December 2021
2021 Highlights
As the year comes to a close, I am extraordinarily humbled as your General Manager by the warm welcome I have received from the public, District staff, and Board of Directors. Leading the nation’s largest regional park agency is no easy feat, and I want to thank our extraordinary team of Park District employees who help make my job look easy.

We have moved forward together this year on many significant projects and programs that teach invaluable lessons about adaptation within our natural environment. We have also continued to embrace our inclusive and growing community to ensure all are welcome in Regional Parks.

I am proud to lead this agency in its next endeavors to serve the public and address today’s environmental challenges of habitat conservation and climate change.

I wish you a very happy and safe holiday season.
2022 Proposed Budget
The Park District’s proposed 2022 Operating, Project, and Programs Budget is under consideration at the two December Board of Directors meetings. The final meeting will be held Tuesday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m., virtually and in-person (RSVP required for in-person attendance due to COVID-19). The proposed 2022 Budget presents a funding plan that embodies the mission of the Park District to preserve natural and cultural resources, and provide open space, parks, trails, recreation, and environmental education.

Key funding priorities include public access, environmental restoration, park safety, reducing flammable vegetation to reduce wildfire risks, and park maintenance. More Info
District Receives UN Global Citizen Award
The Park District has been awarded the prestigious 2021 Global Citizen Award by the United Nations Association USA, East Bay and Silicon Valley Chapters. The award recognizes the District’s leadership role in providing essential services during the pandemic as well as our alignment with the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a roadmap to build a world that is more equitable, inclusive, safe, and sustainable for all peoples. More Info
Wildcat Canyon Fuels Reduction Project
Managing flammable vegetation to reduce wildfire risks is a year-round effort for the Park District, highlighted by current fuels reduction work underway at Wildcat Canyon Regional Park that will remove surface fuels and approximately 80 dead and dying trees (mostly pine and eucalyptus).
Reducing Wildfire Risks
Did you know the Park District now has three full-time fuels reduction coordinators responsible for implementing large-scale vegetation removal projects to reduce wildfire risks? The District also has a 12-person Fuels Reduction Crew dedicated to removing flammable vegetation in parks year-round. More Info
Steelhead and Rainbow Trout
In 1855, scientists first described rainbow trout in North America by observing fish from Redwood Creek, now part of Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park! These fish may actually have been steelhead trout which, confusingly, is the same species but are anadromous, meaning they hatch in streams and rivers. Steelhead spend 1-2 years living and growing in freshwater, and then swim out to the ocean to become adults. By contrast, rainbow trout spend their entire lives in freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes. More Info
A Glimpse Into the Future
On December 4-5, the Bay Area experienced the highest tides of the year, known as the King Tides. These unusually high tides occur when there is alignment of the gravitational pull between the sun, moon, and Earth. King Tides correspond to the one-to-two foot rise in sea level expected during the next few decades. The Park District is adapting to future conditions by implementing plans for sea level rise and habitat and shoreline resiliency in locations like the Hayward Marsh.

There are more King Tides occurring on January 2-3, 2022. You can participate in a community science project and upload your photos at the California Coastal Commission's California King Tides Project.
Monarch Watch
Ardenwood’s eucalyptus groves were once the site of a rare and exciting natural phenomenon – the annual gathering of monarch butterflies. On sunny afternoons from late October to February, standing in the grove as monarchs took flight was like being inside a snow globe of butterflies. Sadly, after years of steadily declining populations likely due to habitat degradation, climate change, drought, and increased use of pesticides, trees that once had clusters of up to five thousand monarchs now stand mostly bare through the winter. However, this pollinator species still has hope. Some overwintering sites in California are seeing a marked increase in monarch numbers this year, and a small number are regularly spotted here at Ardenwood. In honor of monarchs, there are multiple programs at Ardenwood highlighting all our beautiful and diverse local pollinators. More Info
Lovely Ladybugs
In Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park near the junction of the Stream and Prince Trails, thousands of convergent ladybugs can often be found huddling together from about late-October to mid-February. They are on objects like bushes, logs, fence posts, and underneath leaves. It is an amazing sight to behold that brings joy to both kids and adults. More Info Photo: Dave Miller
Great Holiday Hikes
Fall and winter holidays are a great time to get into nature and spend time with family and friends. While holiday gatherings and shopping are enjoyable traditions, spending time in nature helps relieve stress and improves your physical and mental health. Here are a few holiday favorites. More Info
Careers in Nature
Enrollment is open for the 2022 Spring semester (In Person) in Merritt College’s Natural History and Sustainability Program. Merritt College offers a Certificate of Achievement program in Conservation and Resource Management that provides students with a practical approach to ecological management practices. Students learn basic concepts of environmental science, attain minimum qualifications for entry-level employment, and are prepared for more specialized coursework. More Info
Park District Jobs
Explore careers in your East Bay Regional Parks! Current recruitments include Communications Dispatchers, Interpretive Student Aides, Police Officers, and Police Officer/Helicopter Pilot. Learn More
Christmas at the Patterson House
Celebrate a Victorian-style holiday event in a beautifully restored Queen Anne mansion. Tours of the Patterson House take place at various times in December. More Info
Christmas at the Tilden Carousel
Experience a beloved East Bay holiday tradition at the historic Tilden Park Merry-go-round! Ride the carousel, visit with Santa, view the lights and decorations, and enjoy holiday treats. More Info
Due to COVID-19, activities and events are taking place with social distancing measures in place. Some parks and visitor centers schedule activities through their social media pages.
Sat, Dec 11, 11am-Noon, Nectar Garden Exploration, Coyote Hills

Sat, Dec 11, 3-3:30pm, Fish Feeding Time, Crab Cove

Sun, Dec 12, 10am-Noon, Duck!, Contra Loma

Mon, Dec 13, 9am-Noon, Monday Birding, Point Pinole

Tue, Dec 14, 10am-12:30pm, The Over-The-Hills Gang, Tilden

Sun, Dec 19, 10-11am, Season's Family Walk, Sunol

Sun, Dec 19, 10am-Noon, The Sandstone Alternative, Black Diamond Mines

Sun, Dec 19, 11am-Noon, Wiggling Worm Bins, Ardenwood

Mon, Dec 20, 10am-Noon, Lakeside Littles, Shadow Cliffs

Tue, Dec 21, 6:15-8:30am, Meet the Solstice Sun Hike, Tilden Nature Area

Tue, Dec 21, 10:30-11:45am, Hikes for Tykes, Anthony Chabot

Thu, Dec 23, 8-10am, Thursday Birdwalk, Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary

Fri, Dec 31, 10:30am-Noon, Last Hike of the Year, Diablo Foothills
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