Inspired by a childhood divided between urban Oakland and a Lake County working ranch, Rue Mapp founded Outdoor Afro, an online community and organization that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through outdoor recreational activities.
Bay Area native Sue Gardner says her work on stewardship programs combines her two passions: people and nature. For almost 20 years, she’s been running innovative programs that get diverse groups of people out helping take care of the diverse habitats of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
If you want to know the best places to find mountain lion tracks, what type of flower blooms on a rock outcrop during a particular month, and what coyote scat looks like at different times of the year, ask the East Bay Regional Park District’s Cat Taylor.
If you happen to be in El Cerrito and hear a frog calling, or catch sight of a large yellow butterfly flitting through your yard, it might be Jim McKissock’s doing.
A self-described “bird evangelist,” Alvaro Jaramillo loves to share his lifelong passion for birds both locally and on tours throughout the Americas. Born in Chile, Alvaro began birding in Toronto, where he lived as a youth. Asked why birds got his attention, Alvaro says, “They’re easy to relate to — you can see them, you can hear them sing. There’s always a bird around!”
Jeff Miller is a man on a mission: He is dedicated to being an effective voice for endangered species and preserving the Northern California habitats they depend on for survival. He currently pursues this mission as founding director of the Alameda Creek Alliance and as a conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity.
For a decade, San Francisco environmental attorney Brent Plater has been standing up for the rights of wildlife and wild places, first as Bay Area program director for the Center for Biological Diversity. Now, as head of the Wild Equity Institute (WEI) based in San Francisco, he continues to battle threats to endangered species and lands, as well as defending the people most impacted by these threats.
After 24 years as executive director and president of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, Audrey Rust will retire on June 30. During her tenure, she built the organization into one of the most respected and influential local land trusts in the nation while protecting over 53,000 acres of natural and agricultural landscapes in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
To locals who walk the Jewel Lake trail in Tilden Regional Park, East Bay native Phila Rogers is a familiar and beloved presence: She leads regular walks for Golden Gate Audubon to her favorite birding spots, and she’s also one of the founding members of Save Strawberry Canyon. Here, Phila shares the influences that led to a life of birdwatching, nature writing, and activism.
Bettina Ring is Executive Director of the Bay Area Open Space Council, a group of 60 organizations dedicated to protecting and maintaining the Bay Area’s network of open space lands, including its parks, trails and agricultural lands.