Music, song, dance and storytelling all will be part of the Gathering of the Ohlone Peoples on Oct. 7 at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, where a 2,000-year old Indian village site is preserved.
Scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the annual event showcases the culture of age-old Native American tribal groups and histories of local tribal people. The Ohlone will demonstrate basket, jewelry, brush and string making and discuss their contemporary cultural involvements.
Visitors can try their hands at matchless firemaking, playing Ohlone games and making miniature tule boats, models of the ones on which the Ohlone once traveled the Bay. You can also taste native plant teas, manzanita cider and acorn soup cooked with heated stones in a basket.
Coyote Hills is located at 8000 Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway in Fremont. Parking costs $5 per vehicle. The gathering is free of charge. For information, call 510-544-3220.
If you want to learn more about some of these ancient skills, you can sign up for any of three programs at Coyote Hills led by naturalist Dino Labiste.
From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 6, Labiste will teach firemaking for ages 16 and older. From 2 to 4:30 p.m. that day he'll lead a rope-making clinic for ages 9 and older. And from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13, he'll show how to make tools out of obsidian flakes for ages 18 and older.
All three of Dino's programs are free, but registration is required. For information or registration, call 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program number 30137 for fire, 30138 for rope, and 30145 for stone tools.
GENERAL PLAN MEETINGS: The next in a series of public meetings to present the East Bay Regional Park District's draft general plan will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Fremont Community Center, 40000 Paseo Padre Parkway.
Another is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Dublin Unified School District board room, 7471 Larkdale Ave.
The general plan is a policy document that will guide the district's park acquisition, management, operation and other public services for the coming decade. The plan itself and the meeting schedule can be viewed online at www.ebparks.org.
SUNOL NIGHT WALK: The nighttime is the right time for increasing your knowledge of the natural world, learning survival skills, and reducing your impact on the environment. That's the theme of a nature walk planned by naturalist Cat Taylor at Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County.
Cat will lead a family hike for ages seven and older from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday. It's free of charge, but registration is required and you have to bring a flashlight.
For registration and information, call 888-327-2757. Refer to program 30238.
ANTIOCH HIKE: How do wild animals cope with the scarcity of food and water this time of year? Naturalist Eddie Willis will show you how during a rugged two-mile hike from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Sept. 30 at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch.
Because it's steep, the hike is for ages 8 and older. Meet at the uppermost parking lot at the end of Somersville Road, four miles south of Highway 4 in Antioch.
The hike is free of charge. Black Diamond has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.
PARK CONSTRUCTION: At Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond, construction continues through October on the first phase of a bridging project that will create a new main park entrance at the end of Atlas Road.
From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, trucks are hauling fill dirt from Berkeley to Point Pinole through the existing park entrance on Giant Highway. The dirt will be used to construct a parking area, a ramp for the bridge and other future improvements.
During construction, the park remains open, but some trails may be closed temporarily while trucks are operating.
TILDEN EVENTS: There's a lot going on in the Berkeley hills at the Tilden Nature Area this coming weekend and beyond, centered at the Environmental Education Center and Little Farm, both at the north end of Central Park Drive.
From 10:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, naturalist James Wilson and the interpretive staff will show how to make a batch of jam, for ages 5 and older.
Then on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Over The Hills Gang will explore the Tilden Nature Area, led by supervising naturalist Dave Zuckermann. It's an informal group of hikers 55 and older interested in nature study, history and fitness. All are welcome.
Tuesday also is World Farm Animal Appreciation Day, so from 2 to 3:30 p.m. naturalist aide Morgan Rani Evans will introduce visitors to the Little Farm's cows, pigs and sheep. Bring celery and lettuce to share.
All these programs are free. For information, call the center at 510-544-2233.
midweek meanders: The Wednesday Walkers will take on a five-mile hike between Sibley and Huckleberry parks in the Oakland-Berkeley hills starting at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, led by naturalist Chris Garcia.
The Walkers are a friendly, informal group that explores a different regional park almost weekly on hikes of varying difficulty. All are welcome. The Wednesday hike is moderate, with one long hill climb in it. Meet at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve on Skyline Boulevard just south of the intersection with Grizzly Peak Boulevard. For information, call Chris at 510-544-3282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at email@example.com.