Board changes, land acquisitions, chocolate and more!

December 2016
Doyle GM pic update
Saving Open Space, Creating Wildlife Corridors

The Park District constantly works to acquire new parklands. Saving open space in the fast-growing East Bay is critical to maintaining quality of life - not just for people, but for wildlife as well. When acquiring new properties, we always look for land that connects to other open spaces or provides unique habitat for native species....
Continue to letter from EBRPD General Manager Robert E. Doyle
Reception to Honor Sutter, Siden
Doug Siden (at left)
and John Sutter.

Join us Thursday, Dec. 1 at a reception to honor Doug Siden and John Sutter, who areretiring from the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors after a combined 44 years of service. Sutter, who represented Ward 2, helped create Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline and the future Gateway Park in Oakland, and was a founder of the Greenbelt Alliance. Siden, who represented Ward 4, was instrumental in the restoration of Crown Memorial State Beach and Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline. The reception will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Dunsmuir Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland.

RSVP to Ali Haynes, or (510) 544-2010.

Welcome to New Board Members

Three new board members will be joining the Park District's leadership team in the new year: Dee Rosario in Ward 2, Ellen Corbett in Ward 4 and a yet-to-be-named board member to represent Ward 7 after Diane Burgis takes her newly-elected seat on the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors. To fill the Ward 7 vacancy, the Board will appoint a new director in January following a public interview process. Details will be announced in December. Please join us in welcoming these new leaders to our Park District!

Holidays at the Merry-Go-Round

Tilden Carousel. Photo: Lincoln Chu
A beloved East Bay family tradition continues this year with the annual Christmas at the Carousel at Tilden Regional Park. Meet Santa and his elves, enjoy hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies, see the unique and festive holiday decorations and visit the Candy Shop for a treat. The festivities are held from 4 to 8:30 p.m., Nov. 25 to Dec. 23, and noon to 8:30 p.m. weekends. For more information contact or (510) 599-1004.

Beware Toxic Mushrooms

The onset of rainy season means mushrooms come alive in the East Bay hills. Two mushroom species that grow in our parks are among the world's deadliest: Amanitaphalloides ("death cap") and Amanita ocreata ("western destroying angel"). Collecting mushrooms is prohibited throughout the East Bay Regional Park District, and please keep dogs under a close watch during the winter months. Contact a veterinarian immediately if you think you dog has eaten poisonous mushrooms.

Almost 400 Acres Purchased in East Contra Costa
Black Diamond Mines, Photo: Deanne Little

The Board voted recently to purchase two scenic parcels in eastern Contra Costa County: 191 acres to complete the northern gateway to Black Diamond Mi nes Regional Preserve in Antioch, and 199 acres south of Brentwood to expend the boundaries of Byron Vernal Pools Regional Preserve and Vasco Hills Regional Preserve. Funding for the purchases came from Measures AA and WW, the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy and other sources.   

Improvements at Black Diamond Mines

The Park District Board recently OK'd a $2.2 million improvement project at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preservein Antioch to shore up the walls of the historic Hazel-Atlas mine and re-open a portion of the tunnel, so tours can make a complete loop. This long-awaited project, set to be complete by the end of 2017, will mean improved public access and safety for the thousands who visit the mine each year. Learn more about this fascinating place here.

Celebrate Chocolate!

Everyone loves chocolate around the holidays, and now you can learn more about thisyummy treat at two seminars at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. Naturalist Sharol Nelson-Embry will discuss the history of chocolate, how it's made and some the world's finest chocolatiers that are based here in the Bay Area. And yes, there will be samplings! The seminars are 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 17. Each class costs $15. To register, call (888) 327-2757 or go to

Family Fun at Coyote Hills

Looking for something hands-on and nature-related to do with your younger kids? Come out to Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday for Family Fun events. December's themes include: Critters, Culture and Community; Ohlone Games; Treasure Marsh; and Nature Journaling. Events are free and drop-in, no registration needed. More information is on our calendar page at
Photo below: Coyote Hills, Jerry Ting. 

new RPF logo

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