Learn about Chinese history on Black Diamond walk

Learn about Chinese history on Black Diamond walk
Black Diamond Mines Regional Park. (Pete Cruz photo)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (May 18, 2023) — May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and the East Bay Regional Park District’s activities will include a guided hike at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch.

Join naturalist Katie Garchar for a two-mile hike 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20. Along the way, she will talk about the discrimination and the many important contributions of local Chinese communities during the 1800s in the coal mining country that is now Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve.

The hike is for ages 8 and older. Registration is not necessary. Wear sturdy shoes; bring water and snacks.

Black Diamond Mines is at the end of Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4. Meet Garchar in the uppermost parking lot, a mile past the park’s entrance kiosk. Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended. For information, call 510-544-2750.

Puppets in the park: Bring a blanket and a snack to relax in the park and see a Delta-themed puppet show 10:30-11 a.m. May 20 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley.

Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. The show is free and no reservations are needed. Parents must accompany children. For information, call 510-544-3050.

Scenic stroll

Saturday Strolls is a series of generally easy, naturalist-led hikes to explore various regional parks. The next one will be 9:30-11 a.m. May 20 at Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area in El Sobrante.

Meet the naturalist in the Kennedy Grove parking lot for a two-mile, sometimes steep hike through oak/bay and eucalyptus forests for beautiful views of San Pablo Dam and the East Bay Hills. Registration is not required.

Kennedy Grove is at 6531 San Pablo Dam Road, between Orinda and El Sobrante. The grove entrance is about a mile north of the San Pablo Dam Recreation Area entrance. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Artistic endeavor

Dragonflies are amazing insects that have been around for millions of years. You can capture them artistically during a “Drawing Dragonflies” session 10-11 a.m. May 20 at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton with naturalist Erica Stephens.

The program is for ages 3 and older; parents must accompany children. Paper, pencil and coloring supplies will be available, or you can bring your own paper or nature journal.

Shadow Cliffs is on Stanley Boulevard a short distance east of the intersection with Valley Avenue. The park has a $6 parking fee; the program is free of charge. Registration is not required. Meet Stephens at the park’s Interpretive Pavilion. For information, call 510-544-3249.

Doubling down on dragonflies

Dragonflies (and damsel flies) are also the theme of a program 10-11:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 21 with naturalist Ashley Houts at Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County.

The park 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. The program is free and registration is unnecessary.

Meet Houts at the visitor center, which is the first left turn after the park entrance kiosk. For information, call 510-544-3249.

Making a splash for 100 years

With their shared history of conserving watershed lands, the park district congratulates the East Bay Municipal Utility District on its 100-year anniversary.

Temescal Regional Recreation Area in Oakland will be the venue for EBMUD’s 100th Birthday Party and Community Fair 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 21. Fair attractions will include live music, a Kids Splash Zone, a beer garden, food vendors and booths featuring community organizations.

Admission is free. Register for the event by visiting www.ebmud.org.

Because parking is very limited, attendees are urged to ride or drive to the MacArthur or Rockridge BART stations. Free parking is available there, and free shuttles to the event and back will run every 10 minutes. Lake Temescal is at the intersection of Highways 24 and 13 in Oakland.

For a full list of activities, visit www.ebparks.org/things-to-do. Check “Alerts and Closures” on the website to be sure that the park you wish to visit is open without restrictions.