ACR: Connecting Nature, People, and Science

ACR: Connecting Nature, People and Science

Our mission and vision

Connecting nature, people, and science in a rapidly changing world

Inspired and informed communities use scientific knowledge to build a resilient, sustainable society that respects the intrinsic value of our natural world.

Audubon Canyon Ranch, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit environmental conservation and education organization founded in 1962 to save a major heronry and block commercial development of Bolinas Lagoon in western Marin County, leading the way for the protection of Tomales Bay to the north. Today, we collaboratively steward a system of nature preserves totaling 5,000 acres across 26 properties in Marin, Sonoma and Lake counties and conduct conservation science that in turn informs our education programs and directs our work on some of the region’s most challenging environmental issues.

Photo Credit: Scott Jennings

Healthy plant and animal populations are signs of a healthy world

Audubon Canyon Ranch’s conservation science program has monitored the North Bay region nesting successes of herons and egrets for over 40 years, collected long-term data sets on wintering shorebird and waterbird populations on Tomales Bay for over 30 years, and is using GPS to track the movements of individual mountain lions in the Sonoma Valley and Great Egrets and Long-billed Curlews on the coast.

ACR’s Fire Forward program, founded in 2017, is advancing our community’s ability to use “good fire” to reduce risk and build ecosystem resilience against climate-driven wildfire events.

Photo Credit: Peter Jordan

Access to nature builds healthy communities

ACR’s experiential nature education program, which turned 50 in 2020, has connected more than 300,000 Bay Area children and adults to the wonders of nature, cultivating environmental literacy and a conservation ethic. ACR also stewards cultural treasures in our care, including the literary legacy of American author M.F.K. Fisher at her Last House at Bouverie Preserve. 

Photo Credit: Wendy Coy

The lands upon which ACR operates are within the ancestral territories of the Coast Miwok, Southern Pomo and Wappo peoples. ACR recognizes that Indigenous communities are very much alive today and striving to protect and maintain relationships with cultural and natural resources on ACR lands; we fully acknowledge that Indigenous lands are still occupied by us and others.

ACR commits to putting our words into action by developing programs that exemplify our commitment to cultural and Indigenous equity, inclusion, and justice.

ACR’s Main Preserves

Photo Credit: Paige Green

Tackling the region’s challenges together

Caring for the land, learning how nature works, and sharing knowledge with others—it’s what Audubon Canyon Ranch has done for 60 years…thanks to its supporters. ACR’s programs are made possible thanks to the contribution of thousands of hours of volunteer service, and donations from caring individuals, foundations and businesses.

ACR is an independent nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status. Our tax ID number is 94-6069140.