East Bay regional parks have it all – from native Coulters to beeswax

East Bay regional parks have it all – from native Coulters to beeswax

East Bay regional parks have it all – from native Coulters to beeswax
Abandoned buildings at Black Diamond Mines ­Regional Preserve. (Photo courtesy EBRPD)

SAN FRANCISCO EAST BAY AREA (Nov. 9, 2021) — Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch is unique for its historic, botanical and geological features.

The area that includes the park was once the largest coal-mining region in California. Geologically, the area was a shallow seabed millions of years ago. Botanically, the park has the northernmost stands of native Coulter pines with their outsized cones, as well as some non-native trees and plants the miners brought.

You can learn more about Black Diamond Mines’ natural history with naturalist Kevin Dixon 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 14. Hand magnifiers, binoculars and microscopes will reveal the secrets of the park’s plants and animals. Equipment and training will be provided.

The program is free, but registration is required and masks must be worn. Register at 888-327-2757, option 2.

Black Diamond Mines is at the end of Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4 in Antioch. The program meets at the innermost parking lot at the end of the road. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended.

Morningtide Walk

Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline is another park rich in both natural and cultural history, Naturalist Virginia Delgado will lead one of her series of Morningtide Walks 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13. She will point out signs of the season, while describing how the area has changed over time.

The walk is free, though registration is required. Call 888-327-2757.

Meet at the parking lot at the end of North Court Street near the marina.

Crab Cove cleanup

Speaking of the shoreline, volunteers are welcome for a beach cleanup session 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda.

Coordinated by naturalist Susan Ramos, the activity is for ages 5 and older. Bring your own gloves and bucket or use the visitor center’s disposable gloves and garbage bags. Community service hours are available. Reservations required at 510-544-3187.

Crab Cove Visitor Center is at the end of McKay Avenue off Alameda’s Central Avenue.

Strolling in Sunol

View the seasonal changes during a family-friendly stroll 10-11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, at Sunol Regional Wilderness.

Led by naturalist Betty Villalta, the group will sip hot chocolate while finding out how animals stay warm during the winter. The program is free, but registration is required. Call 888-327-2757.

Sunol Wilderness is at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road, about five miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle.

Mind your own beeswax

“Beeswax Beauty” is the focus of a unique program 1-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton.

Naturalist Alex Collins will talk about local beehives and help participants use beeswax to make lip balms to take home. All materials will be provided.

Registration is required. Call 888-327-2757, option 2.

Shadow Cliffs has a $6 parking fee, and the program costs $10 per person for district residents, $13 for non-residents.

These are just some of the programs on the calendar at East Bay regional parks. For full information, visit website, www.ebparks.org.

Ned McKay is Public InformationSupervisor for EBRPD. Email him at nedmackay@comcast.net