What happens when you put a successful commercial real estate developer together with a staunch environmentalist?

You get the only federally certified backyard wildlife habitat in Beverly Hills and a philanthropic art gallery called G2 that is dedicated to worldwide nature photography.

Daniel Gottlieb is co-founder of G & L Realty Corp., which owns medical office buildings across the country, including several high-profile properties in the heart of Beverly Hills.

His financial success in commercial real estate has provided his wife, Susan, the ability to pursue her passion for preserving local natural habitats, such as the Ballona Wetlands near Marina del Rey, one of the state's last undeveloped urban wetlands.

Susan Gottlieb recently spent upwards of $70,000 to create G2 by renovating an aging two-story building on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in the heart of Venice's art community

"Both Dan and I love nature photography and wanted to do something that would increase the awareness of environmental issues through ongoing exhibits and lecture series that focus on important environmental issues," Gottlieb said.

The gallery, which opened in April, displays work by more than a half-dozen prominent photographers, including Dutch-born wildlife specialist Frans Lanting and Pulitzer Prize winner Jack Dykinga, who produces large-format
landscapes.

All proceeds from the sales go to environmental organizations such as the Theodore Payne Foundation and Friends of the Ballona Wetlands. Gottlieb is on the board of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands, and she is a supporter of many other environmental organizations.

Gottlieb first gained the attention of local environmentalists in the 1980s when she began the restoration of the couple's garden, which is now designated by the National Wildlife Federation as an official wildlife habitat.

Blue jays, finches, doves, quail and great horned owls are drawn to the California native plants and trees that fill an acre at the Gottliebs' rambling, one-story hillside house. The birds, lizards and native plants, in turn, attract an array of local animals like bobcats, coyotes and deer.

The entire garden draws in visitors who are on local tours, Gottlieb said.

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