News from the East Bay Regional Park District
By Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor, East Bay Regional Park District
Peak fire season – September and October – is fast approaching. The East Bay Regional Park District and its professionally trained fire department have been working throughout the year to reduce wildfire risks, including thinning and removing hazardous vegetation from parks and using cattle, sheep, and goats to keep grass in check.
Park District firefighters are always on the lookout for potential fires, and park visitors can help by practicing basic fire safety and reporting any suspicious or dangerous activity.
Fire safety visitor tips:
- Do not smoke in the regional parks, including vaping.
- Be aware of Red Flag Warnings and fire danger levels.
- Follow all fire safety rules.
- Do not drive or park on dry grass. Hot exhaust manifolds can start a fire.
- Be alert for any potential fire hazards and report them. If you see a fire, call 911 immediately.
Days of the Pioneers at Lake Del Valle in Livermore Friday, September 1. What was Del Valle like before the lake? Discover the valley’s history through hands on activities and stories during this family campfire.7:30-9pm, Friday, September 1st. Meet at Del Valle Amphitheater. Drop-in program, no registration. $6 Parking Fee.
For train lovers, join us at the Ardenwood Rail Fair in Fremont on Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy train rides, operating model trains, historic railroad equipment displays, and live music September 2-4, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Rail Fair is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Railroad Museum at Ardenwood Historic Farm, which is operated by the Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources. Entrance fee is $15/adults, $13/seniors, $12/children ages 4-17. Children ages 3 and under are free.
It’s calving season in East Bay Regional Parks. Be mindful of interactions that can create a danger to both calves and people. Grazing cattle play an important role in wildfire protection by reducing flammable vegetation and fire risks. Calving season runs from August to October in Regional Parks.
What to do around cattle for your safety and theirs:
- Do not approach or touch baby calves. Do not take selfies with calves.
- Do not get between a mother cow and its calf.
- Do not worry if you see a calf by itself. The mother cow is usually nearby and will return.
- Leash your dog around cattle and keep them away from calves.
An Orchard-inary adventure awaits at the annual Garin Apple Festival on September 9 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Take a bite out of local history and nature as you explore the historic apple orchard, enjoy live music, attend special talks and presentations, and participate in hand-on demonstrations at Garin Regional Park in Hayward. Parking is $5 per vehicle. For more information, visit www.ebparks.org/calendar.
Learn about the untold stories of Somersville at the History Hike Above the Mines on September 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Black Diamond Mine. From the 1850s to the early 1900s, the Mount Diablo Coal Field was the largest coal mining operation in California and the population center of Contra Costa County. Deep within the earth, miners excavated the valuable namesake of the park – “black diamonds” or coal – to support the state’s growing energy demands.
Somersville was one of five mining towns in the area and supported a thriving community of almost 1,000 residents. Although no buildings from the coal mining era remain, there is still evidence of the Somersville community, including artifacts, photographs, census records, newspaper articles, and oral histories.
Naturalists will lead the two-to-three-mile History Hike Above the Mines and provide information about the area’s coal and sand mining history. The program is best for ages seven and up. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a snack and plenty of water. Meet at the Upper Parking Lot. More programs are scheduled in October. For more information, visit www.ebparks.org/calendar and search “mines.”
Join the Park District in commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 with programs and events celebrating the contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans. Programs include a Hispanic Heritage Month Hike on September 17, at 10:00 a.m. at Garin Regional Park. For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month activities, visit www.ebparks.org/hispanic-heritage-month.
California’s 39th annual Coastal Cleanup Day is set for September 23. Each year, over 70,000 volunteers help clear debris and remove trash from California waterways, including lakes, creeks, rivers, and shorelines. The Park District has identified 10 cleanup sites within its parks: Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, Robert W Crown Regional Shoreline, Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline, Del Valle Regional Park, Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, and Hayward Regional Shoreline. For more information, visit www.ebparks.org/get-involved/volunteer/coastal-cleanup.
Celebrate International Day of Peace with the Park District at a community event at Lake Chabot Regional Park on Saturday, September 16, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This year’s theme is Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals – a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace. The UN established International Day of Peace in 1981 to encourage 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire, and to practice kindness and compassion.
Sign up for the Park District’s monthly e-newsletter for more information about park events, programs, and openings. To sign up, visit www.ebparks.org/form/newsletter-sign-up.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.