Stella Tarnay is the co-founder and executive director of Capital Nature, a nonprofit organization based in Washington DC with a mission to bring nature into the lives of Washington area residents and visitors. Capital Nature’s focus is on activities and information that support human health through daily and direct nature experience and connections that build empathy with the natural world. Capital Nature is a regional organizer for the City Nature Challenge and a convener of the Washington Area Citizen Science Network. The City Nature Challenge is a friendly international competition among urban residents who observe and document wildlife in local parks, backyards, and other local green spaces. In 2019, citizen scientists from over 150 cities around the world participated in the challenge.
Before co-founding Capital Nature, Stella led Biophilic DC, an initiative that engaged designers, policymakers, and citizens in civic dialogue about nature-based strategies for community health. Her background includes policy development for green building and sustainability, teaching at the university level, and community organizing. When she has time she writes and enjoys exploring the trails of Rock Creek Park. Stella received her bachelor's degree in urban and environmental planning from the University of Virginia and completed her graduate studies in city and regional planning at Cornell University.