See below for a preliminary list of events held throughout the 100-acre Hillside Natural Area. Be sure to check back later for more activities and details.
Presented by the City's Environmental Quality Committee, El Cerrito Trail Trekkers & Friends of Five Creeks.
Hikes will range from easy to strenuous. Demonstrations and displays are at the Meadow above Schmidt Lane. Some family events take place all day. These include:
The Trees of the Hillside, a moderate, family friendly hike led by Ralph Boniello of the city’s Tree Committee. Learn about the trees, from native live oaks to exotic imports.
A Poetry Hike for all ages. Poetry is hidden all over El Cerrito! Join Jenny Hammer for a literary treasure hunt as we ramble through nature and search for some of these hidden poems.
The Dog Scouts of America will demonstrate the ability of their pets in the fields of “nose work,” as therapy dogs, and in other ways.
Boy Scout Troop 104 will lead a habitat restoration event for all ages, featuring the removal of invasive French broom. Learn about native plants and the danger to habitat from invasive plants while improving the Hillside.
Wildlife Bingo. Learn about the animals that inhabit El Cerrito’s Hillside and other areas while having fun. Parents enjoy helping their children in this popular annual event.
Wildflower Hike. Susan Schwartz, of Friends of Five Creeks, will lead an easy wildflower walk along the ridge, offering fabulous views as well as a chance to learn about native flowers.
Noontime is for relaxing with a light lunch. We will have snacks. Bring your own sandwiches – while listening to poet and performer Kirk Lumpkin celebrate the city’s open spaces, and musicians Ken Hayes and Tom Cline, who perform superb renditions of roots and Americana tunes.
Dave Weinstein, of the El Cerrito Historical Society, will lead a strenuous hike focusing on the History of the Hillside Natural Area from the early 1900s to today.
Mark Petrofsky, from the Northern California Geological Society, will display a wide variety of local rocks, many of them beautiful, and all of them with their own stories.
The Northern California Geological Society will also lead a Short Geology Walk to get a close-up look of the former Hutchinson Quarry (the present day Recycling Center), whose stone face reveals much that is surprising about the Bay Area’s bumptious geological past.
Janet Gawthrop of the California Native Plant Society will lead a beginner-general level Plant Walk.
The Hillside Area is a little over 100 acres but contains a variety of different “biomes,” plant and animal communities. Join Robert Schaadt for his popular Biome Hike to explore some of these, from open grassland to creekside.
As the day winds to a close, join Nicole Becker from Ojas meditation Center for Meditation in Nature, high in the hills by a rock outcrop with stupendous views.