About Us

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. Our vision is that all people have a close relationship with their natural world.

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.

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 community hero, and an up-and-coming young conservationist at our annual Local Hero Awards. 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.

Want to learn more?

-For subscription questions, please email service@baynature.org or call 888-881-5861 

-For donation questions, please email madeline@baynature.org

-Meet our board and staff

-Here’s how to contribute writing or photography to the magazine

-Here’s how to advertise in Bay Nature

-Read our 2019 Impact Statement


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.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We at Bay Nature have work to do to cover our region more equitably and understand the world better through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. We’re committed to continuing to diversify our contributors, sources, and stories. We are examining all parts of our organization, from the suppliers we use to magazine distribution to board membership. We are also taking the time to develop an actionable diversity, equity, and inclusion statement and plan for the Bay Nature Institute, which we will share when it is complete.

Editorial Independence

Bay Nature subscribes to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Bay Nature may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but we maintain editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content. We make public all donors who give a total of $500 or more per year. We accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.