Park It by Ned MacKay: Volunteer at Crab Cove

The East Bay Regional Park District always welcomes volunteers to help with its wildlife preservation and habitat enhancement programs.

There’s a good opportunity coming up on Sunday, May 19 at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. It’s a work session from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to help prepare the center’s butterfly and native plant gardens for the summer season.

Volunteers can choose the work: weeding, pruning, mulching and general cleanup. Snacks and refreshments will be served and tools provided. The program is for ages eight and older. Students can earn community service hours.

Registration is required. To register, call 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program number 25275.

Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Ave. off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For general information, call 510-544-3187.

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Another volunteer opportunity is the ongoing French broom removal project at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. French broom is a non-native invasive plant that crowds out native species.

Volunteers work from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Saturday of every month and 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on second Sundays. Tools, protective equipment and snacks are provided.

To volunteer, call 510-544-3127 or email to confirm meeting locations, which vary from month to month.

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Spring can linger a bit longer at higher elevations. Naturalist Eddie Willis will lead a six-mile hike from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 at Morgan Territory Regional Preserve to see what’s still in bloom. Besides flowers, Morgan Territory has beautiful views of Mt. Diablo and the Central Valley.

The hike is for ages 10 and older. Bring water, sun protection and lunch. Meet Eddie at the park entrance on Morgan Territory Road, about nine miles south of the junction with Marsh Creek Road near Clayton. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.

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Naturalist Kevin Dixon continues his butterfly safari series with a walk in search of the flying flowers, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 at Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline in Martinez.

The walk is for ages eight and older. Meet Kevin at the Nejedly Staging Area. It’s on Carquinez Scenic Drive just west of town past Alhambra and St. Catherine’s Cemeteries. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.

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The Over-The-Hills Gang is an informal group of hikers 55 and older interested in fitness fun, and nature study. Led by naturalist “Trail Gail” Broesder, the gang will explore Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline in Richmond on a hike from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21.

Meet Gail at the first parking lot on the right on Dornan Drive after the tunnel from downtown Point Richmond.

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Gail also plans a boat-building session from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 at the Environmental Education Center in Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley.

The group will make miniature boats out of tule reeds, models of the full-sized boats long used by Native Americans in the Bay Area. The miniatures will then be tested in a nearby pond.

The center is at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive. For more information on either of Gail’s programs, call 510-544-2233.

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Down at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, the Cart of Curiosities awaits your discovery somewhere in the park, between 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. When you find it, naturalist Kristina Parkison will reveal its contents, artifacts of the park’s cultural and natural history. The cart will be out again at the same time on June 22.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. Call 510-544-3220.

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There’s never a dull moment in the East Bay Regional Parks. For full program listings, visit the web site,

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