To those of you who have been subscribing to Bay Nature since its first issue in the winter of 2001, the image on the cover of our current edition may look familiar. The inaugural cover showed a regal great blue heron facing left, in a photo taken by David Weintraub in the Corte Madera Marsh State Ecological Reserve in Marin. Eighteen years later, the image still embodies Bay Nature—a place to read stories about environmental science, conservation, and ways to get outdoors in the Bay Area—but in this mural rendering of the heron and dune tansies in San Francisco, there is a nod toward Bay Nature’s expanding coverage. As science and conservation communities increasingly study urban nature and seek the perspectives of ethnically and economically diverse communities and younger generations, we need to as well. With a mission to produce public-interest journalism about our local natural world, we are evolving and following the story.
As you flip through this issue’s pages you’ll notice we’ve added departments, diverse voices, and changes to our look. New departments focus on what’s happening this season and include BayNature.org, a page highlighting stories from our website, where we are publishing voices and ideas beyond those in our print edition. The Bay Nature Almanac is a glimpse into the Bay Area’s natural world each season. The Community Bulletin relays local conservation news, and Nature in the Arts is a curated look at performance, visual, and literary arts engaging with nature around the Bay Area each season. We are also proud of Explore, which includes stories about getting outdoors that are co-created with and funded by our partners; in this issue, “Ode to the Ohlone Wilderness Trail” was a collaboration with the East Bay Regional Park District. You’ll also notice the magazine looks different. We are certified nerds for fonts, color palettes, and design, and if you are too, we invite you to read all about our yearlong process of freshening the magazine’s design and logo.
What hasn’t changed at Bay Nature is our aim to listen closely, be accurate, choose words thoughtfully, and spark worthwhile conversations about what is undeniably all of ours to share and value: the natural world. We know that how we talk to each other about the animals, plants, and environments that touch, in one way or another, everyone living in the Bay Area is an opportunity to be our best selves, debate each other with civility, and remember there is common ground. We hope this new issue invites you and others to discuss and discover the nature that binds us in the Bay Area.