The Sunol Heritage Festival takes place on Saturday


The diverse history of the land that is now Sunol Regional Wilderness will be celebrated at the Sunol Heritage Festival, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Native Americans, Mexican landholders, European settlers, and cattle ranchers are all part of the story. Event activities will include games, live music by The Polka Cowboys and a special performance, “The Life of Juana Briones” by Olga Loya.

The program will begin with a welcome and recognition of the land by the members of the Muwekma tribe from 10:00 to 10:30. The Polka Cowboys will play from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and again from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Loya will perform at 11:45 a.m.

Admission to the festival is free, but Sunol Regional Wilderness has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. Carpooling is encouraged. Food will not be available for sale, so bring a picnic to enjoy in the park. Sunol Regional is located at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road, approximately 8 miles south of Interstate 680 and the town of Sunol. For information, call 510-544-3249.

Oakley: It’s been 10 years since the Big Break Regional Shoreline Visitor Center in Oakley opened its doors to showcase the natural and cultural history of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The park will celebrate the anniversary with festivities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 16.

Original exhibitions, behind-the-scenes documents and many fun and educational activities are on the program. A program starting at 11 am will be followed by a cake. Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road, off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 510-544-3050.

Alameda: Owls will take center stage during Family Nature Fun Hour from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on October 15 and 16 at the Crab Cove Visitor Center at Crown Beach in Alameda. Learn all about night hunters and dissect an owl pellet to find out what they eat.

The program is free. The Visitor Center is located at 1253 McKay Ave. near the central avenue of Alameda. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Oakland Hills: Trees so tall and conspicuous that they served as navigational aids for ships entering San Francisco Bay once stood in the grove at Roberts Regional Recreation Area in the Oakland Hills. Naturalist Michael Charnofsky will lead a 1½-mile walk through the park from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday while discussing the theories, mysteries and controversies surrounding the world’s tallest trees.

The program is free, but parking fees apply. The Roberts Regional Recreation Area is on Skyline Boulevard, one mile up the hill from its intersection with Joaquin Miller Road in Oakland. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Also in Oakland: The Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in the Oakland Hills is the location for one of the Hikes for Tykes excursions, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on October 18. A naturalist will guide the group on an approximately half-mile hike to explore the park’s geological features.

Parents should bring water and a snack. Strollers are not recommended for this walk. No registration is required and there are no fees. Just introduce yourself. The park entrance is on Skyline Boulevard, a short distance south of its intersection with Grizzly Peak Boulevard. For information, call 544-3187.

Berkeley: If you love a taste of apple cider, the Tilden Nature Area Environmental Education Center near Berkeley is the place to be from 2-3 p.m. Saturday. That’s when you can help naturalist Melissa Fowlks squeeze the juice from apples, learn about cider history from around the world, and then taste a sample of the product.

The program is free. The center is at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive, accessible via Canon Drive from Grizzly Peak Boulevard. For information, call 510-544-2233.

And if you’re not sure about in-person activities with spiders but still want to learn more, there’s a virtual program on Instagram and Facebook scheduled from 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday with Tilden Naturalist Trent Pearce. This is an opportunity to learn about arachnid anatomy, identification, and other spider knowledge. Facebook Instagram addresses are and

Richmond Point: Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in Point Richmond is the location for next Monday’s birdwatching walk, 8-11 a.m. Oct. 17 with naturalist Anthony Fisher. It’s free and no registration is required. Meet at the north parking lot on Dornan Drive. For information, call 510-544-2233.

On line: These programs are only a sample. Many more are scheduled in the days to come. For the complete list, visit on line.

Ned MacKay writes about the sights and activities of the East Bay Regional Park District. Email him at [email protected]


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