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Park It: Botanic garden plant sale happening April 15

By NED MacKAY
Special to the Tribune

What with all the winter rains, this is the season for wildflowers. And appropriately enough, it’s also time for the Regional Parks Botanic Garden’s annual native plant sale, proceeds of which support Botanic Garden programs.

The garden is located at the intersection of South Park Dive and Wildcat Canyon Road in Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley. The general public sale will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 15. A members-only sale for Friends of the RPBG will be from 9-10 a.m. Memberships can be purchased at the garden starting at 8:30 a.m.

All kinds of native California plants will be available for purchase. Garden staff members and volunteers will be on hand to offer expert advise on which plants are suitable for your particular garden, and how to care for them.

The sale is always popular, so it’s best to arrive early to ensure a good selection. Bring your own small wagon or boxes to carry away your purchases. Parking and garden entry are both free of charge. There’s parking on Anza View Road, a one-way road that loops off Wildcat Canyon Road behind the Brazil Building.

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As long as we’re at Tilden, there are several fun programs planned the same weekend at the Environmental Education Center.

First in line is ring and pin build, a game common to many California native cultures. From 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, naturalist Anthony Fisher will show visitors how to create their own game to take home, using acorn caps, dogbane and a twig.

You don’t have to see a bird to identify it; you can do so by its call and song. Naturalist Trent Pearce will lead a program on bird calls from 8-9:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 16.

And all ages will enjoy the puppet show from 1-2 p.m. on Sunday, April 16, on the theme of local wildlife and the challenges that all kinds of animals can face. Interpretive student aide Sharona Kleinman is the puppeteer.

The center is located at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive. For information, call (510) 544-2233.

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Trent also plans a wildflower hike at Briones Regional Park from 1-4:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 16. It’s a four-mile walk in search of scurf peas, checker lilies and other varieties. Bring water, a snack and your camera; meet Trent at the Bear Creek Staging Area off Bear Creek Road about five miles east of Camino Pablo in Orinda. For information, call (510) 544-2233.

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Early birds will enjoy a sunrise hike from 5:30-7:30 a.m. Sunday, April 16, at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, led by naturalist Susan Ramos.

The group will meet at Redwood’s Canyon Meadows staging area off Redwood Road for a steep climb to the East Ridge Trail and a view of the sunrise as the forest awakens. Bring a flashlight and a snack. For information, call (510) 544-3187.

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“Dashing dragonflies” will be the topic of Family Nature Fun Hour from 2-3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, April 15-16 at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. Visitors can learn about these carnivorous insects, then search for them at a nearby pond.

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

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Spring Break Discovery Days are scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, April 19-21 at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont.

If you arrive at 10:30 a.m., there’s an introductory presentation, but you can drop by any time throughout the day for special activities to help you explore the park.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. The activities are all free of charge; there’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call (510) 544-3220.

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There are lots of other programs scheduled in the regional parks, too. Visit the website www.ebparks.org for more listings.

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