Park It by Ned MacKay: Free concert at Crab Cove

Among the many pleasures that are offered during summertime in the East Bay Regional Parks are the free concerts, and there’s one on Friday, Aug. 9 at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda, featuring the band “Jazz Mafia.”.

The center stays open until 8 p.m. with activities on the deck starting at 4:30. The concert is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bring your blanket or lawn chair and a picnic dinner, or purchase local food and beverages on site.

Parking is available on Webster Street or the Crown Beach lot at Otis Drive. The event is sponsored by the Alameda Rotary Club, the park district, and the Regional Parks Foundation.

If you can’t make the Aug. 9 concert, there’s another at Crab Cove on Sept. 13 with SambaDa traditional Afro-Brazilian heritage music. Other free concerts are planned on Aug. 23 at Contra Loma Regional Park in Antioch, and on Sept. 28 at Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline in Oakland.

Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Ave. For information, call 510-544-3187.

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While we’re talking about free opportunities, remember that regional park entry and other fees are waived every Friday through the end of 2019, in celebration of the park district’s 85th anniversary. This includes park entrance and fees for day use parking, swimming, dogs, horse trailers, boat launching and fishing permits. Special event permits, state fishing licenses, camping and some other fees are still charged.

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Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont has a diverse program offering in coming days.

“Fantastic Flowers” is the theme of a session from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10 with naturalist Kristina Parkison. Learn how flowers enhance our lives and the lives of animals around us, then make paper flowers to take home. The program is for ages seven and older.

Early risers will enjoy nature yoga at Coyote Hills from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11 with the interpretive staff. Wear comfortable clothing; bring water and a mat (a few mats are available for loan). Ages 14 and older.

Both programs meet at the visitor center.

Naturalist James Frank plans a hike from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11 to explore Coyote Hills’ marsh, Ohlone village site and Willows Trail. It’s a flat, 2.5-mile walk for ages 14 and older. Meet at the Quarry parking lot.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle; all three of the programs are free. Call 510-544-3220.

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It’s all about bats in a program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14 and again on Aug. 28 at Sunol Regional Wilderness.

Naturalist Ashley Adams will dispel the mysteries surrounding the flying mammals while the group watches the bats fly from their roost to begin their nightly insect hunt. Bring a picnic dinner to enjoy in the park before the bat watch begins.

Sunol Regional Wilderness is at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road about five miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. For information, call 510-544-3249.

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Ashley also will lead a program about mountain lions from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11 at Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore. The group will stroll the hills while learning about the secretive life of the big cats.

Del Valle is at the end of Del Valle Road off Mines Road about nine miles south of Livermore. Meet at the visitor center. For information, call 510-544-3249.

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“Frolicking frogs” are the topic of a program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. Discover how the amphibians hop around the park in search of food and family.

Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Main Street. Call 888-327-2757, ext. 3050.

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Because of concerns about health effects, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors has approved a resolution calling for an immediate ban of the herbicide glyphosate in picnic areas. The resolution also calls for full elimination of glyphosate in all developed park areas by the end of 2020.

Glyphosate is currently used as part of the Park District’s pest management program for fire prevention and vegetation maintenance around park structures, fences, walkways, parking areas and in public right-of-way areas such as roads, bike paths and trails. It’s not used in play areas or around drinking fountains.

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For a complete listing of programs and policies in the East Bay Regional Parks, visit the website,

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