Nominate your Local Hero

Nominations have closed.
Please check back soon to learn about our 2022 Local Heroes! You can view our 2021 event here.

What are these awards?

Since 2011, Bay Nature Institute has been honoring remarkable local conservation and nature leaders and activists at our annual Local Hero Awards. We recognize these heroes and their organizations in the magazine, online, in social media and, until this year, at an in-person celebration. This year was of course different—the four 2020 heroes were celebrated at a Zoom event in June. Zoom attendees enjoyed and appreciated much longer presentations by the heroes and a chance to get to learn more about each of them. The response we received from more than 175 attendees was incredibly positive and enthusiastic. We are now seeking nominations for our 2021 virtual event, which will take place in April.

Bay Nature heroes reflect the diverse communities around the Bay Area , and we urge you to nominate individuals, including those who may be less well known, who are making important contributions to local nature. Nominees may have made significant contributions over many years—or fewer years with an exciting future of impact ahead.

Do you have a friend, co-worker, or family member who is helping to connect the people of the Bay Area to our natural world? Nominate your Local Hero today!

View a list of all past award recipients here.


1. Conservation Action Award

This award goes to an individual who has made or is currently making significant contributions to the conservation of the natural landscapes, wildlife, and/or flora of the San Francisco Bay Area, through leadership, advocacy, legal action, acquisition, and/or stewardship.

2. Environmental Educator Award

This award recognizes the achievements of an individual who has made significant contributions to public understanding and awareness of the natural history and ecology of the San Francisco Bay Area, through research, teaching, field trips, journalism, and/or other media.

3. Community Hero Award

This award celebrates an individual whose grassroots activities have had a transformative impact on their community—which can be defined broadly or narrowly—and the natural world of the Bay Area.

4. Young Leader Award

This award will celebrate an environmental leader, 25 years old or younger, who is making significant contributions towards understanding, conserving, and/or connecting people to the natural world of the Bay Area. The Young Leader will receive a gift of $500 to support their professional development.

All nominees must live or work in the greater Bay Area and be involved in work that has a significant impact within the region. Final selections are made by the board, staff, and advisors of Bay Nature.

Nominations are now closed. We'll announce the 2021 Local Heroes via email in the coming months!