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September 12, 2017 > East Bay Parks News

East Bay Parks News

By Dennis Waespi

Niles Canyon Stroll & Roll
Niles Canyon Road, Highway 84, is a scenic and historic route that follows Alameda Creek down the canyon between the towns of Sunol and Fremont.

The road has exciting potential for a multi-use regional trail that would connect several East Bay Regional Parks, while allowing for both recreational use and alternative commuting. To promote the idea of a new, non-motorized trail through Niles Canyon, Alameda County Supervisors Richard Valle and Scott Haggerty sponsor the Niles Canyon Stroll & Roll event, which started in 2015.

This year the Stroll & Roll will be on Saturday, Sept. 30. From 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. the road will be closed to all vehicles and open only to cyclists. Then from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. the road will be open to all pedestrians and bicyclists to stroll and roll through. The Park District will have an information booth at the Fremont end of the road.

Parking will be available at two locations at the Fremont end of the Stroll & Roll: Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area on Quarry Lakes Drive, and the Fremont BART station on Bart Way. BART of course has the added advantage of non-vehicular public transportation to the event.

ItÕs always lots of fun, so come on out and enjoy a motor vehicle-free experience through a beautiful canyon.

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As recent weather conditions and air quality have reminded us, we are approaching the height of the fire season.

In cooperation and coordination with other emergency service agencies, the East Bay Regional Park District maintains a high level of preparedness in case of wildfire, especially along the urban interface where open space lands adjoin residential neighborhoods, in the Oakland/Berkeley Hills and elsewhere.

Along with other fire departments, the Park District reacted immediately last month when an automobile accident started a fire off Grizzly Peak Boulevard above Berkeley. The prompt multi-agency response prevented spread of the fire to structures in Tilden Regional Park and the University of California.

The Park District has a corps of a dozen full-time firefighters, headquartered at Tilden Park. Reinforcing them are several dozen Òindustrial volunteers,Ó park district employees with other job titles who are also fully trained as firefighters when the need arises. Fire engines and other equipment are in place at locations throughout the District, ready for use in an emergency. The two District helicopters act as aerial spotters to help direct ground units, and are equipped with Bambi buckets for water drops. The Park District also has sent strike teams to help fight out-of-district fires in other parts of the state.

With all this in place, it is still critical for park visitors to be extremely careful with fire. Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the regional parks. Barbecue cooking is permissible at the barbecue stands provided in picnic areas. Except when and where restricted, portable barbecues are allowed, but only on lawn areas, not in dry grass.

If a fire or other emergency occurs, please cooperate with any instructions from firefighters, rangers, police, lifeguards and other emergency personnel. With the publicÕs help, we can experience another safe and successful fall in the regional parks.

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Speaking of fall, Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont will host its annual Harvest Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 8.

Attractions will include corn picking, magic shows, old-time music and crafts and cider pressing.

Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard off Highway 84 in Fremont. Tickets to the festival cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children ages 4 through 17, and free for 3 years and under. Parking is free. For information call (510) 544-2797.

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