February 05, 2021

ACR Executive Director John Petersen will retire at the end of March after a 35-year career in conservation. A Board-directed executive search is underway; Nils Warnock, Ph.D., currently director of conservation science, has been appointed as the interim executive director, beginning on April 1.

“Under John’s leadership, ACR is tackling the region’s ongoing conservation challenges of dwindling biodiversity and climate-driven wildfire in ways that have delivered better outcomes for ourselves, our wild neighbors and the complex ecosystems of Northern California. His persistence in these areas will improve quality of life for generations of North Bay residents,” said Phillip Carlsen, president of ACR’s Board of Directors, in a note to supporters.

In the nearly four decades...

February 02, 2021

On the Modini Preserve in the northern Mayacamas Mountains, new post-fire populations of the non-native, woolly mullein (Verbascum thapsus) have exploded in several areas of burned knobcone pine (Pinus attenuata) understory—areas that were dominated by native species last spring.

Native to Eurasia, woolly mullein was intentionally introduced to the U.S. many times due to the plant's medicinal qualities. It relies on periodic disturbance for seedling establishment, which is greatly enhanced when there is bare ground—taking full advantage of conditions in play on the Preserve after the 2019 Kincade fire.

In our region, you may notice woolly mullein's typical biennial growth—in the first year, the seedlings will mature into large, dusty-green rosettes up to two feet in...

November 06, 2020

M.F.K. Fisher Last House Program Coordinator Susie Allen announced today the winners of the “Last House Writing Contest.” Launched in late summer, the contest resulted in more than two dozen essays submitted in child, youth and adult categories by writers from as far-afield as Los Angeles, Detroit and Copenhagen.

Writers were asked to explore the connection between environmental conservation, science and nature, food and drink, and the cultures surrounding them. Many wrote about COVID-19, their gardens, and the wildfires.

The judging panel, coordinated by food and wine consultant Clark Wolf, included some of the most accomplished writers, chefs, naturalists, and mentors working today: Ruth Reichl, Harold McGee, Leena Trivedi-Grenier, Michele Anna Jordan, Elizabeth Fishel...

October 13, 2020

Where are we going? ...What is a preserve? ...Can trees talk to each other? ...Are there always newts in the ponds? ...Who picks the colors?

Since 1970, students, docents, parents and teachers have been asking questions like these while participating in field trips and training classes on ACR preserves. Over the course of this half-century, 1,300 enthusiastic docents have led nature education and appreciation activities for more than 260,000 Bay Area third–fifth graders.

In celebration of this milestone, we’re collecting stories from you—teachers, docents, parents, and former student participants. Please take a moment to share your experiences, memories, photos, and take-aways in our brief 10-minute survey.

 

...

September 17, 2020

ACR, in partnership with Napa County, Napa County Resource Conservation District (Napa RCD), Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, and Sonoma Water, has produced a five-minute film highlighting the efforts of the North Bay counties of Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma to reduce fire fuels and boost the region’s defenses against mega fires. We hope the film will spark a conversation in communities throughout California looking for proactive ways for residents to mitigate the West’s increasing exposure to catastrophic wildfire.  

 
...

August 13, 2020

ACR's Last House Program Coordinator Susie Allen is excited to announce the “Last House Writing Contest,” in celebration of the style and spirit of M.F.K. Fisher, who wrote Art of Eating, How to Cook a Wolf, With Bold Knife and Fork, and approximately 30 other books and who resided in her 'Last House' on ACR's Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen until her death in 1992.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Emerging writers of all ages are invited to submit original, unpublished essays, stories or articles exploring or conveying the connection between environmental conservation, science and nature, food and drink, and the cultures surrounding them.

Entries accepted beginning August 21, 2020 through [EXTENDED] October...

August 10, 2020

Wow! Way to double down for the cause, ACR community! Through June and July, we received almost 200 gifts to support ACR's Martin Griffin Preserve and over 100 birthday wishes to forward to Marty! Thank you, Marty fans! We made him the sweetest scrapbook with your sentiments.

Still want to make a gift in honor of Marty's 100th birthday? Click here

We'll keep our campaign open and birthday wishes flowing.

Birthday Wishes for Marty

Dear Marty...

It’s hard to believe that you will be a centenarian. In addition to your passion for protecting natural environments, your enthusiasm and especially your energy is that of a much younger man. I became aware of your...

July 29, 2020

Not long before M. F. K. Fisher died, a friend called to say she thought Mary Frances’s diet was lacking in interest and diversity.  The nurses who cared for her also prepared her food, my friend explained, and Mary Frances was growing weary of their bland purées. If I had the time, she suggested, I might want to do a little cooking for my friend.

I spent the next afternoon reading cookbooks and gathering ingredients. Not being one who makes refined French fare very often, I  used Madeleine Kamman’s books for inspiration and the results pleased me.  Soon my kitchen was filled timbales, flans, and delicate souflés. A mousse of chicken and morels was delightful; an aspargus timbale had great charm; something smooth and creamy and full of leeks was wonderful even...

July 23, 2020

Back in April (and like so many others) we were crushed about having to cancel Conservation Science Intensive (CSI), a residential summer immersion program that has become popular among participants and staff alike. We wondered whether we could host the unique experience on a virtual platform for a selection of the young women who are entering their senior year and would not have the opportunity to attend in the future. Much to our delight, they said YES, we’re in! And so, this week began the 5th Annual CSI—a five-day platform for young women to learn from ACR’s conservation staff and peer mentors, with a special focus on exploring the multi-dimensional relationships that are present in conservation science and in the lives of those that practice it.

Participants are...

July 17, 2020

Since the coronavirus “Shelter in Place” order went into effect, and the school program hikes at ACR preserves in Marin and Sonoma counties were put on hold, I have been exploring other ways to help youngsters connect with nature. My time is now spent creating resources to inspire children to explore the natural word within their reach. Though there is no replacing the feeling of holding a newt or learning to spot a turret spider tower alongside the trail, children can still learn from and be comforted by nature. Even in the bustling San Francisco Bay Area, nature is all around us: the lizard sunning itself on a nearby rock, the shade offered by a tree, the warmth of the sun on one’s face, the fragrance of new leaves and flowers. There is nature where you are, and you can experience it...

Pages