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March 29, 2011 > Spring Wildflower Festival

Spring Wildflower Festival

By ElenaMartina
Photos By courtesy of EBRPD

After recent rainy weather, many are anxious to get outdoors... How about a short or long guided hike? A kid-friendly hike? Perhaps live music and crafts or learning how to identify wildflowers are a favored choice to welcome springtime. Is so, the Sunol Regional Wilderness Spring Wildflower Festival is a solid pick for this weekend.

Anyone with an interest in wildflowers or nature is encouraged to attend -something for all ages. Interpretive staff will provide easy ways to identify wildflowers and the best places and times to see different varieties. Among the best places to see the colors of spring are in East Bay Regional Parks which span Alameda and Contra Costa counties with more than 108,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature study. The Park District offers lakes, shorelines, campgrounds, visitor centers, interpretive and recreation programs, picnic areas, indoor/outdoor rental facilities, golf courses and much more. A "Trails Challenge" program is extremely popular and includes self-guided hiking, biking, and walking paths throughout the East Bay.

Spring events are the resurrection of wilderness fairs celebrated years ago, before budget cuts, according to Sunol Naturalist and event organizer Cat Taylor. The Wildflower Festival, now in its eighth year, is well attended by many who join a three-mile guided hike to Little Yosemite waterfall where wildflowers flourish. Taylor says there will be enough time to rest and snack, and asks attendees to bring light meals or snacks to enjoy a fresh air picnic. The hike starts promptly at 11:30 a.m. and lasts until 2:30 p.m.

Less strenuous half-mile guided hikes are also available and can accommodate parents with children in strollers. The festival also offers art and craft games, face painting, henna body art, a nature slide show and exhibits. A local acoustic band, "Extended Roots," comprised of women from the East Bay Area will play an assortment of Celtic and Bluegrass music.

There will not be food concessions in the park, as food permits have not been profitable for vendors in the past, so bringing your own lunch is recommended. The festival will take place near the Old Green Barn Visitor Center at Sunol Regional Wilderness at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras. The event is free to the public, but parking costs $5.

For more information please call 1 (888) 327-2757, visit www.ebparks.org, or contact Cat Taylor at (510) 544-3242 or ctaylor@ebparks.org.

Spring Wildflower Festival
Saturday, April 2
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Old Green Barn Visitors Center
Sunol Regional Wilderness
Geary Road, Sunol
(888) 327-2757
www.ebparks.org

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