Park It by Ned MacKay: Earth Day activities

Earth Day, celebrated annually since the first one in 1970, has become a global event of rededication to protection and preservation of our planet’s environment.

Several events will herald Earth Day in the East Bay Regional Parks. One is at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, where “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” is the theme of a program from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, led by naturalist Dino Labiste.

Lots of family fun is planned, including creating your own litter bug, viewing environmental puppet shows at 11:40 a.m. and 3:40 p.m., and playing recycling games.

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

Another Earth Day event is planned on Saturday, April 20 at Washington Park next to Crown Beach in Alameda, sponsored by the city and park district.

Before the main event, Crab Cove Visitor Center will have a beach and pond cleanup session from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Students can earn community service hours by participating.

Crab Cove is at the end of McKay Avenue off Central Avenue. Advance registration is required for the cleanup. Call 888-327-2757, select option 2, and refer to program number 24320.

Then from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be all kinds of Earth Day-related activities and free give-aways at Washington Park next door to Crab Cove and Crown Beach. For information on either event, call 510-544-3187.

Earth Day is also on the agenda at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley. “The Earth is our Home” is the theme of a program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 21 with interpretive student aide Brianna Contaxis-Tucker. Make your own carbon footprint, learn the history of heroes who helped the earth, and gain tips for saving water, resources and energy.

Meet Brianna at Tilden’s Environmental Education Center at the north end of Central Park Drive. Call 510-544-2233.

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The Regional Parks Botanic Garden, located at Tilden Regional Park, will hold its spring sale of California native plants from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. All kinds of native plants will be available; garden staff and volunteers will be on hand to offer planting advice.

There’s a garden members-only plant sale from 9 to 10 a.m. before the main event. Memberships can be purchased starting at 8:30 a.m. at the plant sale entrance.

The garden is located at the intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and South Park Drive.

For more information, call 510-544-3169 or visit

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Sunol Regional Wilderness will celebrate Easter Sunday, April 21, with a full day of family-friendly programs, led by naturalist Ashley Adams.

The visitor center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nature craft sessions will be ongoing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can participate in lawn games from 11 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m., and wildflower strolls from noon to 1 and 2 to 3 p.m.

Sunol is located at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road, five miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. The Easter activities are free; there’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call 510-544-3249.

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Visitors can create beautiful dyed eggs using natural ingredients in a program from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 21 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley with naturalist Cat Taylor.

The park staff will supply some eggs, or bring up to six of your own (hard boiled, natch).

And from 2 to 3 p.m. the same day, Cat will host “eggciting eggsperiments,” an exploration of all things egg-related.

Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. Both programs are free, but registration is required. Call 888-327-2757, select option 2 and refer to program 23986 for dyeing, 23985 for eggsperiments.

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There’s always something fun to do in the regional parks. For a complete schedule, visit

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