DANVILLE -- Museum of the San Ramon Valley is opening a new exhibit to showcase the 80th anniversary of the East Bay Regional Park District. It will run from May 10 to June 8.

The exhibit traces the history of the park district in the East Bay, focusing on the Iron Horse Regional Trail and Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Preserve. A video, maps, brochures and artifacts will be displayed, and the museum will host a speakers series at 11 a.m. on three consecutive Saturdays in May.

-- May 17: Jerry Kent, former assistant general manager of park district operations and one of the district's most knowledgeable historians, will speak about the park district's 80 years of history. -- May 24: Bickford Hooper, first president of the Right of Way Advocates, former San Ramon Mayor Mary Lou Oliver, and park district Director Beverly Lane, will share stories about the challenges of creating the popular Iron Horse Trail Regional Trail.

-- May 31: Manfred Lindner, chair of the Las Trampas Wilderness Committee, and Sally Germain Goldner, Danville chair for the successful annexation of Contra Costa County to the park district, will share their stories from the 1960s and 1970s, and the beginnings of Las Trampas Regional Wilderness.

In 1934, during the Great Depression, voters in Alameda County created a special district to acquire and manage parks for the public. It was an unusual decision for its time, supported by cities, UC Berkeley, legislative leaders and many others.

Fifty years ago, Contra Costa County voters joined the park district, and today, 65 parks covering 115,000 acres encompass the East Bay.


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Museum admission is free to members; $5 for families; $3 for adults; $2 for students and $1 for children. For more information, go to museumsrv.org.

Contact Joyce Tsai at 925-847-2123. Follow her at Twitter.com/JoyceTsaiNews.