Passing on information on several events planned by Sonoma County Regional Parks over the next five weeks. See their official release below.
Regional Parks presents Parks Celebration 2014, dozens of free adventures in Sonoma County’s parks and open spaces from Earth Day, April 22, through Memorial Day, May 26. Parks Celebration is an annual series of events highlighting the many ways to enjoy public lands. During Parks Celebration, you can experience favorite parks in new ways or explore parks you haven’t visited before. Activities are designed for all ages, interests, and abilities. Regional Park rangers and naturalists are leading hikes, campfires, bike rides, star gazing parties, wildflower walks, kayak trips, beach walks and other outings. The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and California State Parks also have special outings planned on the lands they manage. Parks Celebration kicks off with the following events, and a complete calendar of activities is available at sonomacountyparks.org.
April 22 and April 29
6 to 8 p.m.
Join a Regional Parks ranger for twilight walks focusing on great blue herons. Riverfront is a rookery for great blue herons, the largest herons in North America, and these easy-paced walks are a great opportunity to learn more about the birds and perhaps see them feeding their young.
April 23, May 9, and May 17
7 to 8:15 p.m.
Bring the kids for campfire tales and marshmallow roasting in the redwood grove at Riverfront Park. Ranger Bill will share his knowledge about redwoods and what makes these giant trees special. If you haven’t explored the redwood grove at Riverfront, this is a wonderful opportunity to discover a magical forest.
8:30 to 10 p.m.
Enjoy an evening of star viewing with Sonoma County Astronomical Society members who will have several telescopes set up and will share their knowledgeable of the cosmos.
12 to 4 p.m.
Celebrate Earth Day and Dia de los Ninos with free fun for families at the Environmental Discovery Center. Enjoy nature-themed crafts, face painting, guided hikes in English and Spanish, a clown, bilingual story time in the storytelling cavern, and a visit from a local tortoise expert with his big tortoise friend. Kids can hold sea stars from the touchable tide pool and take a trip “Down the Drain” to learn where our water goes and how to keep our ecosystems healthy. Radio station Exitos 98.7 will give away prizes, and Lola’s Market will have foods to sample.
9 a.m. to noon
Riverfront is home to many year-round and migratory birds, and this walk will cover the basics of bird identification in a family friendly atmosphere. This walk is led by bilingual educators from The Center for Social and Environmental Stewardship and sponsored by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District.
9 a.m. to noon
Join Regional Parks and the Sonoma Ecology Center in removing trash from Sonoma Creek at these Sonoma Valley parks. Lend a hand to keep the creek healthy and beautiful in honor of Earth Day.
May 5 and May 12
6 to 8 p.m.
Join a Regional Parks ranger for an evening paddle on Lake Benoist. This outing is for experienced kayakers who will bring their own boats. While exploring the park’s larger lake, learn about the park’s natural history and wildlife, including the great blue herons that roost in the area. Limited to 10 participants, so please register by calling Regional Parks’ Healdsburg ranger station at (707) 433-1625.
Parks Celebration 2014 sponsors include the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District; Green Valley Consulting Engineers; California State Parks Foundation; Mary’s Pizza Shack; Spaulding, McCullough and Tansil; Applied Building Science; Moss Adams; and Shutterbug Camera Shop