Benton Harbor, Michigan - Nature Therapy of Michiana, a local organization dedicated to
promoting the therapeutic benefits of nature, was announced as the 1st prize winner in the
start-up category of the West Michigan WomanUp & Pitch competition on March 2, 2023. The
competition was hosted by Michigan Women Forward and sponsored by Consumers Energy.

Nature Therapy of Michiana, which offers nature-based therapeutic services for individuals and
groups, competed against four other finalists for the top prize of $10,000. The organization's
innovative approach and dedication to improving the mental health and well-being of
individuals through exposure to nature stood out among the other finalists.

"We are thrilled to be recognized as the winner of the WomanUp & Pitch competition," said
Karen Joy Bouwman, founder of Nature Therapy of Michiana. "This prize will help us expand our
services and reach more individuals who can benefit from the healing power of nature."

Michigan Women Forward, a statewide organization focused on empowering and supporting
women entrepreneurs, hosted the competition as part of their ongoing efforts to provide
resources and opportunities for women-owned businesses. Consumers Energy, the competition
sponsor, is committed to supporting local communities and investing in innovative ideas that can
help improve people's lives.

"Consumers Energy is dedicated to ensuring Michigan businesses and communities are growing
and thriving. That includes creating opportunities for entrepreneurs who can bring critical new
ideas to the table, like those of you that we were fortunate to see tonight." said Carolyn
Bloodworth, Consumers Energy Foundation. "These past couple years have really been a huge
challenge for entrepreneurs."

Nature Therapy of Michiana plans to use the prize money to expand their programming and
reach more individuals in need of nature-based therapy. The organization's mission is to help
people find peace, balance, and healing through nature, and this prize will help them further
that mission.

For more information about Nature Therapy of Michiana and their services, visit their website at

Contact: Karen Joy Bouwman Nature Therapy of Michiana 2585 E Empire Ave, Benton Harbor,
MI 49022 (269) 216-4477