Open Spaces & Wild Places Gala and Awards Celebration

JOIN US ~ OCTOBER 16th from 6-7:30PM!

Honoring Our 2020 Conservation Heroes and Lands

This year’s Open Spaces + Wild Places Gala and Awards is going virtual! Join Bear Yuba Land Trust in celebration of our lands and the people that protect and care for them, Friday October 16th from 6-7:30PM.

Click to Join – Event Starts 6:00pm

We are getting ready for our Annual Open Spaces and Wild Places Virtual Gala & Conservation Awards – join us FRIDAY, October 16th from 6-7:30PM. This year, due to social distancing guidelines and in order to safeguard public health, this FREE event will take place over two weeks kicking off on October 1st with an online silent auction including one-of-a-kind items from local artisans. The event will end with our Live Conservation Awards Presentation and Virtual Gala on Friday, October 16th. The live event will include award presentations, live music, Fund-A-Need for the Independence trail and so much more! RSVP now!

 Learn How It Works!
Take a Sneak Peek at the Program!

Bidding is now open for our Online Silent Auction and Rebuild Independence Trail Fund-a-Need.

2020 Gala SIlent Auction - Click to view and bidIndependence Trail Rebuild Fund A Need

Announcing our 2020 Conservation Heroes

“Each year, we are proud to recognize and celebrate our local conservation heroes who are individuals that demonstrate a strong commitment to land conservation through leadership and innovation. Despite any challenge, these are community members who inspire others as poised and passionate environmental advocates,” explains Erika Seward, BYLT Co-Executive Director.

This year, we are thrilled to honor and acknowledge two truly inspiring women – Shelly Covert and Debra Weistar – who are deeply connected to the land and remind us every day, through purpose and action, why conservation matters. Nominated by community members and selected by a review committee, each has, through their respective work, elevated the public consciousness around the critical importance of conservation and stewardship as decades-long advocates of the Bear and Yuba River watersheds.

William Nickerl Award for Conservation Leadership

Shelly Covert 2020 William Nickerl Conservation LeadershipShelly Covert is recognized with the William Nickerl Award for Conservation Leadership for her tireless commitment to conservation and dedication to enriching the community’s connection to the ancestral homelands of the Nisenan Tribe.

John Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award

Debra Weistar Sierra Outdoors Recreation HeroDebra Weistar is recognized with the John F. Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award for her lifelong commitment to educating and mentoring youth through nature programming and documentary filmmaking.

“There are so many unsung conservation heroes in our community. We intend to provide a platform to acknowledge this important work and promote a culture of environmental stewardship,” says Seward.

All net proceeds will support Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT), an accredited land trust and non-profit based in Grass Valley with a mission to protect and defend the working and natural lands of the Bear and Yuba River Watersheds and empower healthy, resilient communities through Nature access and education. There is also an opportunity to directly support a priority project each year through Fund-a-Need contributions during the evening.

“We are also excited to announce that this year’s Fund-a-Need pledges will support the Independence Trail Rebuild” says Seward. “

Since 1990, BYLT has been a conservation leader in the Sierra Nevada region, saving more than 15,000 acres of foothill forests, oak woodlands, meadows, riparian habitat, farms and ranches. This includes over 4,000 acres of critical open space protected for currently threatened, endangered or otherwise listed as a species of special concern, 6,000 of agricultural lands and over 4,000 acres of headwaters lands. BYLT has also built and maintains over 45 miles of trails that provide access to nature for residents and visitors alike.


Thank you to our 2020 Gala Sponsors!

BriarPatch Food Co-op | National Co+op GrocersGrass Valley Brewing Co - About people. About beer. About fun.Caseywood Corporation | Lumber YardTri Counties Bank – BranchVolz Bros Environmentally Conscious Auto Service - Wild & Scenic Film Festival