Bay Nature

Bay Nature Announces 2019 Local Heroes

September 26, 2018


Bay Nature Institute is delighted to announce the recipients of its 2019 Local Hero Awards.  Four remarkable champions of local nature will be honored at the organization’s annual gala on March 31, 2019 at the Berkeley City Club.

In addition to its three annual awards in the categories of Conservation Action, Youth Engagement, and Environmental Education, Bay Nature has added a fourth category this year: the Citizens Award, given to “an individual whose grassroots activities have had a transformative impact on nature in the Bay Area over the course of their lifetime.”

This year’s winners are:

Robert E. Doyle, General Manager, East Bay Regional Park District

Over the past four decades, Bob Doyle has worked tirelessly to increase the number of parks and trails in the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD)—and public access to them. Starting out as a District park ranger, then a park planner, Bob served 25 years as the chief of land and trails, then as assistant general manager. He is currently the General Manager of the largest regional park system in the nation, serving 25 million visitors per year at 73 parks on over 121,000 acres across the East Bay.

As co-chair of the California State Park Partners, Bob was a key advocate for advancing Proposition 68, the successful Parks, Environment, and Water Bond, to the June 2018 ballot. He also serves as vice-chair of the Clean Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee, a group that grew out of the Prop. 68 coalition. Bob leads the Park District’s efforts to partner locally with the National Parks on “Healthy Parks Healthy People” programs like the Kids’ Healthy Outdoor Challenge (KHOC), Stay Healthy in Nature Every Day (SHINE), Multicultural Walks, and other efforts to engage the Park District’s diverse communities in healthy outdoor activities.

Bob’s numerous awards include a Mountain Star Award as a founding board member of Save Mount Diablo (2002), a Lifetime Achievement Award from California Trails and Greenways (2010), a Special Legislative Advocacy Award from California Parks and Recreation Society (2018), and, most recently, the AAPRA’s Pugsley Award (2018), the most prestigious national award for parks and recreation leadership.

Anthony Khalil, Community Engagement Director, Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ)

Raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains and San Francisco, and a son of first-generation immigrants, Anthony Khalil has deep experience working with youth and communities of color in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is one of the region’s few environmental educators and field-based biologists of color.

During his tenure at LEJ and other local organizations over the past two decades, Anthony has led environmental education and restoration programs for Bay Area residents, fostering increased community and youth stewardship of Southeast San Francisco’s natural areas. He’s also presented at numerous conferences and youth-serving agencies on the topics of race and the environment and the imperative of cultural relevancy in connecting people to the natural world.

Anthony shares a similar experience with the youth and communities he serves, possessing the ability to connect and mentor in a manner that fosters a deeper connection and commitment to nature. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice from San Francisco State University.

Lennie Roberts, Legislative Advocate, Committee for Green Foothills

For nearly 40 years, Lennie Roberts has led citizen-powered campaigns – and battled powerful development interests – to preserve the natural beauty and rural character of San Mateo County’s world-famous coastline. Among Lennie’s landmark victories is the Devil’s Slide Initiative (Measure T), a three-decade effort to stop Caltrans’ plan to build a massive freeway down the California coast; and Measure A, the Coastside Protective Initiative, which mandated 38 policies that permanently protect the County’s coastside forests, pastures, streams and beaches from sprawling development.

In 1992, she spearheaded the fight to prevent the pristine Apanolio Canyon near Half Moon Bay from becoming a 100-year landfill. Lennie’s advocacy has also helped preserve delicate Peninsula ecosystems like Pescadero Marsh.

A co-founder of both the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and The Yosemite Fund, Lennie has received a host of honors over her long and successful career working to protect the wild places she loves, including being named a California Coastal Champion in 2001; election to the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003; and the Sierra Club’s (Loma Prieta Chapter) 2016 Environmental Hero Award.

Tina Cuevas, Volunteer & Events Coordinator, Bay Area Ridge Trail

Tina Cuevas is passionate about protecting public spaces and encouraging others to get out and take advantage of the beautiful parks around them.

In her first year with the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, Tina coordinated over 550 volunteers at 15 different parks on Ridge Trail Day, an annual Bay Area-wide trail stewardship day, and helped coordinate over 30 Ridge Trail outings for more than 1,300 people, including eight nights of camping.

Tina got her start working with youth and volunteers in the parks at the City of San Bruno’s Camp Kaleidoscope program, where she served as a senior recreation leader for five years starting in high school. As an undergrad at San Francisco State University majoring in marketing, she was further exposed to the importance of protecting public space and encouraging community access. Her passion for the outdoors deepened when she worked for Burton Snowboards helping coordinate their marketing and community events.

In addition to her award, Tina will receive a $250 prize for her tremendous dedication to connecting youth with their local parks.

For more information about the Local Hero Awards, or to arrange interviews with our 2019 Local Heroes, please contact Bay Nature Marketing & Outreach Director Beth Slatkin at or at 510-528-8550 x107. 

Join Us!

You’re invited to join Bay Nature in honoring our  2019 Local Heroes at Bay Nature’s Local Hero Awards Dinner on March 31, 2019 at the Berkeley City Club in downtown Berkeley.

The evening will include a reception, hors d’oeuvres, full bar, live and silent auction, and a full-course dinner.

This year’s theme is Look Deeply Into Nature.

Tickets are now on sale! 

For information about sponsorships, please click here.

About the Author

Beth Slatkin is Bay Nature's marketing and outreach director.