Open Spaces & Wild Places Gala and Awards Celebration

2020 Conservation Awards winnersNominations now open for the 2021 Conservation Hero Awards!

Bear Yuba Land Trust invites nominations from the community for our two Conservation Hero Awards:

William Nickerl Award for Conservation Leadership is awarded to exceptional individuals for their commitment to land conservation and dedication to BYLT’s mission to enrich a community connection with land.

The John Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award honors an individual for work or leadership of unusual significance in the field of outdoor recreation and education, including contributions which have made a difference in local parks, preserves, and community programs throughout Nevada County.

Awardees will be honored at the Open Spaces & Wild Places Gala on October 9, 2021.

Deadline to nominate is September 1. Nominees must live or work in Bear and Yuba River Watersheds region. Current BYLT Board and Staff are not eligible.


Learn more about the awards and see past Conservation Hero awardees.


The Open Spaces & Wild Places Gala event supports 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.

2021 Fund-A-Need: Trail Signage, Wayfinding, and Interpretation

Help local trails to be safe, educational, and fun places for family recreation. This year, Fund-A-Need focuses on BYLT’s trail and preserve signage needs.

BYLT installs signs and kiosks at trailheads, wayfinding signs across the 45+ miles of our trails, and interpretive signs and panels on trails and in preserves to provide trail-users with interesting historical and cultural context, as well as facts about the wildlife and native plants found in the area. We also maintain, in perpetuity, all signs—including replacing vandalized signs and making sign improvements when old signs become outdated or worn out. When we replace old signs, we are taking the opportunity to make updates with information offered in multiple languages and interactive elements for a more inclusive, accessible trail experience.

The costs to install new signs and maintain existing signage adds up quickly, with the price of construction materials rising significantly in recent months. Your support will help BYLT design, install, and maintain signs that make the trail easier and safer to navigate.