June 19 activities planned in Fremont, Alameda

Juneteenth, now a holiday in the United States, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans at the end of the Civil War.

The holiday is the anniversary of an order issued on June 19, 1865 by Union Army General Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas. This year, it falls on a Sunday; The East Bay Regional Park District offices will be closed on Monday, June 20, in respect, although the parks will of course remain open. Activities celebrating June 19 are planned in three regional parks. All three programs are walk-in; no registration is required.

One is a June 19 Celebration Hike from 10-11:30 a.m. on June 19 at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, led by naturalist Maeron Yeshiwas. During the ride, Maeron will discuss the contributions of black people throughout history in science, conservation and art. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Parent participation is required. Masks are also recommended and social distancing must be maintained. Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road near Paseo Padre Parkway. There is a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call 510-544-3220.

At nearby Ardenwood Historic Farm, you can play baseball, a June 19 tradition, on a program from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on June 19. Naturalist David Cohen will chair and speak on the history of America’s second Independence Day. Admission to Ardenwood will be waived in honor of June 19 and parking is free. The park is at 34600 Ardenwood Blvd. in Fremont, just north of Highway 84. For more information, call 510-544-2792.

And since Juneteenth is also Father’s Day this year, the Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda will be celebrating the double holiday with crafts and other activities between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on June 19. The craft activity will continue and there will be a story circle at the start of each hour. Crab Cove is at 1253 McKay Ave. near the central avenue of Alameda. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Fitness classes: The Park District and the Regional Parks Foundation are sponsoring free online wellness and fitness classes from 5-6 p.m. every Thursday in June to celebrate Juneteenth and LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

On the program on June 23 is a Cardio Dance Party, and on June 30 is Zumba. For more information, visit bayareane.ws/3HrOGat on line. By the way, for the Park District’s interpretation of the symbolism behind the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag, visit bayareane.ws/3xoyi5B on line.

Berkeley: Reptiles are the focus of an 11:30 a.m. to noon program on June 19 at the Tilden Nature Area Environmental Education Center near Berkeley with naturalist Jenna Collins. Learn what turtles eat, how snakes move, and what scales look like while meeting some of the center’s reptile residents.

Then from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. you can join Jenna and help close the adjacent Little Farm for the night and put the animals to bed. Head to the chicken coop for a variety of age-appropriate activities.

Both programs are free and no registration is required. The center and farm are at the north end of Central Park Drive in Tilden. Masks are mandatory. For information, call 510-544-2233.

Oakley: June 21 is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Naturalists at the Big Break Visitor Center in Oakley will mark it with a free, walk-in program from 7:30-9 p.m., an evening exploration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road, near Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 510-544-3050.

Antioch: There is also a Summer Solstice Walk with a naturalist from 2-3 p.m. on June 22 at the Black Diamond Mines Regional Reserve in Antioch. The group will look for signs of summer as they walk the trails around the former site of the town of Somersville.

Black Diamond Mines is at the end of Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4. There is a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. The walk is free, but registration is required. To register and inquire, call 888-327-2757, option 2.

Livermore: Games, crafts and other activities are on the agenda during a Beach Break from 3 to 3:30 p.m. on June 19 at Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore. The park is at the end of Del Valle Road off Mines Road, about 9 miles south of town. The free program is walk-in, but Del Valle charges $6 per vehicle for parking.

On line: There’s always a lot going on in regional parks. For a full list of programs, go to ebparks.org/things-to-do.

Ned MacKay written about the sites and activities of the East Bay Regional Park District. Email him at [email protected]

Sara H. Byrd