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March 7, 2017 > Park It

Park It

By Ned MacKay

Johnny Appleseed Day

Johnny Appleseed isnÕt just a figment of American folklore; he was an actual person. His real name was John Chapman. Born in 1774 in Pennsylvania, he became a pioneer nurseryman as an adult, establishing apple tree nurseries in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and other states. He was also a missionary for the Swedenborgian Church. According to contemporary accounts he lived a very simple life, often sleeping in the woods or receiving a nightÕs lodging with farmers in exchange for his storytelling and proselytizing.

Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont will celebrate his life during Johnny Appleseed Day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, organized by naturalist Christina Garcia.

ItÕs a chance to learn more about Johnny, the history of apple cultivation, and taste a variety of delicious apples. Other activities will include tree planting, apple cider pressing, and crafts for kids.

Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. Admission is $3 for adults and seniors, $2 for children ages 4 through 17. Parking is free. For information, call 510-544-2797.


Family friendly ÒDiscovery DaysÓ are from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in and around the visitor center at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont. ThereÕs always a presentation at 10:30 a.m. on the topic of the week, but you can drop in any time for nature exploration and crafts.

The Coyote Hills naturalists also will conduct tours of the parkÕs reconstructed 2,000-year-old Ohlone Indian village site from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, and Sundays, March 19 and April 16. ItÕs a half-mile walk through marshland to see a shade structure, pit house and sweat house.

Coyote Hills is located at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. The activities are free; thereÕs a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call 510-544-3220.


Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda will celebrate fishing in San Francisco Bay with a ÒCatch of the DayÓ cavalcade from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 11. There will be a behind the scenes aquarium tour from 11 to 11:45 a.m., a fishing clinic from noon to 3 p.m. (gear provided), fish cooking demonstrations in the afternoon, family nature fun from 2 to 3 p.m., fish feeding at the aquarium from 3 to 3:30 p.m., and a low tide walk from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Crab Cove is located at the bay end of McKay Avenue off AlamedaÕs Central Avenue. ThereÕs limited parking at the visitor center, and more parking at the Crown Beach lot at Westline and Otis Drives. Both cost $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended. For information, call 510-544-3187.


All sorts of activities are scheduled during the March 11-12 weekend at the Environmental Education Center in Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley. HereÕs a rundown:

Interpretive student aide Sharona Kleinman will help visitors to create their own rain sticks in a program from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday. SheÕll offer water conservation tips, too.
Tiny wildlife will be collected and put under the microscope in a program from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, in a program led by naturalist Trent Pearce.
From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, naturalist ÒTrail GailÓ Broesder will lead an ascent of Wildcat Peak. Bring a snack and water for the climb from the center to the summit for panoramic views.

Gail also will lead an easier walk from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, a stroll from the center to Jewel Lake in search of local wildlife.

You can take in a recycling puppet show at the center from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, featuring Sharona and Dante the Dragon.

The center is located at the north end of TildenÕs Central Park Drive, which you can reach via Canon Drive from Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley. For information, call 510-544-2233.


Miners and their tools are the topic of a program from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11 at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, hosted by naturalist Virginia Delgado.

ItÕs all about historic mine openings, shafts, portals, and how 19th century miners dug hundreds of miles of tunnels using early technology.

From 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, thereÕs a two-to-three-mile hike in search of early season wildflowers, led by interpretive student aide Ricardo Black. Rain cancels the walk.
Both programs are for ages seven and older. Both start in the parking lot at the upper end of Somersville Road, 3-and-a-half miles south of Highway 4 in Antioch. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.


There are lots of other programs planned this spring in the regional parks. You can find out more by visiting the district website at

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