Point are about a mile from the Pacific Ocean, less than a ½ mile from San Juan Creek, and less than 2 miles from the Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area. It is undeveloped and will remain so to provide habitat for birds and butterflies. Read the entire release.

ReginaldCoastal Real Estate Guide: One on One with Reginald I. Durant

Native landscaping is making a revival in the yards of homeowners not only for their natural beauty but for their water saving ability and their capacity to override the need for harmful pesticides and fertilizers. With more than 806 species of native plants in Orange County choices are almost endless for that “specific look” homeowners seek.  Read the entire article.

water WisePress Release: BTN hosts Water Wise Irrigation and Native Plant Propagation Class

November 1, 2015 – Back to Natives is hosting two upcoming classes: a Water Wise Irrigation Workshop and “Propagation of Native Plants,” a six-week course. Community members will learn how to build gorgeous gardens with the correct irrigation for native plants at the Back to Natives Nursery at Santiago Park in Santa Ana.  Read the entire release.

MJV logo_verticalPress Release: BTN Partners with Monarch Joint Venture

September 29, 2015 – BTN has joined the Monarch Joint Venture, a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs that are working together to support and coordinate efforts to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States. Read the entire release.

BeerTasting_IGPress Release: Beer Tasting Fundraiser to Benefit Back to Natives

September 1, 2015 – is hosting its 3rd annual Beer Tasting Fundraiser on Sunday Oct.4th,  at 3 p.m. at Cismontane Brewery in Santa Ana. Proceeds will help fund native plant education and habitat restoration programs. Read the entire release.

Santiago High School NHS_10-31-15_1_smallOC Register: Volunteers needed for plant removal cleanup at Santiago Park

January 6, 2014– Home to more than 180 native plant species, the monthly cleanups strengthen the health of the native ecosystem by eliminating plants that don’t naturally grow in the area.. … Read the entire article.

Meet our Experts:

Please contact Lori Whalen to schedule an interview with any of the following people:



Reginald Durant, Executive Director

  • Native Plants
  • Water Conservation
  • BTN History & General Info
Lori at Cambria

Lori Whalen, Director of Education

  • Environmental Education
  • Volunteer Management

Trina Ming, Nursery Manager

  • Native Plant propagation

J. M. Sugars, BTN Board President

  • Etymology