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November 15, 2016 > Park It

Park It

By Dennis Waespi

Holiday Season in the Tri-Cities
With the holiday season now under way, thereÕs plenty to see and do in the East Bay Regional Parks within Fremont, Union City and Newark.

The return of the monarch butterflies to Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont is always a seasonal delight. The orange and black beauties spend the winter in ArdenwoodÕs eucalyptus groves as part of their intergenerational life cycle. ArdenwoodÕs naturalists have scheduled programs every weekend in November and December that include guided walks to the groves to view the butterflies.

One of them is ÒReturn of the Monarchs,Ó at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26. ÒMysterious MonarchsÓ is the theme of a program from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27. It includes crafting your own colorful monarch caterpillar to take home. Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84, the Dumbarton Bridge approach. Call 510-544-2797 for information.


Nearby at Coyote Hills Regional Park, check out ÒBlack Friday Family Fun.Ó ItÕs from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25, ItÕs a chance to walk off some Thanksgiving Day calories and help the park staff to create a special ÒTree of ThanksÓ exhibit. You can also create your own holiday ornament to take home.

By the way, East Bay Regional Park District is waiving all fees in its parklands on Nov. 25. Coyote Hills has a Family Fun program every Saturday and Sunday. Drop in any time between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the park visitor center for a variety of nature-themed crafts and explorations. Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway in Fremont. For information, call 510-544-3220.


Another option is bird watching. ThereÕs a naturalist-led bird walk from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, along the Alameda Creek Trail, starting at the Niles staging area on Old Canyon Road in Fremont. All levels of birding experience are welcome. Bring water, sunscreen, and binoculars or scopes. For information, call 510-544-3220.

For more information on these activities and many others in this area, visit the park district web site at


HereÕs a reminder: the city of FremontÕs new permit parking system at Mission Peak is now in effect. To park on streets near the Stanford Avenue staging area on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays you need a residential parking permit. The permits are not required on weekdays, except legal holidays. You donÕt need a permit to park within the existing staging area. The park district hopes that some of the parking and traffic impacts on park neighbors will be alleviated by the new system. For details on how it works, visit

Of course there are also parking and traffic issues at Vargas Plateau Regional Park, closed recently pending court proceedings. ItÕs the park districtÕs goal to reopen Vargas Plateau to the public as soon as possible, pending a fair resolution to the dispute.

November is a great time in the regional parks. But however you spend it, hereÕs wishing you a healthy, happy holiday season.

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