September 2017
Respite by the River 
Laura Sidsworth with music by Kat 
Tuesday, October 3, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm 
Our October Respite by the River will feature local children's author Laura Sidsworth. 

Laura will read from The Treehouse Treasury: A Picture Book of Prose and Poems. The book is a collection of paintings that are seasonally arranged, starting with a tree that represents the first housing most animals flock to when seeking shelter from the elements. The book portrays various animals as they pursue life's many pleasures...much the same way humans do. The pictures show them as they fish, swim at a lake, enjoy a day at the beach, play at dress-up, build snowmen, bake cookies with their moms, hike, ski, visit Santa, enjoy springtime, Valentine's day, or just the simple ritual of preparing for sleep with a bed-time story. 

Music for the evening will be provided by Kat, a local artist, musician, and performer. Kat has been playing guitar since the age of 13 and since then has been writing her own originals and performing throughout the Central Valley. Her music and art can be found at

Bring your picnic dinner, blanket or lawn chair and enjoy an evening of music and poetry in the beautiful setting of the River Center. 

Thank you to our 2017 Respite by the River Sponsors: 

Thank you to the Respite by the River Committee:
Megan Bohigian - Coke Hallowell - Kathryn Johnson - Carolyn Murphy - Jennifer Williamson

For more information about Respite by the River click here
Two Madera Unified students enjoy their field trip to the San Joaquin River Parkway
Will you help a local child discover the wonders of nature?
Education Docent Training - Monday, October 9, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm 

"Time spent in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our children's health (and also, by the way, our own)." 
-Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder  

The River Parkway Trust works to give local children time in nature through environmental education field trips to the San Joaquin River Parkway. We provide field trips for more than 9,000 children annually. And this work is only possible thanks to the generosity of our volunteer Education Docents. 

We're recruiting for volunteers to join the docent team and help us connect local children to the wonders of nature. If you enjoy spending time outside and working with children, this is the opportunity for you. 

Please join us for the next Education Docent training on Monday, October 9, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Please click here for more information and to register. 

If you can't make it to the training and are interested in becoming an Education Docent, please contact Community Programs Director, Molly Schnur-Salimbene at or 559-248-8480 ext. 104. 
nature walk during the spring

Join us for a nature walk

We invite you to come out and explore the wild and wonderful  natural world of the San Joaquin River Parkway. The River Parkway Trust's nature walk program will take you to places not usually open to the public. Along the way you'll hear bird song, the sounds of the river and breeze, and a sense of peace and respite that time spent in nature can provide.  Our nature walks are typically 2 to 4 miles in length on fairly level ground. Most walks are appropriate for families with children 7+ but be sure to check the specific recommendations for each hike.

Click here for the fall/winter nature walk schedule. 

If you have any questions about the nature walk program please be sure to contact our Community Programs Director, Molly Schnur-Salimbene at or 559-248-8480 ext. 104. 
New Ranch House Art Exhibit: Julia Tinker, Japanese Gyotaku Fish Paintings 

Julia Tanigoshi Tinker is an artist who works with mixed media, combining the traditional Japanese art form of gyotaku, 魚拓, with watercolor to create paintings of fish. These fish were caught both locally, in the San Joaquin Valley lakes and rivers, as well as in the bays of southern Alaska. 

This art form, in which a print is made of a fish using non-toxic sumi ink on rice paper, originated in Japan in the early 1800s. It was a way for fishermen to remember their prized catches. 

Julia has e xhibited her paintings in numerous solo shows in central California and in Ketchikan, Alaska, and has received various awards for them. She loves to use some of the techniques she studied at the Instituto de Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She uses these techniques, along with her passion for fishing, to create unique paintings celebrating the diversity of central California's aquatic ecosystems, as well as southern Alaska's marine life. 

This exhibit can be enjoyed during normal Ranch House operating hours, Saturdays and Sundays, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. 
Evening light illuminates the piano in the Ranch House parlor.
Rent the River Center for your holiday event  

Are you planning a special event this holiday season? 

Did you know the River Center Ranch House is decorated seasonally? The ambiance is perfect for a small gathering in the Ranch House or a larger outdoor event for up to 250 people. 

Click here to download the River Center Rental Brochure. Contact Executive Office Manager, Patty Pittman at or 559-248-8480 ext. 108 for date availability and more information. 

Visit our River Center Rentals webpage for additional information on pricing and services offered. 
Rent a canoe or kayak at Sycamore Island

The River Parkway Trust is now offering canoe and kayak rentals at Sycamore Island. 

If you've been interested in trying out canoeing or kayaking, this is a great opportunity. Rentals are also family friendly. 

Two-person canoes and one-person sit-on-top kayaks are available to rent for use on any pond that is not connected to the river. 

$20 for the first hour 
$10 for each additional hour
$50 for the whole day

Rentals include boat, paddle, and life jacket. 

Visit the Sycamore Island bait shop for more information and to reserve your boat! 

Sycamore Island Hours 
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays - through November 12 
September Hours - 6:00 am to 7:00 pm 
October/November Hours - 6:00 am to 5:30 pm

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