Friday Field Trips

Here’s a preview of some of the incredible field trips offered for participants of the NAI Region 9 Spring Workshop on Friday, March 31, 2017.


Parks Prescriptions: a Partnership with Children’s Hospital and the Regional Parks, 9:30am-2pm

Free (lunch not included)

Doctors are prescribing nature outings for their patients! Learn about the partnership between parks and health care providers with a tour of the UB Children’s Hospital of Oakland where the clinic walls feature nearby Regional Parks and doctors host weekend outings to the parks with naturalists. Then take a relaxing walk with an EBRPD naturalist to learn the benefits first hand. Consider how you could partner with physicians in your area to get patients outdoors. Bring your lunch, snacks, and water.


Vasco Caves Tour, 9am-2pm

Free (lunch not included)

Hike 2-3 miles through this windswept landscape, which is sacred to local California Indian communities and a refuge for endangered species. A few faint examples of remnant Native American rock art can be viewed. The Preserve is accessible only through guided tours. Bring your lunch, snacks, and water. (Carpool Option: We may need to meet at a Park & Ride location in Livermore or Castro Valley to facilitate carpooling and caravan to entrance due to limited parking and access.)


Black Diamond Mines (EBRPD) and Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, 9am-2pm

Free (lunch not included)
Explore 950 feet of an underground silica sand mine on this guided tour and learn the mining history. Hard hats and flashlights are provided. Explore what remains of a former coal town. After lunch on your own in the town of Antioch, visit Antioch Dunes NWR, the first refuge established solely to protect two endangered plants and one insect. In addition to protecting the Antioch Dunes evening primrose, Contra Costa wallflower, and the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, the refuge provides habitat for a diversity of native plant and animal species. Optional habitat work project at Antioch Dunes from 2-3pm, if you’re able to stay. Bring your own snacks and water.


Alcatraz Tour: Behind the Scenes with Interpretive Staff

Free (lunch not included)

9:30am-2:30pm if start/end at Pier 33 in San Francisco

8am-4:30pm if start/end at Pleasanton BART station

Optional: $18/person for public transit from Pleasanton (free boat ride to island)

Explore the many layers of fascinating history on Alcatraz Island. Spend 2 hours on a unique behind the scenes tour with a park ranger and gain insights into the island’s storied history and the challenges and rewards of interpreting such a high-profile, infamous site. You will have time on your own after the guided tour to take the audio tour of the cell house and to explore other areas of the island. Dress in layers as it can be windy and cold. Bring a lunch or plan to purchase on the boat. There is no food service on the island, and eating is allowed only on the boat or at the dock on the island.


Visit a Farm: Partnerships in Urban Agriculture, 10am-2:30pm

$20/person (includes catered lunch)

Cultivate community partnerships on a visit to Martial Cottle Park. Learn how Santa Clara County’s newest park is taking a collaborative approach to interpreting agricultural history. Find out how park staff and partners from the University of California Cooperative Extension and Jacob’s Farm are reaching a diverse urban population through shared participatory learning experiences focused on sustainable farming and gardening practices. Explore the park’s role in leadership development with youth and underserved communities and enhancing access to healthy food. Tour the historic life estate, see what’s growing in the community gardens, enjoy fresh produce from the farm stand, and watch the organic farming operation at work. (Optional vanpool with County Parks from Mission Blvd Park & Ride in Fremont at 9:00am. If interested in the vanpool to/from park, must notify liaison by 3/24.)


The Care and Feeding of Interpretation for Recreation Areas (Carnegie & Del Valle), 8am-5pm

Free (lunch not included)

Interpretation for recreation sites is key for enhancing visitor experiences as well as communicating resource protection and management goals. Explore two Livermore sites: hiking at Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (CA State Parks-SVRA) and kayaking at Lake Del Valle (East Bay Regional Parks) to discover strategies for working with the public as well as meeting regulatory and management needs.

Visit Carnegie SVRA in the hills east of Livermore to learn about interpretation and management programs in a recreational setting. Off-highway vehicle use comes with unique challenges for interpreters, environmental scientists, and park managers. We’ll see rehabilitation projects and talk about using interpretation to encourage compliance with regulations and foster a desire to protect resources. This tour will be by four-wheel drive vehicle and on foot.

After stopping for lunch in downtown Livermore, participants will then head to Del Valle Regional Park, for a three-hour kayaking session with East Bay Regional Park District Naturalist and Recreation Staff. Participants will discover how mandates are being met and expanded, as we take in the beauty of the lake. All gear will be provided.

Attendees are encouraged to carpool; maps and details of what to bring will be sent before the trip.