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March 19, 2008 > Hiking in Garin and Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks

Hiking in Garin and Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks

By Brittney Hansen
Photos By Don Jedlovec

East Bay Regional Parks have many activities scheduled this month, including various walks and hikes, plus nature and photography classes. Hiking in Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park is an inspiring and invigorating way to spend a morning or afternoon, especially when there is a particular topic for each hike. This month, one event is of particular interest to dog owners. Canine Capers is designed for dogs [and their owners] as a refreshing nature walk for four-legged visitors and their two-legged companions. At Garin, canine buddies of all sizes and shapes will be able to explore off-leash, take in the beautiful scenery and meet new friends. In addition to the two-hour walk, these lucky dogs will enjoy a homemade snack!

Another interesting event in March is the Edible and Useful Plants Hike. This springtime hike is for both fun and exercising, not to mention tasty. Naturalist Dino Labiste will show hikers trailside edible greens and tubers and explain how the Ohlone People gathered these plants for food and medicine. Oak acorns, miner's lettuce and manzanita cider are on the day's menu; register today to learn more about edible Garin/Dry Creek vegetation, and taste some for yourself.

A fascinating trek to look forward to in April is the Ohlone History Hike, which highlights the history of the Ohlone People during the Spanish, Mexican, and American time periods, and the changes that they underwent during those eras. Naturalist Beverly Ortiz will be accompanied by Nina Egert, the president of the Vinapa Foundation for Cross-cultural Studies, and also an Ohlone native, to further speak of the Ohlone People on an entirely new level. They will lead hikers back through time as they explore grassy ridges and wooded valleys of Garin and the Dry Creek area.

If you love flowers, the Wildflower Hike is just for you. See the sights of Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Parks-particularly the array of wildflowers abundant this time of year: filaree (also called storksbill) the large trillium flowers, buttercups, poppies, and oceanspray are just a few of the highlighted specimen. Whether you are a flower enthusiast or just a casual nature lover, this two-hour hike will provide many facts, tidbits of information, and history behind the native and non-native plant life, from large and brightly colored to small and camouflaged. "It's about getting people to see flowers in a new light-a new way," said Beverly Ortiz, the naturalist leading the hike. Not only will participants be able to learn about different kinds of plants, they will also be able to learn about pollination, seeds, and the way that plants adapt to the environment.

To learn more about the East Bay Regional Parks and upcoming activities, or to register for an event, visit www.ebparks.org.


Canine Capers
Saturday, March 22
8 - 11 a.m.
Cost: $2 per individual/family

Edible and Useful Plants Hike
Sunday, March 23
9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Free

Ohlone History Hike
Sunday, April 6
10 a.m. - Noon
Free

Wildflower Hike
Sunday, April 6
1:30-3:30pm
Free

Ohlone Village Site Tour
Sunday, April 13
10 a.m. - Noon
Free

Ohlone Plant Use Hike
Sunday, April 27
10 a.m. - Noon
Free

Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer
1320 Garin Ave., Hayward
Registration Required
(888) 327-2757

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