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...

July 15, 2020

ACR is pleased to join other West Marin-based nonprofits who are working together to address systemic racism in our region. Earlier this month, a collection of organizations signed onto the following agreement:

West Marin Nonprofits Equity Statement

We, the undersigned nonprofit organizations of West Marin, add our voices to the protests against the killings...

July 07, 2020

ACR Board of Directors thanks Bryant Hichwa for his 17 years of visionary guidance, commitment, and exceptional leadership. Bryant’s belief in our mission, his good counsel, and his steadfast support has been an inspiration to us all.

Bryant’s service on the board began as the Madrone Audubon chapter representative in 2003 and grew to include four terms as board president—not only providing steady leadership during the financial crisis of 2008 but also in 2009 shepherding a collaborative agreement with ranchers Jim and Shirley Modini to acquire the 1,725-acre Modini Ranch near Healdsburg.

In 2012, again under Bryant’s leadership, the acquisition of the Mayacamas Mountains Audubon Sanctuary from the National Audubon Society, located adjacent to the Modini Ranch,...

July 01, 2020

Conservation in Action is now available online and includes preserve and program updates, including:

  • Fifty Years of ACR’s School Program
  • Lions Compete for Territory in Sonoma 
  • Giving Coastal Prairie a Chance in West Marin
  • Curlew Captures at Point Reyes
  • Honoring Big-Hearted Spirits
  • Plus, our salute to L. Martin "Marty" Griffin, ACR's founder and emeritus director, on the occasion of his 100th birthday
June 30, 2020

We recently asked M.F.K. Fisher's daughter Kennedy Golden to reflect on Mary Frances' time living on the Bouverie Preserve. Fisher lived on the preserve for the last 21 years of her life, in a cozy house built to her specification by David Bouverie. During that time she wrote 13 books, one-third of her total catalog. The preserve influenced her deeply.

As Kennedy composed this guest blog post, she reflected on Fisher's upcoming birthday. "My mother was born in Albion Michigan on July 3, 1908. When I think of that day so long ago I am reminded of her story of almost being named “Independencia,” had she waited one more day to be born. I believe that “Mary Frances” was a much better name, and I am grateful to my grandmother, Edith Kennedy, for making sure that naming her new baby “...

June 15, 2020

We are very pleased to announce that Casa Grande graduate Lucia Garay is our 2020 recipient of the David Bouverie Scholarship, awarded to one extraordinary volunteer as they enter college.

Conservation work is a call to action that requires courage, and courage requires hope. Lucia Garay is one source of hope for us all. Lucia has been a Juniper for seven years and over that time has shown outstanding commitment to conservation and a deep interest in nature.

Over the years she has co-led many guided nature walks, participated in newt counts, took park in many stewardship events at Bouverie, and aided in the training of new Junipers. Before the fires she took it upon herself to redesign and build signal crayfish traps that could capture juveniles. When the original traps...

May 27, 2020

Congratulations to Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve in the Sonoma Mountain area and Cooley Ranch in northern Sonoma County for hosting Northern California burners who put good fire on the ground this past Memorial Day weekend. Both of these controlled burns on privately held lands went off without a hitch, another sign of the growth of prescribed burn partnerships in the region.

May 09, 2020

While we work from home, the miles logged by shorebirds we have radio-tagged has us longing for an unconfined drive to points beyond—a birding trip to the Central Valley, a camping trip along the North Coast, or more miles logged on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Alas, we take solace in science and focus our gaze on two determined Long-billed Curlews fitted with radio tags in February at Limantour Beach under a partnership with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (Texas), and Boise State University’s Intermountain Bird...