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.

Taming the Flames

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The 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm left no doubt that big fires happen in the East Bay. Now, the East Bay Regional Park District is fighting fire with fire at Redwood Regional Park, one part of a massive effort to reduce fire danger across thousands of acres in the East Bay Hills.

Berkeley as edible city: A new guide to urban foraging

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The Bucharest native says that right now there is a great variety of trees and shrubs growing in Berkeley, and even some “bottled water” crops like lemons and rosemary that you should never, ever, buy at the store. They are so plentiful, it simply makes no sense. Ionescu-Zanetti create Edible Cities, a crowd-sourced site that maps food for foraging.

A School Garden is Born in Marin

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After a decade of stalled efforts and 18 months of negotiations, students at Drakes High School in San Anselmo installed a large school garden that will be used by several special programs at the public high school.

On the Hunt with Dominik Mosur, Record-setting Birder

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Dominik Mosur takes birds very seriously. He’s out daily birding around San Francisco, and he even works with injured birds and other wildlife at the Randall Museum. And now he’s officially SF’s champion birder: He’s already broken the one-year record of species sightings, and he’s got almost two months to keeping racking up species.

Bringing Light to Dragonfly Creek

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Workers at the Presidio are working to restore a stretch of creek that’s been buried for nearly a century. Soon enough, Dragonfly Creek should, once again, be alive with its namesake insects.

Stargazing in the SF Bay Area

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Nature doesn’t disappear when the sun goes down–there’s a whole universe out there to explore after dark! If you don’t have your own telescope, you can look at stars, planets, and other astronomical objects through big telescopes at observatories and smaller, portable telescopes at star parties or see them in dazzling indoor planetarium shows. People who share their love of astronomy and stargazing with others are friendly by nature.

SF to Shift Street Tree Care to Property Owners

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Due to looming city budget cuts, SF Mayor Ed Lee recently produced a budget package that cut $300,000 from street tree care. The proposal would shift the city’s responsibility for 24,000 trees in front of private property onto the property owners over the next seven years.

SF Aims to Make City Safer for Birds

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Every year in North America, a billion birds die by colliding with windows, buildings, and communication towers. Many of these deaths could be avoided by doing things like tinting windows and turning off lights between dusk and dawn. A proposed new city policy, would aim to better protect birds in San Francisco, which has more than 400 bird species and sits right on the Pacific Flyway.

Sharp Park Debate Hastens Citywide Biodiversity Policy

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The ongoing debate over protected species at San Francisco’s Sharp Park golf course in Pacifica seems to have accelerated a long-simmering effort to enact a citywide biodiversity policy. But with enactment two years away, Sharp Park’s fate may be decided before the new rules take effect.

Oakland Zoo Expansion Debate Continues

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The Oakland Zoo sits at the edge of Interstate 580, occupying the western corner of Knowland Park. At 45 acres, the zoo makes up less than one tenth of the park’s overall area. But a plan to double that ratio has been in place since 1998, when the Oakland City Council approved a proposed expansion. Now, though ground has yet to be broken on the work itself, the project has retaken center stage thanks to a controversy over recent amendments.