State parks' 150th
Commemorate the 150-year anniversary of California state parks and the 40-year anniversary of the Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association at a two-day event celebrating "all things Mount Diablo" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26-27, at Mt. Diablo State Park.
The event is free with a required $10 park entrance fee per vehicle.
Explore the park at five distinctive park locations, with activities that include conducted hikes, demonstrations and interpretive presentations. More than 50 informational and activity booths from local organizations and agencies will be featured.
Visitors should come prepared for being out-of-doors, bring drinking water and a picnic basket, or snacks and drinks are available for purchase at the park's Summit Visitor Center.
For a schedule of activities, visit www.mdia.org or call Ranger Dan Stefanisko at 925-855-1730 for more information.
At 3,849 feet in elevation, Mount Diablo dominates the surrounding area. An unobstructed view of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley can be enjoyed from its summit, and on clear days, the Sierra Nevada can be seen.
Spring is the perfect time for students to take photos for the Save Mount Diablo's Scholastic Photo Contest. Support student talent and help raise awareness about lands that are still at risk. All students in grades K-12 in Contra Costa and Alameda counties are eligible.
Each students should submit their original photos from one of the Diablo parks showcasing why they enjoy Mount Diablo's lands and think they should be protected.
Students have a chance to win a $1,000 Apple gift card, see their photo in Diablo magazine, in a traveling exhibit and more. Photos are due before April 30. Visit SaveMountDiabloContest.com for more info or to enter.
Walnut Creek will be the subject of an in-depth appraisal by San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic and Walnut Creek native John King from 9:30 a.m. to noon Monday, May 12, at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave., in Walnut Creek.
King will discuss what works -- and what could be done better -- and the challenges of balancing prosperity and a sense of homegrown place.
Enjoy brunch among the owls, squirrels and urban wildlife at the Lindsay Museum. Tickets are $25 and are available at www.eventbrite (search events for John King).
The Lindsay Wildlife Museum has 100 ways to celebrate the city of Walnut Creek's Centennial this year. It is sponsored by The Lindsay Museum Alliance, a women's group that supports the museum through philanthropic activities.
Celebrate 100 years of John Muir's conservation legacy during the annual Earth Day and John Muir Birthday event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the John Muir National Historic Site, at 4202 Alhambra Ave., in Martinez.
Special guest speaker Bruce Hamilton, deputy executive director of the Sierra Club, will give the keynote address.
The celebration, held rain or shine, features family-oriented activities, food for sale, live music, including a bagpipe band, and displays by national parks and local environmental organizations. Parking and admission are free.
Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of Muir's historic Victorian home, and bid on two silent auctions. Proceeds benefit the John Muir Association. The Association will also present the 36th annual John Muir Conservation Awards.
National Park Service Ranger Frank Helling will portray John Muir and recount some of Muir's many wilderness adventures. Historic site horticulturist Keith Park will also be on hand to discuss the successful cloning of the sequoia tree that Muir planted on the grounds of his Martinez home in the late 1880s.
Created in 1964, the John Muir National Historic Site preserves the home, landscapes and grave site of conservationist and national park advocate John Muir. The site is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free.
Mount Wanda preserves 326 acres of grasslands and oak woodlands that were part of the original Muir/Strentzel ranch in the Alhambra Valley more than a century ago.
Martinez 'local hero'
Bay Nature Institute's annual "Local Hero" awards dinner in March honored Cheyanna Washburn, a sophomore at Diablo Valley College, for youth engagement, making an outstanding contribution to the understanding, protection, and stewardship of the natural world of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cheyanna previously participated in dozens of creek restoration and cleanup projects and played a leading role in designing and painting seven large murals on the life of John Muir as student at New Leaf Leadership Academy at Vicente Martinez High School in Martinez.
Cheyanna also taught elementary schoolchildren about watershed health and recycling, and encouraged a general interest in science.
She was an intern with the California Phenology Project, monitoring plants at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez for signs of climate change. She continues as the Youth Programs assistant at the historic site.
Last summer she was selected for a Yosemite Leadership Program summer internship, another step toward her dream of becoming a superintendent in the National Park Service.
Bay Nature also honored Craig Anderson, for conservation action, and Liam O'Brien for environmental education at the event. To learn more, visit www.Baynature.org.
Support for Shelter
Tim O'Keefe, director of Shelter Inc. of Contra Costa County, recently received a check for $1,500 from Martinez Rotary to help support services for more than 5,000 homeless people in Contra Costa County.
A third of the homeless in Contra Costa County are children who have a hard time going to school. Getting a roof over the heads of these children is the best way to get them back into school. A shelter stay can help people save enough money to make a rent deposit and make a new start.
Through the efforts of Shelter Inc., some 600 people will have beds tonight who would otherwise be on the streets. During its 27-year history, Shelter Inc. has helped nearly 200,000 people.
Martinez Rotary is proud to provide support in both dollars and in volunteer time to this essential program.
Cops for Kids races
Save the date for Contra Costa Kops for Kids annual Run/Walk/Wheelchair Races, which are held on Armed Forces Day and the last day of National Police Week.
Registration begins at 6:45 a.m. And the race starts at 8 a.m. May 17, at the Willows Shopping Center, 1975 Diamond Blvd. in Concord.
The Run/Walk/Wheelchair Races feature one-mile, 5K and 10K races. There will be a wheelchair race held in each category.
For the second year in a row, the event will feature the East Bay's own Full Tilt band playing classic rock 'n' roll and a medley of military songs.
The cost is $25 per runner, and discounts are available for families with multiple runners.
All proceeds from the race support Contra Costa Kops for Kids, a group of active and retired police officers whose mission is to help prevent violence, drug abuse, gangs and juvenile delinquency in Contra Costa County.
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