Headshot Photo of Evan Nied
2022 Award Recipient


Project Planting Shade

Location Virginia Beach, VA

Issue Area Climate Justice/Environment

Experiencing Hurricane Florence firsthand made Evan understand the threat posed by climate change in a new way. In 2018, he founded Planting Shade, a nonprofit organization partnering with schools, parks, and property owners to plant trees and inform communities about what they can do to protect against climate change. Since its founding, Planting Shade has created ten chapters across the country, providing students with the resources to plant trees in their own communities.

In total, 120 Planting Shade volunteers have planted nearly 12,000 trees in Israel, Costa Rica, and across the United States, and the organization’s educational events have reached 2,500 people. Through a combination of individual donations and corporate sponsorships, Planting Shade has provided young people with shovels, gloves, and other necessary resources to empower them to make a difference on their local climate.

To me, tikkun olam means fixing the imbalance we have in our ecosystem, and I have dedicated a great deal of my time trying to fix that imbalance, thereby helping to heal the world.

Evan Nied
Three teens crouched down planting a small tree.

Planting Shade


Evan saw climate change having a real impact on his community and set out to take action. He founded Planting Shade, a nonprofit organization focused on planting trees to reduce the effects of climate change and motivating others to participate in their communities. The organization has international impact, having planted nearly 12,000 trees in Israel, Costa Rica, and the United States, while reaching and educating 2,500 people. With a growing network of chapters and volunteers, Planting Shade envisions educating more communities, inspiring more people to plant trees, and continuing to make a difference in reducing the effects of climate change.

Several young students holding small saplings.
Planting Shade logo
Evan and three other teens standing outside ready to plant trees.