Drawn by nature’s allure, I find myself a student of its irreplaceable diversity. We have a long way to go to restore what we’ve destroyed. Yet a vast ocean of life still thrives just beyond housing developments, past urban streets, over jumbled cities. That’s where my attention lies. In the meantime, perhaps we can save the environment from further destruction before our attachment to things forces nature’s disappearance altogether.
We are fortunate in the Bay Area to still be able to enjoy an expansive urban park system. While appreciating it, I hope people will stand up against the most insane and destructive practice that the corporate guns have developed more recently: fracking and hydraulic fracturing.
Hook up with any of the several groups of fractivists, such as Sierra Club Bay Area, who figured out early on that fracking will pollute our water channels and ruin the earth.
Working for the East Bay Regional Park District, I get the chance to really enjoy the vast diversity of Bay Area flora and fauna. Within an hour from downtown Oakland, you can observe Arctic birds overwintering on Crown Beach in Alameda. Or you can head to Berkeley and enjoy the California bay laurel forest in Tilden Regional Park or hike oak woodlands at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness. Better yet, drive a bit south to the native lands of the Ohlone peoples, and learn who did and who does shepherd Coyote Hills.
When I’m not showing kids the adapted species who thrive in the SF Bay estuary, I can be found at Merritt College engaged in hands-on classes in edible landscaping, watershed restoration or natural history. I hope you’ll enjoy the photos and stories that I offer here. If you’d like to order any of the photographs, send me an email. Thanks for your interest.
Leanne A. Grossman is a freelance journalist, photographer and aspiring naturalist. She has spent the better part of her career in nonprofit communications. She documented the stories of women’s rights activists, environmental advocates and citizens of societies in transition in more than a dozen countries.
In her free time, Leanne plays the West African djembe, takes on friends and foes in Scrabble and finds adventure in wild places.