Explore the flora and fauna of East Bay Parks this Spring

Explore the flora and fauna of East Bay Parks this Spring

Explore the flora and fauna of East Bay Parks this Spring
Colorful wildflowers dot the landscape of the Diablo Foothills this spring. Join Naturalist Claudia Munoz in a search for them on May 6. (Photo by Pete Cruz)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Apr. 28, 2022) — Bees, butterflies, moths, wasps and other pollinators are the stars of an online trivia Kahoot a 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, hosted by naturalist Ashley Adams and the East Bay Regional Park District.

Here’s how to play: visit the Black Diamond Mines Facebook page to meet the game host. Have handy an additional tech device, such as a cell phone, tablet or laptop. Use it to go to https://kahoot.it.com. Then wait for the host to give instructions and a PIN number.

It’s free, of course, and any number can play.

On May Day (Sunday, May 1) at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, you can learn the language of animals during a program from 10:30 to 11 a.m. with interpretive student aide Taylor Smith. Meet at the barnyard to watch how the birds, rabbits, goats and other animals interact with each other and with us.

Sheep at Ardenwood Historic Farm.

Then at 11 a.m. you can check out the chicken coop and feed the chickens a snack. And from 1 to 2 p.m., join naturalist Mindy Castle to learn how felt is made from sheep’s wool, then craft a felt toy to take home.

Ardenwood has lots of other attractions, too, including tours of the historic Patterson House and rides on the narrow gauge railroad.

The park is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. For admission fees and information, call 510-544-2797. Parking is free.

May flowers, birds and bugs

They say that April showers bring May flowers. Appropriately, flowers are the focus of a program from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 1 at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. It’s free of charge and no registration is required.

Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Ave. off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For information, call 510-544-3187.

And at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley, naturalist Anthony Fisher will lead a family nature walk from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. Meet at the Environmental Education Center for a stroll in search of birds, insects, flowers and fresh air.

The program is free and no registration is necessary. The center is at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive, accessible via Canon Drive from Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley.

Anthony also will lead a birding walk from 8 to 11 a.m. on Monday, May 2 at Briones Regional Park. This is free too, with no registration needed.

Meet Anthony at the top of Old Briones Road off Alhambra Valley Road near Martinez. For directions and information about either of Anthony’s programs, call 510-544-2233.

Evening Walks and Talks

Naturalist Claudia Munoz is hosting a series called “People of Color: Evening Walks & Talks,” which are evening hikes conducted bilingually in English and Spanish.

Pete Cruz photo

One will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 at Briones Regional Park. Meet at the Bear Creek Staging Area on Bear Creek Road about five miles east of San Pablo Dam Road near Orinda. It’s a three-mile challenge hike during which Claudia will talk about the local watershed.

Another hike is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 6 at Diablo Foothills Regional Park. Meet Claudia at the Orchard Staging Area at the end of Castle Rock Road past Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. This hike is four miles, in search of wildflowers.

Both hikes are free of charge and registration is not necessary. For information, call 510-544-3176.

This is just a sample. For full information on upcoming park district programs, visit the website, www.ebparks.org.

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