Bay Nature magazineWinter 2023

Perspective

Publisher’s Letter: Connecting People, Places and Action

January 3, 2023

On a warm morning last fall, I gathered a team of volunteers after we finished planting trees at the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland. Sweaty and tired, we stacked our tools and sipped water as we rested and looked out at San Leandro Bay.

The conversation around our circle captured the spirit of a community in action. Inquiring voices wondered about the watering schedule. Others proposed sites for future projects. Feeling in that moment the familiar energy of people working together to protect places they love, I left the group with a simple encouragement: “Share what we did here today.”

As I introduce myself as Bay Nature Institute’s new executive director and publisher, I am inspired by this community’s passion for nature and conservation. I have joined this team because I believe that environmental literacy connects people with places, motivating us to explore our natural world and work toward an equitable and sustainable future. 

Wes Radez, in a photo by Kathy Radez.
Wes Radez. (Photo by Kathy Radez)

Bay Nature stands on a foundation of excellence nurtured by my predecessors, Regina Starr Ridley, David Loeb, and Malcolm Margolin, with contributions from talented staff and board members, steadfast partners, generous donors, and loyal readers over the past 22 years. I am grateful for the quality and integrity of Bay Nature’s environmental journalism and for the trust you place with us to support your personal values and dedication to conservation.

With great appreciation for our history, I am extremely optimistic about Bay Nature’s future and our shared capacity for solving problems with nature in mind. I am excited to apply more than 15 years of professional experience supporting mission-driven communities and look forward to working with our team to grow our reach and impact.

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My recent work fundraising for Oakland’s parks and outdoor recreation programs showed me how individual efforts combine to become movements with greater collective impact. Engaged tree-planting volunteers coordinate saplings for their streets. Active neighbors advocate permitting for a planting at their local park. Local nonprofits manage a community greening grant to combat industrial pollution and improve an underserved area’s climate resiliency.

This virtuous cycle leading from education to engagement and action fuels my commitment to environmental stewardship. Curiosity draws me to the pages of Bay Nature and sends me outdoors to hike under the redwoods at Joaquin Miller Park or through the hills of the Ohlone Wilderness. Greater awareness compels me to volunteer, to advocate, to work for change.

So, let’s spread the word together about all the important ways we can shape our environmental legacy in this beautiful corner of the world we call home. When you have ideas for stories, events, and experiences to strengthen our community and inspire us to action, I would love to hear from you at wes@baynature.org.

About the Author

Wes Radez is Bay Nature's executive director and publisher.

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