If you want to know something about getting around the Bay Area, ask Larry Orman, executive director of GreenInfo Network, board chair for Bay Nature, and the first director of Greenbelt Alliance.
For over 30 years, Lennie Roberts has been one of the Bay Area’s leading voices for open space protection and against sprawl. Roberts has played a key role in many critical open space battles on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. She also played a major role in the effort to create the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District in 1972.
Lifelong Bay Area resident Stephen Edwards has run the botanic garden in Tilden Park since 1983. Well-versed in geology as well as botany, Edwards says, “My main goal in life is to improve the botanic garden without harming its delicate, historic character. The garden still sweeps me away.”
For John Kelly, who’s worked for Audubon Canyon Ranch since 1988, develops and oversees conservation research, egrets and other wetland birds hold the key to monitoring and understanding how our wetlands are doing. And he knows a lot about that — he tracks more than 100 egret and heron rookeries all over the region, studies waterbirds on Tomales Bay, and more.
Ever since an epiphany with pickleweed in Oakland as a kid, Asha Setty has wanted to learn as much as possible about native plants. She started working for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy more than 12 years ago as an intern, and now she helps get the word out about projects happening at GGNRA.
In 1992, Amy Hutzel started as an intern at the nature center in Alviso, in the South Bay. Since then, she’s been involved in the biggest wetlands restorations on the West Coast, and she shares her tips on the best places to see restoration in action, all over the Bay.
Bobcats are the favorite wildlife of Trish Carney, a San Raphael-based wildlife photographer who strives to capture the moments that convey an animal’s character and spirit. And she does it well, yet with a patience and care that means she let’s the animals come to her, if they want to.
Ruth Gravanis is a long-time advocate for the protection and restoration of San Francisco’s natural ecosystems. In her efforts to preserve these precious remnants, she has volunteered countless hours with many organizations, from the Friends of Candlestick Point, to the Sierra Club to Nature in the City. She’s currently advocating for the rich and varied native habitats of Yerba Buena Island, and for sustainable development of the island.
Not everyone can say they had a hand in preserving 30,000 acres of parkland. But longtime Bay Area resident Janet Santos Cobb can. Cobb helped pass a landmark East Bay park bond in 1988, and she’s been fighting for wildlands and wildlife ever since.
Lech Naumovich, conservation analyst for the California Native Plant Society’s East Bay chapter and founding director of Golden Hour Restoration Institute, says if he’s not outdoors half the year, then he’s not doing his job as a botanist. He says you can’t have a long-distance relationship with nature.