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Park It: Earth Day celebrations

By NED MacKAY
Special to the Tribune

Earth Day, an annual re-dedication to environmental preservation and protection, first celebrated in 1970, will be marked again this year by special events in several East Bay Regional Parks.

At Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, “reduce, reuse and recycle” will be the orders of the day in family-friendly, naturalist-led programs between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. Visitors can create their own litterbug craft, view an environmental puppet show, and play recycling games.

Activities will all be at the Coyote Hills Visitor Center, which is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. Coyote Hills has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle; the programs are free of charge. For information, call (510) 544-3220.

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Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda will also honor Earth Day during Family Nature Fun Hour from 2 to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23. You can make your own artistic creations using recycled materials, under the guidance of the interpretive staff.

Crab Cove is at the end of McKay Avenue off Alameda’s Central Avenue. A parking fee of $5 per vehicle in the small lot may apply Memorial Day through Labor Day. The programs are free.

Crab Cove staff also will participate in Alameda’s Earth Day event, which is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 at Washington Park next to Crown Beach. There will be activities and giveaways with environmental themes, plus food and beverages available for purchase.

Come to Crab Cove from 8:30 to 10 a.m. before the Washington Park event for a volunteer beach and pond cleanup. The cleanup is for ages four and older, students earn community service hours. Registration is required for the cleanup program. Call 888-327-2757, select option 2, and refer to program 16061.

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Earth Day will be celebrated in two other regional parks – Point Pinole in Richmond and Diablo Foothills in Walnut Creek – with volunteer work from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 22. Volunteers will remove invasive plants and help to create healthy habitat.  An adult should accompany any children under 16 years old.

Registration is required for these events. For registration and information, call 888-327-2757 and select option 2. For Pt. Pinole, refer to program number 16431; for Diablo Foothills refer to 16432.

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Though not keyed directly to the Earth Day theme, Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley has two nature programs on Saturday, April 22.

The first is “Reading the Deer Jaw,” from 1 to 2 p.m., led by naturalist Anthony Fisher. Anthony has a collection of jaws he will use to show how to gauge a deer’s age at death, and other animal facts. Next is “Weaving Nature’s Web” from 2 to 3 p.m. Interpretive student aide Brianna Contaxis-Tucker will lead a matching game that shows the interrelationships of the animal world and who eats whom.

Both programs are free. Meet at Tilden’s Environmental Education Center, which is at the north end of Central Park Drive. For information, call (510) 544-2233.

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A stroll and a story are on the agenda from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 24 at Martinez Regional Shoreline. Naturalist Virginia Delgado will lead a walk from the boardwalk to a sandy beach, exploring salt marsh wildlife along the way and ending with a story.

The program is for ages 2 and older, accompanied by an adult. Meet at the parking lot off North Court Street in Martinez. For information, call (510) 544-2750.

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Spiders are the stars of a program from 2-3 p.m. Sunday, April 23 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. You can learn about the park’s eight-leggers and join in some arachnid activities.

Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 3050.

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