Bay Nature connects the people of the San Francisco Bay Area to our natural world and motivates people to solve problems with nature in mind.
We are an independent nonprofit publication and website with a vision that all people have a close relationship with nature. Our writers, photographers and artists cover science and nature, conservation, and recreation. With the California Center for Natural History, we answer reader questions every other week. Our in-depth digital explorations have covered biodiversity, the changing Pacific Ocean, the aftermath of wildfire on Mount Diablo, and the hype and reality of El Nino.
In addition to publishing the magazine and website, every year the Bay Nature Institute honors the contributions of a conservation activist, an environmental educator, a citizens hero, and an up-and-coming young conservationist at our annual gala dinner. Find out more or buy tickets. Bay Nature Institute also organizes naturalist-led hikes to places featured in the magazine, produces a free community event calendar and trail-finding web app, and hosts live educational events.
Bay Nature on the Air is a series of short video spots that run in between regularly-scheduled programs on Northern California public television stations. The 2-1/2 minute shorts showcase the natural diversity of Northern California and highlight the efforts of organizations and individuals who work on its behalf.
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The idea for Bay Nature arose out of a conversation between Malcolm Margolin and David Loeb in 1997. The concept was to create a luminous and intelligent publication that would reflect the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area, honor the region’s legacy of environmental advocacy, and nurture its wealth of creative talent.
Margolin and Loeb launched Bay Nature magazine in January 2001, with collaboration from Marilyn Hope Smulyan, Amy Hunter, Tom White, Dennis Gallagher, and Dave Bullen, and with lead funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
In 2004, Bay Nature Institute became an independent tax exempt charitable organization. Over the years, the magazine grew, becoming a vital component of the Bay Area’s green communications infrastructure. Many additional activities were launched including a website, naturalist-led hike program, an annual awards dinner, and Bay Nature on the Air. In 2017, Loeb retired, and the Board of Directors selected Regina Starr Ridley as executive director and publisher. In the Fall of 2018, after almost 18 years of publishing, the magazine was completely redesigned and the website relaunched.
From its inception, Bay Nature has drawn from the legacy of conservation leadership and action that is a hallmark of the Bay Area. As such, Bay Nature is an expression of the dynamism and creativity of the region’s conservation and natural history communities—including local nonprofits, museums, research institutions, open space agencies, and individuals.
Privacy and Transparency
Bay Nature offers editorially independent nonprofit journalism. We are members of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a consortium of more than 200 public interest nonprofit news groups committed to transparent journalism.
We’re funded by reader donations, subscriptions, advertising, and charitable support. You can see our list of advertisers, sponsors, and donors.
We publish clearly labeled sponsored content, which we produce on behalf of regional park agencies, for-profit and public resource groups.