Park 'n' Scrub 

Say Woodsy sent you

SAT 4/24

Apparently nobody took Woodsy Owl very seriously when he pleaded "Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute." Because when some of us hike through one of the Bay Area's awe-inspiring national parks or national preserves we find ourselves asking, "When did Mother Nature start growing beer cans?" Besieged by litterbugs, government cutbacks, and a president who apparently sees an oil rig when he looks at a tree, it's not a great time to be a national park. But now we can all help pitch in by volunteering on Saturday for the seventh annual California State Parks Foundation's (CSPF) Earth Day 2004 Restoration & Cleanup. Be one of the estimated thousands of volunteers who will help build up the infrastructure of our parks by pitching in to pick up litter on beaches and parklands, as well as restoring trails and wildlife habitats, installing recycling bins, and making repairs to fences and boardwalks. For more information: CalParks.org or 1-888-98-PARKS. -- A.J. Hayes

SUN 4/25

Wet & Wild

A tale of two hikes

This Sunday, the Berkeley Hiking Club gives hikers a choice: urban or far afield. The urbanite hike meets at 9:30 a.m. in a parking lot off Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland, then wends its way along trails and streets to Joaquin Miller Park in the hills, with a stop-off at the Mormon Temple for some vista-gazing. The hike is approximately seven miles. Call Lorene Lamb (510-663-0263) to reserve a spot. The gung-ho set can tour Deer Island in Marin County. Strictly speaking the onetime island, outside Novato in county flood control lands, is now connected to the mainland by a series of marshes and streams, but it's full of woods and wetlands, and the three-and-a-half-mile hike covers them all. Rain cancels. Phone leader Paul Gruner (415-382-7924) to arrange carpools. More info: BerkeleyHikingClub.pair.com -- Kelly Vance

SAT 4/24

Butt In, Sprocketheads

Pleasanton's annual Top Hat Classic Bike Tour has a motto: "Every April, thousands of people sit on their butts in Pleasanton. But they do it for a good cause." So be a butt-insky. The event is a bicycle tour -- of 10, 25, 50, or 75 miles -- through Pleasanton and surrounding East Bay communities, admiring the greenery all the way. The good cause is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which urges participants to gather pledges to raise money for the fight against MS. The 75-mile route begins at 6:30 a.m. at CarrAmerica Corporate Center, 440 Rosewood Dr., Pleasanton, with the 50-mile route at 7 a.m., 25-mile at 8, and 10-mile at 9. For further info on the fourteenth annual tour, phone 1-800-FIGHTMS. -- Kelly Vance

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