“Calinature” – History, Nature, and Culture in the Golden State
Jeff Hart and Toni Toban Hart own and manage Hart Restoration, Inc. in Walnut Grove, California. Located in the California Delta country, their business includes habitat restoration and growing plants at their nursery.
Jeff Hart also is the captain and narrator of Delta Ecotours, an on-the-water boating experience that takes people out to this little known part of California to learn about history and nature. Through the activities of habitat restoration and Delta Ecotours, Jeff has encountered California’s diversity of people, cultures, and perspectives about the state of our nature, leading him on an epic emotional, physical, and intellectual journey exploring those topics.
His exploration has taken him backpacking in the high Sierra, creeping through wetlands, careening along windy coastal roads, photographing sunflowers and sunsets, and sifting through intellectual gems of thought discovered in archives, books and the Internet.
Jeff’s formal education includes BA and MA degrees from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Harvard University. His true education comes from his natural curiosity of day-to-day living, reading, and companionship with nature and people.
After earning a Master’s degree in ethnobotany from the University of Montana and a Ph.D. degree in evolutionary biology from Harvard, Jeff returned to his native California and opened Hartland Nursery in partnership with his wife Toni Hart. Their nursery and innovative planting methods have been used in over 20 sites throughout the California Delta, including a $1.8-million project funded by the California Bay-Delta Authority to restore several miles of levees from 2003 to 2006.