Park It: Relativity in the regional parks

Albert Einstein’s birthday is on March 14 (3.14), and although so far it isn’t a national holiday, Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley will acknowledge the famed physicist’s contributions to science with a special program on Sunday, March 11.

From 1 to 2 p.m., interpretive student aide Brianna Contaxis-Tucker will help visitors celebrate Einstein’s birthday, experience some of his discoveries, and even eat some pi.

Naturalist Anthony Fisher is leading a series of easy walks to experience spring afternoon in the Nature Area, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Sundays, March 11, 18 and 25.

For the younger set, naturalist Trent Pearce plans outdoor nature adventure programs for kids ages three and four, each accompanied by an adult (grandparents welcome). These are from 3 to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 13 and April 10.

All these programs meet at Tilden’s Environmental Education Center, which is at the north end of Central Park Drive. Call 510-544-2233 for information.

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A spring foliage scavenger hunt is in the works out at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. It’s from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, led by the interpretive staff.

Big Break also has a series of nature programs for young children, led by naturalist Nichole Gange. They are designed for ages 1 to 5, with parent or caregiver participation required.

Programs are from 10 to 11 a.m. Remaining programs are on Tuesday, March 13, Monday, April 2, and Tuesday, April 10.

On March 2 the group will gaze at clouds, in April play with mud.

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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At Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, don’t forget the grand opening of the newly expanded underground mine tours. Free self-guided tours will be offered from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11 for ages seven and older. There are lots of aboveground activities planned for all ages, too.

Black Diamond Mines is at the end of Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4. Parking fee is $5 per vehicle. Call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.

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The Over-The-Hills Gang is an informal group of hikers 55 and older who enjoy nature study, history and fitness on excursions in the regional parks led by naturalist Trail Gail Broesder.

The group will explore Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline on a mostly flat walk from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13. Meet at the end of Ferry Street in Martinez. For information, call 510-544-2233.

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Bird watchers will enjoy a walk from 8 to 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 11 at the Dotson Family Marsh at Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond, led by naturalist Anthony Fisher. Anthony will emphasize how birds communicate through language. Meet at the end of Goodrick Avenue off Richmond Parkway. For information, call 510-544-2233.

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At Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, you can search for naturalist Kristina Parkison and her Cart of Curiosities, hidden somewhere within the park from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 10. The cart is filled with artifacts of cultural and natural history.

And on Sunday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. the interpretive staff will tell tales of Coyote Hills and its history, under a spreading oak tree by the visitor center.

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

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For more about these and many other programs in the regional parks, check out the website,

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