From Park It column by Ned MacKay
There are lots of great activities planned in the East Bay Regional Parks in coming days. Here
are just a few examples:
You can get an early start on the weekend at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley, with Dawn Chorus Yoga from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 8.
Bring a yoga mat if you have one, wear warm, comfortable clothes, and join in yoga and meditation with staff from the park and from the Brentwood Yoga Center.
The program repeats at the same time on Aug. 12. Both sessions are free, but registration is required. To register, call 888-327-2757 and select option 2. For July 8 refer to program 17752, and for Aug. 12 it’s program 17808.
Big Break is hosting an exhibit of works by local artists, too. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, July 8-9 and 15-16.
And there’s more: you can build a miniature solar oven to explore the mysteries of our closest star, in a program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 9.
Big Break also offers Delta Discoveries, a drop-in program from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, with hands-on arts and crafts activities.
Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 3050.
Naturalist Kevin Dixon will bring a friendly snake to a session from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 8, at Contra Loma Regional Park in Antioch. You can meet the snake and share your snake encounter experiences. Meet Kevin in the lawn area by the swim lagoon.
Contra Loma is at the end of Frederickson Avenue off Golf Course Road. For information on Kevin’s program and directions to the park, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.
Bats are the stars of a free evening program from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 15 at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch. Led by naturalist Virginia Delgado, the group will monitor the park’s bat colony as the bats fly out of the mines in search of insect entrees.
Black Diamond Mines is at the end of Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4. The bat program is for ages seven and older, and registration is required. To register, call 888-327-2757, select option 2, and refer to program 17506.
Ice cream is the theme of a program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley. With the help of visitors, interpretive student aide Brianna Contaxis-Tucker will churn up some of the sweet treat, while explaining how ice cream is made.
And naturalist Trent Pearce will lead a microscopic scavenger hunt from 3 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 9. The group will collect various tiny things, then examine them under the microscope.
Both programs are based at Tilden’s Environmental Education Center, which is at the north end of Central Park Drive. For information, call 510-544-2233.
Young children will enjoy helping to take care of the animals at Tilden’s Little Farm, which is next door to the Environmental Education Center. From 10:30 to 11 a.m. every Saturday in July and August, meet at the rabbit hutch for a variety of age appropriate activities.
Trent also plans a bug hunt from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 9 at Briones Regional Park. The idea is to search the park’s grassland for six-legged creatures. Nets will be provided.
Meet Trent at Briones’ Bear Creek Staging Area, which is on Bear Creek Road about five miles east of the intersection with San Pablo Dam Road in Orinda. Call 510-544-2233 for information.
There’s a full moon on Sunday, July 9, and naturalist Susan Ramos will mark the occasion with an evening walk from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Bort Meadow in Anthony Chabot Regional Park near Castro Valley.
At the meadow, the group will hear some moon lore, learn the moon phases, and watch the rising full moon. Bring a blanket to sit on, and a flashlight.
Meet at the Bort Meadow parking lot on Redwood Road between Oakland and Castro Valley. Redwood Road may be closed northbound from Castro Valley. For information on the program, call 510-544-3187.
For a complete schedule of upcoming programs, check out the regional park district website at