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June 5, 2018 > Park It

Park It

By Ned MacKay

Art by the Delta
You can check out local artists? works or explore an underground mining museum in coming days at East County regional parks. At Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley, works by local artists are on exhibit at the visitor center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. The paintings reflect the variety and beauty of the Delta landscape. While you?re there, you can learn about recycling and find out creative ways to reuse common household items, in a naturalist-led program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. Later on, the naturalists will preside at a campfire program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. June 10. Bring a picnic dinner but save some appetite for s?mores.

Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley?s Main Street. For information, call (888) 327-2757, ext. 3050.


At Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, there?s a mine open house from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. It?s a chance to explore the newly extended underground mine route, which starts at the Hazel-Atlas portal and ends at the Greathouse Visitor Center. For safety reasons, the free, self-guided underground tours are open to ages seven and older. Aboveground activities are planned for younger children.

Black Diamond Mines is at the end of Somersville Road, 3,5 miles south of Highway 4. There?s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call (888) 327-2757, ext. 2750.


There?s plenty to do in other regional parks as well. At Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley, interpretive student aide Brianna Contaxis-Tucker will tell some nature stories and show how to track and find animals, in a program from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 9. Naturalist Trent Pearce will lead a creek and pond survey in search of invertebrate water-dwellers. The safari is from 11 a.m. to noon on Sunday, June 10. Families welcome, wear shoes to get wet and muddy. Nets will be provided. The program repeats on June 17.

Both programs meet at the Environmental Education Center, at the north end of Tilden?s Central Park Drive. Call (510) 544-2233.


Nighthawks will enjoy a grunion hunt from midnight to 2 a.m. on Thursday, June 14 at Crown Beach in Alameda, led by naturalist Susan Ramos. Grunions are real; they are a fish that spawns periodically on sandy beaches. It?s an amazing natural history spectacle.

The program is free of charge, but registration is required. For registration and information, call (888) 327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program number 20882.

From fish to birds: Crown Beach also will celebrate the return of the terns in programs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 9. Terns are an endangered species making a comeback, thanks to efforts by environmental volunteers.

Drop in any time at the Crab Cove Visitor Center for a brief slide show featuring the birds. Register in advance for a bus trip to view a tern colony in Alameda. The bus trips are restricted to ages eight and older and there?s a fee of $9 per person ($11 for non-District residents).

For information, call the Park District reservations department at (888) 327-2757.
Crab Cove is at the end of McKay Avenue off Alameda?s Central Avenue. For general information, call (510) 544-3187.


The original Native American inhabitants at what is now Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, lived in homes made of tule reeds. You can learn how they constructed these dwellings by helping to build one yourself, under the supervision of naturalist Dino Labiste. The program is for ages eight and up, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. Meet at the visitor center. The structure will be used in park programs for years to come.

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


There?s no lack of enjoyable and educational programs in the regional parks. For a complete listing, visit the website,

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