Ride a train, find spring flowers or go on a safari – all at East Bay parks

Ride a train, find spring flowers or go on a safari – all at East Bay parks

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Apr. 9, 2021) Back in the day, railroads connected many East Bay towns and farms, including what is now Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont.

Thanks to the Society for Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources, the railroad at Ardenwood has been restored and you can ride it for free when you visit the park.

Among other times and dates, train rides will be available between 10:20 a.m. and 2:55 p.m. on April 15 and 17. The ride leads past rows of crops and through aromatic eucalyptus groves.

Check the daily schedule and meet the train at either Arden Station or Deer Park. No registration is required. The train ride is disabled accessible.

After the train ride, you can dye Easter eggs the natural way with naturalist Mindy Castle 1-2 p.m. April 17. Find out which plants and spices are great for dyeing eggs and take home a finished product. This is a drop-in program; registration is not required. Meet at the granary.

Ardenwood is at 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., just north of Highway 84. Parking is free. For information on activities and admission fees, call 510-544-2797.

Anatomy of a flower

You can learn more about the world of flowers without leaving home by joining in a virtual program hosted by naturalist Ashley Adams 10-10:30 a.m. April 16 on the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve Facebook page.

The idea is to buy a daffodil at your local supermarket or florist, then follow along online as Ashley dissects a flower and explains pollination. Anyone can join in, and it’s free.

All the colors of the season

Springtime colors are the theme of a program 10-11 a.m. April 17 at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont with naturalist Maeron Yeshiwas.

Designed for ages 5 and up, the program will explore the associations of various colors and how some animal use color to thrive in the springtime. Then participants can create their own color-inspired paintings.

The program is drop-in; no registration is necessary.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. Parking is $5. For information, call 510-544-3220.

Eggy information

Appropriately for Easter, eggs are the focus of a free, naturalist-led program 1:30-2:30 p.m. April 16 and 17 at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda.

Discover all the different animals that lay eggs. It’s free and no registration is necessary.

Crab Cove is at the end of McKay Avenue off Central Avenue. For information, call 510-544-3187.

The ways of the water

Get your feet wet during a creek and pond study program 11 a.m.-noon April 17 at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley.

Naturalist Trent Pearce will lead a safari in search of the animals that live in Tilden’s streams and ponds.

Winged animals are the focus of a birding program 9 a.m.-noon April 18 at the park with naturalist Anthony Fisher. All ages are welcome.

Both programs are free and no registration is required. Meet at the Environmental Education Center at the north end of Central Park Drive. For information, call 510-544-2233.

This is just a sample of activities. For a complete list of park district programs, visit www.ebparks.org.

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