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EBRPD October 2019 eNews - things to do
Your monthly EBRPD news & updates
Retirement of Board Member Whitney Dotson
East Bay Regional Park District Board Member Whitney Dotson, Ward 1, has announced his intent to retire from the board at the end of the year. His last board meeting will be Tuesday, December 17, 2019.
Director Dotson has been a tireless community advocate for environmental justice, protecting the shoreline, and expanding shoreline access over a career spanning 60+ years. He has been a champion for Regional Parks and promoting the health benefits of being in nature. Director Dotson was elected to the Board in 2008.
In his time on the board, Dotson supported several significant projects in his ward, including the Atlas Road Bridge at Pt. Pinole, completion of the Bay Trail between Pinole Shores and Bayfront Park, restoration of Albany Beach, restoration of the now-named Dotson Family Marsh at Point Pinole, and the soon-to-be-completed Bay Trail segment between Berkeley and Albany.
The process for filling the board vacancy will follow established protocols, including application submittal, the selection of three finalists by a three-member board sub-committee, and interviews before the full board at a special public board meeting.
We thank Director Dotson for his years of service and wish him well.
See you in your Regional Parks.
Robert E. Doyle
Be a Fire-Smart Park Visitor
October is the height of Fire Season. As the weather becomes hotter, drier, and windier, all visitors must stay ready for advisories and restrictions due to increased fire risk. Always abide by all posted or announced fire safety rules. More Info
Thank You for Participating in the East Bay Regional Parks Community Survey
This past summer, as part of the Park District's 85th Anniversary outreach, the District launched a community survey to obtain public input regarding Regional Park services and priorities. Over 8,000 individuals responded to the community survey!
The Park District is working hard to compile the results to share publicly, but in the meantime here are a few highlights from what we heard:
98% of respondents consider the East Bay Regional Park District to be a valuable public resource
Respondents identified physical health and stress relief/relaxation as their main reasons for visiting regional parks, shorelines, and trails.
Respondents would like to see more services in the Regional Parks, including:
Water bottle filling stations
Park District's Robert E. Doyle NamedCSDA General Manager of the Year
Congratulations to General Manager Robert E. Doyle who has been named General Manager of the Year by the California Special Districts Association (CSDA). The annual award winners are individuals and districts who are acknowledged for their achievements in various areas, including exceptional public outreach, leadership, and innovations. Doyle was nominated by EBRPD Board President Ayn Wieskamp, citing his "outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in preserving and protecting natural lands for the public's benefit."
Collect 85th Anniversary Visitor Center Buttons While Supplies Last
To celebrate the Park District's 85th Anniversary, the District is giving away commemorative lanyards and buttons at each visitor center. The lanyards are very popular with visitors, encouraging them to discover new parks in the pursuit of the unique buttons. Participating visitor centers include Ardenwood, Big Break, Black Diamond Mines, Coyote Hills, Crown Beach, Garin*, Sunol, and Tilden Environmental Education Center. The Del Valle visitor center has closed for the season and all buttons have been handed out. Check here for visitor center hours.
*The Garin visitor center has closed for the season, but there is a limited supply of Garin buttons available at the Coyote Hills visitor center.
With crisp, cool mornings, changing colors in the landscape, and stunning sunsets, fall hiking can be spectacular. There is no shortage of great hikes throughout the Regional Parks. Here are a few of our perennial favorites for the fall season.
From the blue waters of Carquinez Strait to the north, to the rolling hills in the south, this park offers magnificent views. The trail traverses open grasslands and small eucalyptus groves that provide welcome shade on a sunny day and, at the midway point, takes you through the historic town of Port Costa.
Start this hike at Lake Anza and descend along the Wildcat Creek drainage through tall redwoods and shady oak/bay woodlands. Climb Meadows Canyon through grassland and scrub, eventually dropping back down to the creek.
This trail brings you right into the park's most vibrant eucalyptus woods, offering an aromatic experience you won't forget. San Pablo Bay is typically breezy, making Point Pinole a perfect recreational site on a hot day.
This hike takes you out around the base of the hills to provide great views of the bay and the multicolored salt evaporation ponds. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a golden eagle amongst the seagulls, shorebirds, and songbirds that call the park their home. The trail is mostly flat and much of it is paved, making it a good choice for runners and walkers alike.
Wildlife Warriors: Park District Stewardship Department Working to Protect Local Wildlife
The Regional Parks are home to many species of wildlife. The Park District protects and preserves natural habitats, especially for those species listed as rare, threatened, or endangered. That's where the District's Stewardship Department steps in. Learn more.
Congratulations to Park District 2019 NAI Media Award Recipients
Cultural Services Coordinator Beverly Ortiz, Senior Graphic Designer Hillary Van Austen, and GIS Programmer/Analyst Kara Boettcher have been recognized by the National Association of Interpretation for their collaborative efforts in the creation of Native Peoples of the Bay Area, a new interpretive brochure that "will take you on a journey through the history of the first peoples of the places now known as Alameda and Contra Costa counties." The Interpretive Media Awards promote excellence in the delivery of natural, cultural, and historical nonpersonal interpretive services. The brochure is available to enjoy here.
Regional Parks Botanic Garden Fall Native Plant Sale: Saturday, October 5
The Regional Parks Botanic Garden fall plant sale is Saturday, October 5th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Friends members only from 9-10 a.m.). The sale offers the full range of California native plants, but especially features manzanitas, California wild lilacs, buckwheats, sages and a wide array of subshrubs, shrubs, and trees that are best planted in the fall. The sale will be held rain or shine with experts on hand to provide advice and gardening tips. More info.
26th Gathering of Ohlone Peoples at Coyote Hills: Sunday, October 6
On Sunday, October 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Ohlones from several tribes will gather at Coyote Hills Regional Park to share their culture, including music, song, dance, and stories. Visitors are invited to this special event where tribe members will discuss contemporary cultural involvements, and demonstrate basket, jewelry, soaproot brush, and dogbane string making. Visit a more than 2,000-year-old village site, play an Ohlone game, try making fire without matches, or make a miniature tule boat. Taste native plant teas, manzanita cider and acorn soup cooked with heated stones in a basket. More info.
North Richmond Shoreline Festival: Saturday, October 12
Enjoy a day of outdoor fun at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond during the 16th Annual North Richmond Shoreline Festival on Saturday, October 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come enjoy bird watching with the Audubon Society, nature walks, kids' activities, pony rides, and live entertainment. It's fun for the whole family and there's something for everyone!More info.
Ardenwood Harvest Festival: Sat-Sun, October 12-13
Enjoy the bounty of the season at the annual Ardenwood Harvest Festival, a fall favorite. Join us for old-time country fun as you help bring in this year's crop of corn. Wander through a 5-acre field searching for ears of Indian corn and popcorn, and take home a portion of what you harvest. Outside the field, enjoy magic shows, cider pressing, old-time music, and historic crafts. Ride a narrow gauge train, visit the pumpkin patch, and learn what late nineteenth century life was like on a tour of the beautifully restored farmhouse. More info.
Cowboy Hootenanny at Sunol: Saturday, October 19
Grab your boots and brush off your hat for our annual shindig celebrating the pioneers and cowboys of Sunol! This year will feature tasty food for sale from Grillaz Gone Wild. Join in the fun with live music from the Polka Cowboys and Tom Lucas Bluegrass Band, pony rides, demonstrations, craft making, and so much more! More info.
Concord Hills Regional Park Community Open House Meeting: Saturday, October 26
The East Bay Regional Park District invites the public to attend a public meeting on Saturday, October 26 to learn about future plans to provide a new regional park in Concord, at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. Concord Hills Regional Park is the working name for a unique new regional park which will provide a full range of trail opportunities, wildlife preservation and environmental and historic interpretation. Park naturalists will lead walking tours to the future Visitor Center (a partnership with the National Park Service), and to former weapons magazines which will be incorporated into the future park. RSVP
Give Something Back to the Parks – Sign Up for October Volunteer Activities
Without the help of dedicated volunteers, the East Bay Regional Park District could not offer the public the variety of services and programs that it does. Here are some of this month's volunteer opportunities:
Bayside Beach Cleanup at Crown Beach in Alameda on October 12: Help clean our beach, especially micro-trash. Add unusual items to our Museum of Oddities! Drop-in program. More info.
Shoreline Habitat Restoration Volunteers at Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline on October 12 and 26 in Oakland: Join MLK, Jr. Regional Shoreline park to help restore the natural wetland habitat. Volunteers are needed to help remove invasive plants/weeds and shoreline debris harmful to the environment. Registration required.More info.
Regional Parks Foundation 2018Round-up
2018 was another record breaker for the Regional Parks Foundation! Some of the 2018 accomplishments include:
$2.8M raised, a 36% increase over budgeted goal
81 bus tripsfunded to parks to increase community access