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April 8, 2014 > Natural bouquets galore at Spring Wildflower Festival

Natural bouquets galore at Spring Wildflower Festival

By Sara Giusti

Spring is officially here, and the wildflowers decorating Tri-City open spaces are ready to celebrate! Sunol Regional Wilderness invites anyone with an appreciation of nature to Spring Wildflower Festival on Saturday, April 12.

Now in its eleventh year, the festival guarantees fun for the whole family, while educating and spreading awareness about wildlife in the area. On top of an extensive schedule of hikes, Sunol Regional Wilderness has a jam-packed lineup of activities to make any city-lover reconsider the great outdoors.

Hikes kick off at 11:15 a.m., beginning with the Lazy Daisy Easy Hike for kids of all ages, and continue throughout the day with different ranges of difficulty and subjects. Take a Butterfly Walk, learn what plants are edible on an Ethnobotany Adventure, take flowers home with you on the Wildflower Sketching walk, or opt for a longer hike to Little Yosemite.

Naturalists from Sunol Regional will be leading the hikes, sharing their knowledge of the area and best times to see all the wildflowers in bloom. Keep an eye out for wildflowers with fun names like fiesta flowers, doveÕs foot geranium, muleÕs ears, sticky monkeyflower, shooting stars, and many more. Many of the flowers in bloom have a unique history as well: learn how blue-eyed grass was used for medicinal purposes by the Ohlone to relieve indigestion, or how minerÕs lettuce got its name from the Gold Rush era.

During and in-between hikes, activities will be available for the whole family. Two music slideshows will be shown: one illustrating the common wildflowers of Sunol Regional, created by former park ranger Thayne Beard, and a ÒButterfly ShowÓ depicting the life of SunolÕs butterflies from egg to adult forms, with pictures taken by former docent Marilyn Shea.

Decorate with face painting and henna body art; listen to performances by Extended Roots, an acoustic, thirteen women band. Members from Niles Canyon Artisans will also be onsite. Make sure to pack a lunch as no food will be available at the festival Ð the Spring Wildflower Festival is a perfect excuse to enjoy a picnic lunch with the family.

Senator Ellen Corbett, Senate Majority Leader and representing parts of Alameda and Santa Clara County Ð including the Tri-City area Ð will hold a ÒTown Hall on the TrailÓ walk at noon.

There is no better time to get out and get moving than with SunolÕs annual celebration of Òthe birds, bees, flowers and trees.Ó And with the perfume of wildflowers in the air, how can anyone resist?

Spring Wildflower Festival
Saturday, Apr 12
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunol Regional Wilderness
1895 Geary Rd, Sunol
(510) 544-3249
Entrance is free, parking is $5

Music Performances:
12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Schedule of Hikes:
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Lazy Daisy Easy Hike
Bugs and flowers for kids of all ages - not too fast, not too hilly!

11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Among the many creatures that gain sustenance from the flower (including you), the butterfly is perhaps universally admired by humanity. Take a walk in honor of this most revered insect.

11:45 a.m. Ð 1:00 p.m.
2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Ethnobotany Adventure
The Ohlone Peoples and European settlers gathered wild plants for food, medicine, and tools. Learn to identify edible and useful plants and discover the age-old relationship between plants and cultures.

12:30 p.m. Ð 2:00 p.m.
Wildflower Sketching
Colorful blooms adorn the hillsides! We'll take the flowers home without picking them by capturing them on paper with colored pencils. All art materials provided, you provide the artistic touch. All levels welcome. Bring a towel, blanket or jacket to sit upon. Best ages 7+.

1:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Flora and Serpentine
On this two-mile up-and-down hike we will see how rocks and flowers are all tangled up.

1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Hike to Little Yosemite
Hike three miles round-trip to Little Yosemite while enjoying a plethora (hopefully) of beautiful wildflowers. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Note: We will return after the Festival has ended.

2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Babes in the Blooms
Younger folk will frolic and romp through fields of wildflowers as we learn their colorful names and discover the reason for a flower. Best ages 2-6 and an accompanying taller person.

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