In the San Francisco Bay Area, slices of nature pop up in the most unexpected places, a testament to the region's wealth in biodiversity and the resilience of its natural systems. Bringing nature to urban areas is not just about ensuring the survival of species, but enhancing people's quality of life through a fulfillment of our innate need to be with nature.

“Nature Belongs in Our Cities”

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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.

Park(ing) Day Highlights Need for Urban Green Space

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Parking spaces are precious commodities in downtown San Francisco and San Jose, but this Friday dozens of groups will be using these spots not to park but as parks. Artists and citizens use metered parking spaces to set up small, often movable parks for people to enjoy–as long as the meter runs.

Artist Plants Comics at UC Botanical Garden

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For the The University of California Botanical Garden in the Berkeley Hills is home to one of the nation’s largest collections of plant life. It houses many rare and endangered plants hard to find anywhere else, and for the month of July, it also houses comics. Yes, comics.

Habitat and Humanity

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With millions of people and millions of acres of open space, the Bay Area is a lively, and sometimes uneasy, blend of wild and urban. In the East Bay, dozens of rare species — from birds along the Bay to wildflowers in the hills — survive against the odds thanks in part to the East Bay Regional Park District, whose staff does everything from creating nesting islands to clearing trees for the sake of imperiled plants and animals.

Touring Native Gardens

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All over the Bay Area in spring, native plant gardeners throw open their yards during several public tours. Chances are, there are some great gardens right near you.

Public Transit and Other Endangered Species

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Might the streets we travel have once been migratory corridors for other species, now displaced and threatened by our urban ways? Did butterflies pass by this way, looking for mates, or did salmon swim up a creek long since buried? Could we once again share this landscape and these corridors with other species, if our own daily migrations became more communal–a few buses in place of a swarm of cars, a single train where SUVs now reign?

Getting to Work on Tennessee Hollow

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The Presidio’s Tennessee Hollow watershed is steeped in history. And it’s a magnet for wildlife. Now, the Presidio Trust is embarking on an ambitious restoration project. Find out how you can take part.