We’re celebrating our 60th Anniversary and you are invited to join us for an unforgettable 19th annual celebration, Nature’s Inspiration on Sunday September 25 from 10:30am-1:30pm at Mountain Terrace. This milestone calls for an in-person celebration like no other. The power of our community and the local natural landscapes, farmlands, and parks we protect together are reasons to celebrate. Nature’s Inspiration brings us together to recognize the achievements of those who have dedicated their lives to protecting the natural environment and connecting people to the outdoors.
Our 2022 Nature’s Inspiration honorees are Linda Gass and Jane Kim, two local artists who combine art and science to educate our communities about the natural world.
With your ticket, you’ll get to enjoy a delicious brunch and entertainment including a performance by Aztec dance group Calpulli Tonalehqueh, spoken word poetry by Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour, and a closing song with Raul Pacheco of Ozomatli.
Our 2022 Honorees
Linda is best known for her intricately stitched paintings about climate change, water, and land use. Linda has been making art since she was old enough to hold a crayon and began making art full-time after a decade-long career in the software industry. She learned to love textiles at an early age when her grandmother taught her to sew and embroider.
“Linda’s work is stunning, incredibly well-made, and shares an important message about how climate change has shaped and is shaping our environment,” says Karen Kienzle, Director of the Palo Alto Art Center, “Her work draws us in through its beauty and then encourages us to consider its content and our own personal impact on climate change.”
In 2015, Linda created a land art installation at Cooley Landing, an artificial peninsula of land in East Palo Alto formed by garbage landfill. Using historical maps, Linda approximated where the historic shoreline of the bay once was on the present landscape of Cooley Landing. She then invited the community to participate in creating a temporary land art installation marking that historic shoreline using over 2,000 blue plastic survey whiskers.
“Linda has a deep and hard-earned appreciation of the natural world. Experiencing her thoughtful energy and her unique way of seeing nature inspires me to continue engaging to protect our local lands and waters,” says local environmental leader and long-time educator Jerry Hearn. “Her art is far more than just self-expression – it is educational and a call to action to explore our world and create positive change.”
Linda maintains a studio at The Alameda Artworks in San Jose. Her bird’s-eye-view landscapes blend painting on silk with quilting and embroidery techniques to highlight the human marks on the landscape. She also works in public art, community engaged land art installation, and glass. Visit LindaGass.com to view her portfolio.
“The aesthetic of beauty is important to my work; it helps make the serious nature of the subject matter I’m addressing more approachable” says Linda. “It’s my hope to inspire awareness and action through my “artivism.” My creativity is fed by the beauty of nature and the wonders of the natural world and I feel driven to preserve them for future generations”
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Craft and Design, Oakland Museum, Bellevue Art Museum, and the US Embassy in Moscow. Linda’s work has been written about in American Craft, The San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, National Geographic’s All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey, 500 Art Quilts, The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, and Why We Quilt: Contemporary Makers Speak Out about the Power of Art, Activism, Community and Creativity. Her work is in several public and private collections including the International Quilt Museum, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, and the Kapor Center for Social Impact.
“Much of her art has a lesson or narrative behind it about humans and the earth and the toll we are taking on it – but delivered in a manner where we see and feel the changes we need to understand the consequences of and work to mitigate,” reflects Jane Woodward, Founder of The Foster Museum in Palo Alto. “Linda calls out changes to the earth we need to notice in a manner we can see, feel, and hear.”
Awards include the prestigious Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship, the Silicon Valley Creates Artist Laureate, the Belle Foundation Artist Grant, and the Creative Ecology Art and Science Residency through the Palo Alto Art Center and Junior Museum and Zoo.
Although her true love has always been art, Linda earned a Bachelors of Science in Mathematical Sciences and a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University.
When she’s not making art or championing environmental causes, you can find her backpacking, camping, and hiking in the wilderness areas of the West where she finds much of the inspiration for her work.
Jane is a visual artist, scientific illustrator, and the founder of Ink Dwell studio. Her art career started when she was a little girl obsessively painting flowers and bears on the walls of her bedroom. She still enjoys painting flowers and bears, though nowadays she doesn’t get in trouble for painting on the walls.
“Every day I am inspired by how much of herself she gives to the world. Her generosity of spirit is remarkable,” says Thayer Walker, Jane’s husband and Ink Dwell co-founder. “Jane has dedicated her prolific talents to helping humanity understand the wonders of the natural world and our need to protect it.”
Jane is the creator of the Migrating Mural campaign, started in 2012. This is a series of public installations painted along migration corridors shared by people and endangered animals. To date this project has featured Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and the Monarch Butterfly. Next she plans to create murals of endangered coho salmon, possibly stretching all the way from the Pacific Northwest to South Korea. She has created other large-scale public art across the country, including the Wall of Birds at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and produced works for the National Aquarium, the de Young Museum, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, and more.
“For me, the natural world is my ultimate inspiration, offering endless threads to pursue and get tangled in,” says Jane. “I see nature as the original artist from whom I aspire to understand and reinterpret. I aim to inspire curiosity for the natural world that in turn allows people to learn about themselves and their important connection to it.”
“In fall 2018 during a ten-day residency, Jane undertook a mural project for our museum, exploring how birds get their color,” explained Kathy Kelsey Foley, director of the Wausau, Wisconsin, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. “Jane’s enthusiasm for art making and for the natural world encouraged all those whom she came in contact with to experiment with making art and also to champion our planet.”
Based in Half Moon Bay, Ink Dwell studio creates art that explores the beauty and complexity of nature. Merging classical techniques of science illustration with modern fine art, Ink Dwell makes everyday places special and enhances iconic locations with wondrous imagery. Visit Inkdwell.com to view her portfolio.
“Jane’s work is so generous,” says Ash Ferlito, a friend of Jane’s. ”There is always more beyond the beautiful animals and organisms. Her thoughtful and provocative work has so many layers, extensive research, color sensitivity, clever wordplay, and often a wink of humor riding along with the serious themes she explores.”
During the pandemic shutdown in 2020, Jane completed a mural entitled Southern California: From Sea to Sky that stretches six walls and includes over fifty species at the Moore Laboratory of Zoology at Occidental College in Los Angeles. “Jane’s work is so evocative because she creates these incredibly realistic paintings of species, but she often places them in stylized scenes. It’s a modern take on the old museum exhibit, where the animals seem poised to jump out at you, says John McCormack, the Director and Curator of the Moore Laboratory of Zoology.
Artist Residencies include the de Young Museum, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Weber State University, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Fellowship, Bartels Science Illustration Program Fellowship, Recology, and the Sierra Nevada Research Institute Science Visualization Fellowship. Additionally, the City Council and Mayor of Ogden, Utah presented Jane with an award for her Monarch Migrating Mural.
Jane received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design and then attended California State University Monterey Bay, where she received a certificate in Science Illustration.
When she’s not creating, you can find her out in nature or watching her favorite TV show, Futurama.
Nature’s Inspiration underwrites about 30% of Green Foothills’ annual expenses. We depend on funds raised from this event to support our work so that we can create the greatest impact. The generous support of our Nature’s Inspiration sponsors makes it possible for us to champion land use decisions that affirm and support open space, biodiversity, climate resilience, and natural resources in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.
Steve Blank and Alison Elliot
O'Brien Family Charitable Fund
Myrtle L. Atkinson Foundation
Gary and Patricia Hedden
Peter and Sue LaTourrette
Peter and Beverly Lipman
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP
Greater Houston Golf Charity
Peninsula Open Space Trust
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Barbara Lynn Bessey
Linda and Sidney Liebes Jr.
Margaret and Jamis MacNiven
Nancy Reyering, San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioner President, and Marty Walker
Diane Talbert and Rodger Rickard
Asset Management Company
Brandenburg Family Foundation
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
Anonymous x 2
Marilyn and William Bauriedel
Gregory and Lauren Boro
Craig Britton and Carleen Bruins
Rodney Diridon, Sr.
Francesca Eastman and Ed Goodstein
Robert and Susan Flint
Megan Fluke and Jeff Prentice
Larry and Penny Hassett
Jerry Hearn and Rebecca Reynolds
Cayce Hill and Joe Zullo
Alice Kaufman and Scot Griffin
Tor and Nancy Lund
Leslie Airola Murveit and Hy Murveit
Tom Myers and Hartono Sutanto
Paul and Antje Newhagen
Daniel and Helen Quinn
Lennie and Mike Roberts
Roberta Saxon and Mike Sasnett
Jeffrey Segall and Helen He
Joseph Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisor, and Mary Hughes
Carolyn and Edwin Tognetti
Colleen and Geoff Tate
ACLU Foundation of Northern California
The Foster Museum
San Mateo County Parks Foundation
Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP
Anonymous x 2
The Aitken-Young Family
Jeffery and Sharon Allyn
Bryan Beck and Kaia Eakin
Josh Becker, California Senator
Phil and Mary Bobel
Dan and Helen Chapman
Mike Danzenbaker and Lee Hung
Rick DeGolia, Mayor of Atherton
Paul and Maureen Draper
Pam Foley, San Jose Councilmember
Suds Jain, Santa Clara Councilmember
Larry Klein and Milbrey McLaughlin
William and Katherine Korbholz
Susan Kay Lang and Robert Levenson
Otto Lee, Santa Clara County Supervisor
Andrea Mackenzie and Jenni Martin
Christopher Manning and Laura Salcido
Allen Olivo and Robin McKnight
David Oppenheimer and Elaine Sulzberger
Lucas Ramirez, Mountain View Mayor
Mary Laurene Reber Trust
Emily Renzel and Enid Pearson
Curt Riffle and Karen Scussel
Melissa Ropp-Lane and James Lane
Janet and Victor Schachter
Justyne Schnupp and Garret Malmgren
Benjamin and Annette Segall
Paul Segall and Joan Berman Segall
Susan Stansbury and Cedric de La Beaujardiere
Carolyn Straub and Stephen McHenry
David and Katherine Thomson
Zoe Kersteen-Tucker, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Director, and George Tucker
James Wickett and Magdalena Yesil
Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
A lifelong trailblazer breaking the glass ceiling for women and Latinx leaders, Blanca Alvarado was the first Latina elected to the San Jose City Council in 1980 representing East San Jose in the city’s first district election. During her 14 years on the Council, she served two terms as the city’s first Latina vice mayor and worked to address the disproportionate investment in other parts of the city. From 1995 through 2008, she served on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and was the first Latina to serve as the Board’s chairperson. She also spearheaded the founding of the Mexican Heritage Plaza, partnered with Cesar Chavez to create the Community Services Organization, and served on many regional bodies, including Chairing the Valley Transportation Authority.
Blanca has been a lifelong conservationist and environmentalist and has used her voice and influence to secure funding for the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. She chaired multiple campaigns in support of the County Parks Charter Fund, secured funding for trails and open space in East San Jose and throughout the County, protected Santa Clara County’s greenbelt; supported the Habitat Conservation Plan; served for 14-years on LAFCO and was a reliable board member vote to promote compact, efficient urban development while preserving the unincorporated lands for prime agriculture and open space; and served as chair of the Riparian Values Education Roundtable. She is a vocal advocate for protecting Juristac, sacred lands for the Amah Mutsun Tribe and a critical wildlife corridor southwest of Gilroy. And in 2018 she launched the environmental justice campaign to close Reid-Hillview Airport, a small airport in East San Jose that has impacted residents and students for decades with airborne lead poisoning, pollution, and noise. Her vision, and that of much of the community, is for this 180-acre site to become much-needed affordable housing, social and educational services and include wildlife habitat and a nature park.
Rod Diridon, Sr.
Rod Diridon Sr. began his political career in 1971 when elected the youngest-ever Saratoga City Councilmember. From 1975 to 1995, he served five terms, six times as chair of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and Transit Board.
A lifelong environmental champion, in 1978 Rod led three other Supervisors abruptly halting the Valley’s rampant sprawl by freezing subdivisions outside city urban service areas. He and Supervisors McCorquodale and Steinberg faced a vicious, developer-led recall and won with environmental support. He co-chaired the early 1970s County Parks Charter Fund and championed the purchase of an open space buffer around the urban areas. He is most proud of increasing the County parks from 800 to over 43,000 acres. He helped negotiate legislation authorizing and campaigned for the Valley’s Open Space Authority. In 1979, he presided over the development of the Nation’s first Integrated Environmental Management Plan and Regional Transportation Master Plan as President of the Association of Bay Area Governments.
Rod has focused his leadership on countless issues including climate, the environment, arts and culture, higher education, community organizations, and philanthropy. Perhaps of most note is his leadership for public transportation, chairing over 100 transportation and sustainability programs at the international to the local level. Upon his retirement from public office, the San Jose Diridon Station was dedicated in his honor. Rod chaired the County’s League of Conservation Voters for almost 20 years, building the organization into a major political force that educates and endorses candidates for local office. He is a Life and Muir Society member of the Sierra Club, chairs the Silicon Valley Ethics Roundtable, and the regional Rotary Climate Action Council. He is a vocal advocate for climate action internationally and actively supports the local campaigns to protect Juristac, save Coyote Valley, and close the Reid-Hillview Airport.
Valentin has served as Chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band since 2003, and the President of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust since its inception. Chairman Lopez is a Native American Advisor to the University of California, Office of the President on issues related to repatriation. He is also a Native American Advisor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Chairman Lopez has dedicated himself to restoring tribal indigenous knowledge and ensuring Amah Mutsun history is accurately told. Since 2017, we have worked in solidarity with Val and the Amah Mutsun tribe to protect Juristac, a sacred site and major wildlife corridor in Santa Clara County, from a sand and gravel mine.
Joseph W. Cotchett
Joe has been a champion for justice during his 50+ year legal career and a passionate supporter of the environment and specifically the Bay and San Mateo Coast. As founder and senior partner of Cotchett, Pitre, & McCarthy LLP, he has built his legal career representing the underdog against powerful interests as well as providing generous pro bono work. Named one of the 100 most influential attorneys in the United States for almost two decades, Joe is an honoree and member of the national Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame in Philadelphia and the State Bar of California’s Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.
Rue is the CEO and Founder of Outdoor Afro. Rue has passionately led Outdoor Afro, a national nonprofit organization, since it began as a blog in 2009. With more than 70 leaders in 30 states and 20,000 people in the network, Outdoor Afro supports African American community leadership in open space issues and addresses the need for greater diversity in the outdoors. Rue’s many accolades include being invited to the White House to participate in the “2010 America’s Great Outdoors Conference”, and subsequently taking part in a think tank to inform the launch of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative. In 2012 and 2016, she was listed in “The Root 100” as one of the most influential African Americans in the country. Rue has served as a California State Parks Commissioner since 2014.
Steve is the retired Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District General Manager. Before his recent retirement, Steve Abbors spent a decade leading Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen)’s extraordinary work to promote open space preservation and public restoration. Founded in 1972, Midpen has permanently protected more than 63,000 acres of public land and manages 26 open space preserves in our region. Career highlights include completing a 30-year Vision Plan with extensive public support resulting in $300 million for land acquisition, restoration and public access through Measure AA. He’s most proud of reconnecting the Amah Mutsun Tribal band to their ancestral lands on Mount Umunhum through a permanent conservation easement, and opening Mount Umunhum to the public.
Joan is a musical force of nature, American folk singer, songwriter, musician and activist who has displayed a lifelong commitment to environmental and social justice activism. Joan has performed her music for over 55 years with over 30 albums in six languages. She began her career in 1960 with immediate success. Her first three albums, Joan Baez, Joan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert all achieved gold record status and stayed on the Billboard and other record album charts for two years. Songs of acclaim include ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ and ‘Diamonds and Rust.’ Other noteworthy accolades include introducing the world to Bob Dylan in her early tours, marching on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement with Martin Luther King, Jr., striking for fair wages in the fields with Cesar Chavez, singing on the first Amnesty International tour, and bringing the Free Speech Movement into the spotlight at Berkeley. On Earth Day 1999, Joan and Bonnie Raitt honored environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill with Raitt’s Arthur M. Sohcot Award on her 180-ft high redwood treetop platform where Hill camped to protect ancient redwoods in the Headwaters Forest from logging. Lennie Roberts and Committee for Green Foothills worked alongside Joan and dozens of her neighbors in 2001 to defeat a massive development proposal on the 92-acre Lawler Ranch property in Woodside. Once again Joan joined Lennie and Committee for Green Foothills worked on a collaboration with The Horse Park at Woodside to restore eroding hillsides and adopt land restoration and wildlife-friendly management techniques. In 2007, Joan received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In the end of 2016, she joined Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, where at least 200 tribes gathered to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Most recently, Joan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017.
2022 Host Committee
Our Host Committee is an integral part of the production of Nature’s Inspiration. Special thanks to our Host Committee for their many contributions and willingness to connect with other community leaders who have the resources to help ensure our Nature’s Inspiration 2022 is a success. If you are interested in joining the Host Committee, please email [email protected].
Board President, Green Foothills
Executive Director, San Mateo County Parks Foundation
Board Member, Green Foothills
Director, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, Former Green Foothills Board member
Former Santa Clara County Supervisor
Board Secretary, Green Foothills
Board Member, Green Foothills
Board Vice President, Green Foothills
Board Treasurer, Green Foothills
Board Member, Green Foothills
Advisory Board Member, Green Foothills
Founders of Buck’s Restaurant in Woodside, Former Green Foothills Board Member & Development Committee Chair
Board Vice President, Green Foothills
Board Member, Green Foothills
2022 Honorary Hosts
Honorary Hosts are elected officials from San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties who support the mission of Green Foothills.
Alicia C. Aguirre
Karina R. Dominguez
Javed I. Ellahie
Lisa M. Gillmor
Reuben D. Holober
Yvonne Martinez Beltran
Linda G. Swan
John L. Varela
Check Out The 2021 Nature’s Inspiration Recording
On Sunday, October 3 at our 19th annual Nature’s Inspiration, we honored former Santa Clara County Supervisors Rod Diridon, Sr. and Blanca Alvarado for their exemplary leadership and dedication to public service, community, and the environment. We enjoyed performances by the Grammy-award winning Indigo Girls, Aztec dance group Calpulli Tonalehqueh, and poet Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour. Our Master of Ceremonies was Tamara Alvarado. A portion of the event proceeds was donated to the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rotary Club of San Jose Climate Action Committee, ¡Sí Se Puede! Collective in East San Jose, and Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS) on the San Mateo Coast.