Park It: Fun in area parks

By NED MacKAY

The Over-The-Hills Gang is an informal group of hikers 55 years and older who enjoy nature study, fitness and outdoor fun. Naturalist “Trail Gail” Broesder will lead the gang on a hike at Briones Regional Park from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Meet Gail at the Briones Road Staging Area. It’s at the top of Briones Road off Alhambra Valley Road south of Martinez. For information, call (510) 544-2233.

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Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley has a lineup of great programs for the weekend of Feb. 18-19.

It all starts with a hike to the top of Wildcat Peak from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, guided by Trail Gail. It’s a steep climb, but the reward is panoramic views of the Bay Area.

Bring a snack and water; meet Gail at the Environmental Education Center at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive.

Or you can join naturalist Anthony Fisher in “Tracking the Mystery Beast,” starting at the center, from 11 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Feb. 19. Follow some weird tracks through the woods to a secret destination.

Anthony is also hosting fireside story time at the center from 1-2 p.m. the same day. Join him by the fire for nature-themed tales from long ago and far away.

For more information on any of these programs, call the center at (510) 544-2233.

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Low tide exploration will be the theme of Family Nature Fun hour from 2-3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18-19, at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. Bring your mud boots for a shoreline excursion.

And there’s a bird walk by the bay from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, led by naturalist Susan Ramos. View birds at the cove first, then carpool down the shoreline to the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary. Binoculars will be available for loan.

The center is offering a three-part training session leading to becoming a volunteer Crab Cove docent. Docents learn basic interpretive skills, history, bay ecology and other topics. Upon completion, they help with school programs, special events, gardening and resource inventory.

The sessions are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25, and 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2.

Crab Cove is at the end of McKay Avenue off Central Avenue. For information or sign-up, call (510) 544-3182.

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Your dog will love you if you take him or her on a Canine Capers walk. The next one is from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at Garin Regional Park in Hayward, led by naturalist Kristina Parkison. Kristina brings along homemade snacks for good dogs.

Humans must be eight or older for the hike, and registration is required. Call 888-327-2757, select option 2 and refer to program number 15359.

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Colin Coffey, long associated with the East Bay Regional Park District, has been sworn in by the district Board of Directors to represent Ward 7, which encompasses the northern tier of Contra Costa County from Hercules to Brentwood.

The Park District Board received 20 applications for the seat left vacant by Diane Burgis upon her election to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors in November 2016. On Jan. 31, the EBRPD Board interviewed the three finalists and unanimously appointed Coffey. He took office at the Feb. 7 meeting.

Coffey is an attorney and resident of Hercules. He is a 13-year member of the district’s Park Advisory Committee, and a 12-year volunteer Park Ambassador, representing the District at many events and activities, in both the regional parks and the communities it serves. He has also been active in the Contra Costa County Democratic Party, and is a former member of its Central Committee.

The Ward 7 seat will be up for election in November of 2019, and Coffey has expressed his intent to file as a candidate for a new four-year term.

And for more information on all East Bay Regional Park District parklands and programs, visit the district website at www.ebparks.org.

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