Despite what the calendar says, it isn't really spring until the annual plant sale takes place in the Regional Parks Botanic Garden at Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley.

This year the sale will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 20, rain or shine. California native plants suitable for every garden environment will be sold, including many not found at commercial nurseries. Trees, shrubs, ground-cover plants, grasses, bulbs, ferns and annuals are all part of the selection. Garden volunteers and staff will be on hand to offer advice and tips.

It's best to arrive early to ensure a wide choice. Garden gates open at 8:30 a.m., and the lines start to form then. The sale starts at 10 a.m.; all proceeds help fund garden programs. The garden is at the intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and South Park Drive. Parking and garden entry are free.

ANTIOCH: At Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, naturalist Bob Kanagaki will lead a walk from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday to explore how plant distribution depends on sun, water, soil and bedrock. The hike is for ages 7 and older. Rain cancels. Meet at Black Diamond Mines' uppermost parking lot at the end of Somersville Road, 5 miles south of Highway 4. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.

Photo lessons: Elsewhere at Tilden, there will be a wildlife photography program from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Naturalist Trent Pearce will show how to take telephoto photographs using a hand-held camera and a spotting scope. Bring a point-and-shoot camera (non SLR) or a camera-equipped smartphone.


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Bees and their sweet product will be the theme of a honey-tasting program from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, led by interpretive student aide Morgan Rani Evans. Both programs are free. Meet at the Environmental Education Center at the north end of Tilden's Central Park Drive. For details, call 510-544-2233.

wild, wildflowers: Two upcoming programs will take advantage of the wildflower displays at Sunol Regional Wilderness, which are usually among the best in the East Bay.

The first is "Walking With Wildflowers, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 20. It's a 2½-miler with moderate hills, designed for ages 7 and older and led by naturalist Cat Taylor. The second is a hilly, 2-to-3-mile hike to see how geology and flowers interact. It's led by naturalist Katie Colbert from 1:30 to 4 p.m. April 21. Both hikes are free but require registration. Call 888-327-2757, and select option 2. For Cat's hike, refer to program 1654. For Katie's, the number is 1657.

Crab and sourdough: The felicitous combination of Dungeness crab and San Francisco sourdough, and how it came to be, will be one of the topics during a walk through the Eastshore State Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, led by naturalist "Trail Gail" Broesder. The group will stop for a no-host lunch at the Seabreeze Market in Berkeley. The hike is for ages 9 and older. For information, call 510-544-2233.

Contact Ned MacKay at nedmackay@comcast.net.

EARTH DAY FUN: The East Bay Regional Park District and the city of Alameda will celebrate Earth Day with fun activities and beach cleanup April 20.

The cleanup is from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Students ages 10 and older can earn community service hours by helping out. Advance registration is required. To register, call 888-327-2757, select option 2 and refer to course 1572.

Afterward, the Earth Day celebration is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Crab Cove Visitor Center, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. It will feature fun activities, free giveaways and food and beverages for sale. For details, call 510-544-3187. Crab Cove is also conducting a two-session docent-training course to teach volunteers how to help the naturalists with programs on Bay and redwood forest ecology. Designed for ages 18 and older, the classes are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 21 and 28. Lunch is provided. For information, call the Cove.

Hikes for Tykes: That series of 1-mile hikes for small children accompanied by a parent continues with a walk from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, led by naturalist Francis Mendoza. Meet at the Trudeau Training Center at 11500 Skyline Blvd. near the intersection with Joaquin Miller Road. Bring a snack for your young one. For details, call 510-544-3187.

Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at nedmackay@comcast.net.

Contact Ned MacKay at nedmackay@comcast.net.