El Cerrito is celebrating the completion of enhancements to the Ohlone Greenway, the 2.7-mile multiuse trail beneath the BART tracks that stretches from the city's southern border to Baxter Creek, with a community event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 31.
The Ohlone Greenway Fun Day starts at the northern El Cerrito Plaza BART parking lot at Willow Street, where bicycle riders, runners and walkers/strollers can set out to take part in activities along the way, including a discovery passport and a bicycle obstacle course.
Riders (helmet required for all participants) will set out at 9:15 a.m., runners at 9:45 a.m. and walkers at 10 a.m.
The journey will go to the parking lot at the El Cerrito DMV office at 6500 Manila Ave., where there will be music courtesy of DJ worldOnelove, food trucks and informational tables about biking, walking, gardening, healthy living, and more from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Along the way, participants can see enhancements such as the self-activating crossing lights embedded where the greenway crosses major streets such as Stockton Avenue, the community garden behind the El Cerrito Library and the tot play structure.
If you want to be part of making the event a success, the city is seeking adult and teen volunteers to help at the event. "Younger children are welcome to volunteer too, if accompanied by an adult," says Suzanne Iarla, the city's community outreach specialist.
Visit www.el-cerrito.org/greenwayfunday to get more details, register to ride, run or walk, or sign up to volunteer.
Event sponsors include Kaiser Permanente, West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee/ Contra Costa 511, BART and other partners including the El Cerrito Community Garden Network, El Cerrito High School Mountain Bike Club, The Pedaler Bike Shop, One Brick, Bridges Rock Gym, worldOne Radio, Albany Strollers and Rollers, and Bike East Bay.
HELP VAULT POGO PARK: Pogo Park, a nonprofit community organization in Richmond that builds and rehabilitates playgrounds in low-income neighborhoods, has been selected by Internet search giant Google as one of 10 finalists out of some 1,000 applicants in the Bay Area Impact Challenge.
"We're stunned," said Pogo Park Executive Director Toody Maher. "This grant will mean that we can build more safe, clean, and green play spaces for thousands of vulnerable children to play and thrive. What a gift."
The group says the key to its strategy is staffing parks "with trained neighborhood residents who act as park stewards. They keep the parks safe, clean, and welcoming."
Online voting for the 10 finalists will determine the four recipients of grants of $500,000 in the challenge, and that's where you can make a difference.
A simple click online (no registration needed) for Pogo Park at g.co/bayareachallenge is all that's needed each day through the end of voting on June 2.
Learn more about Pogo Park at www.pogopark.org.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: Crop swaps, the exchange of excess backyard produce with neighbors, have been popular in Albany, Berkeley and other locations and are back in Richmond and El Sobrante under the sponsorship of Richmond Rivets Transition Town, the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library and the Richmond Food Policy Council.
Have too many lemons? You can swap them for someone's excess vegetables.
"You don't need to bring a lot to attend, and you can also bring seedlings, tools or anything related to gardening," say organizers. "Come and meet with your neighbors, trade gardening tips and recipes and have fun."
The Richmond Crop Swap will start June 11 and take place each Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. in the courtyard at the Richmond Public Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza.
The El Sobrante swap is also 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays on May Road. For location and details visit sustainablecoco.ning.com/events/el-sobrante-crop-swap.
Riders from El Cerrito and other area agencies choose between a 25-, 62- or 100-mile ride on a course that starts and ends at Waterfront Park in Martinez and crosses the Carquinez and Benicia bridges.
For details on how to participate in or support Bike the Bridges visit http://bit.ly/1lNu1e2
Howard's award-winning mixed-media and installation pieces include "Moving Richmond" at the Richmond BART Station.