Birds and Bees, plus All Abilities Day are activity highlights at East Bay Parks this week

Go bird watching at Fernandez Ranch off Highway 4 in Martinez on June 27. (Photo courtesy John Muir Land Trust)

SAN FRANCISCO EAST BAY AREA, CA (June 23, 2022) — Nature exploration for all ages and levels of ability is the plan for All Abilities Day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley.

Assisted by staff, or exploring at their own pace, visitors will be able to travel along paved trails with stations to touch fur, listen to birds, sketch wildlife, watch the Delta water for animal activity, or paint the view.

The program will have both indoor and outdoor options, all wheelchair accessible. It’s free of charge; drop in any time during the program hours. No registration required.

Big Break Regional Shoreline is located at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 510-544-3050.

Animal Ambassadors

Reptiles will be the stars of the show during a Reptile Rendezvous from 10 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 26 at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, with naturalist Maeron Yeshiwas.

It’s a chance to get a close, safe look at some of the park’s reptile “animal ambassadors,” learn about their adaptations and where they live, then create your own reptile-inspired craft.

The program is free, for all ages (with parent participation for youngsters), and no registration is required. Meet at the visitor center.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. Maeron also will host a campfire program, “Animal Myths,” from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 25 at Dumbarton Quarry Campground on the Bay.

The topic is how some of our favorite animals are portrayed in different stories and movies.

You don’t have to be camping to attend the program. It’s for ages five and up with parent participation, and parking fees apply. For information and directions on both the reptile and campfire programs, call 510-544-3220.

Precious pollinators

Birds and Bees, plus All Abilities Day are activity highlights at East Bay Parks this week
Ardenwood Historic Farm brings bees into focus on June 25. (Pete Cruz photo)

Nearby at Ardenwood Historic Farm, providing a welcoming environment for bees is the theme of a program from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, led by naturalist Chris Garcia.  Learn how we can help the precious pollinators survive in our urban and suburban world.

Or you can find out what it’s like to be taller by giving stilts a try in a program from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Stilts weren’t just toys; farmers used them for various chores.

Both programs are drop-in; no registration required. Ardenwood admission fee applies.

The park is at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84 in Fremont. For information, call 510-544-2797.

Endangered Birds

Terns, those endangered seabirds, get a turn in the spotlight during a program from 10:15 to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 25 at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. Find out all about these beautiful birds and their lives.

Three separate bus trips will be offered to see the colonies; registration is required. This is the only time the public can view the nests. For registration and information, go to or call 888-327-2757 and select option 2.

Crab Cove is at 1253 McKay Ave. off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Fernandez Ranch

Birding enthusiasts of all ability levels will enjoy a walk from 8 to 11 a.m. on Monday, June 27 at Fernandez Ranch with naturalist Anthony Fisher.

It’s a drop-in program; no registration is necessary. Fernandez Ranch is on Christie Road off of Highway 4 between Martinez and I-80. For information, call 510-544-2233.

Nature walks

Wednesday Walks are informal, naturalist-led hikes to explore various regional parks. There’s one at Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 29, led by Trail Gail Broesder.

Meet at Inspiration Point on Wildcat Canyon Road. This is a hilly hike to Vollmer Peak and back, during which Gail will talk about the park’s intriguing history. For information, call 510-544-2233.

Next in the park district’s series, “People of Color: Evening Walks & Talks”, is a 2½-mile stroll through the fragrant eucalyptus groves and coastal views at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond. It’s from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 30.

The program is bilingual in English and Spanish, led by naturalist Claudia Muñoz. It’s drop-in; no registration is required.

Meet at the park’s Giant Highway staging area at 5551 Giant Highway off Richmond Parkway. For information, call 510-544-3176.

This is just a sample of available programs in the regional parks. For the full schedule, visit

Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at