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December 27, 2016 > Park It

Park It

By Ned MacKay

A New Year in the Regional Parks
The East Bay Regional Park District will usher in the New Year with special programs at several of the parklands.

For the energetic, thereÕs an ascent of Wildcat Peak in Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley. ItÕs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31, led by naturalist Anthony Fisher. The trail is likely to be muddy and slick, so dress accordingly. Bring lunch and water.

ThereÕs another hill climb at Tilden from 2 to 5 p.m. on New YearÕs Day, Sunday, Jan. 1, led by naturalist Trent Pearce. This oneÕs a four-miler.

For a less strenuous experience, check out fireside story time from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31, with classic childrenÕs stories about farming, insects and other nature topics.

For either hike or story time, meet at TildenÕs Environmental Education Center, which is at the north end of Central Park Drive. Call 510-544-2233 for information.

Not to be upstaged, Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch is the venue for a New YearÕs Resolution hike from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, led by naturalist Eddie Willis. This one is a peaceful stroll through green valleys with tales of the parkÕs coal mining days along the way.

Meet Eddie at Black DiamondÕs uppermost parking lot, on Somersville Road, 3 1/2 miles south of Highway 4. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750. Heavy rain cancels.

ÒMacro MayhemÓ is the theme of a program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. The group will collect some plankton and water bugs to discover the role they play in the wetland ecosystem.

Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Main Street. Call 888-327-2757, ext. 3050 for information.

Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda will celebrate the impending New Year with a New YearÕs Eve Beach Cleanup from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31. Then the centerÕs aquarium fish will get their New YearÕs Eve meal from 3 to 3:30 p.m.

The center will hold open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1. There will be family friendly activities and crafts throughout the day, starting with story time and nature fun from 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Crab Cove is on McKay Avenue off Central Avenue. Call 510-544-3187 for information.

Naturalist Morgan Dill will lead a Òjumpstart the New YearÕs ResolutionÓ hike from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 31 at Anthony Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley. ItÕs a five-mile hilly challenge that leads down to the creek and back up again.

Meet Morgan at the parkÕs Marciel Gate, which is on Redwood Road about five miles south of the intersection with Skyline Boulevard in Oakland. For information and directions, call 510-544-3187.

Nature journaling is the focus of the Family Fun program from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31 at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont. You can drop in any time and create a journal to record your nature observations during the course of the New Year.

Snakes will star in a program from 2 to 4 p.m. the same day, hosted by naturalist Dino Labiste. Learn all about the reptiles, and create a snake spiral craft to take home.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. Call 510-544-3220 for information.

However you spend your time as the old year makes way for the new, hereÕs wishing you health and happiness in 2017.

The park district board of directors has voted unanimously to rename Martinez Regional Shoreline in honor of former board member Ted Radke, who died Aug. 28, and his wife, Kathy, who died in 2011. The scenic 343-acre park on Carquinez Strait is now named the Ted and Kathy Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline, honoring the RadkesÕ tireless efforts to preserve the Martinez waterfront.

Ted Radke, who was the Park DistrictÕs longest-serving Board member, devoted much of his career to preserving open space, increasing funding for land acquisition and working with state and federal legislators to advocate for environmental protection. Kathy worked to save Mt. Wanda from development, preserve Franklin Hills as open space and, with her husband, was a co-founder of the Contra Costa Ecology Action Education Institute.

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