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Best Adult Field Trips: Get permission from your kids first 

Close to Home

As long as we're discussing humanity communing with nature, the Close to Home program aims to strengthen the connection of its participants to their natural home in the East Bay. This is accomplished through monthly lectures and field trips guided by some of the region's most prominent naturalists, historians, ethnologists, and storytellers, or, as the program's Web site puts it, to "awaken in us an awareness of the East Bay's natural beauty as part of our own identity." Last year's events included a lecture by publisher and author Malcolm Margolin on human influences shaping the bay, a canoe trip on the Oakland Estuary to Arrowhead Marsh, a naturalist-guided hike through Mount Diablo's rugged Morgan Territory, and a visit to the reconstructed Tuibun Ohlone Indian village in Coyote Hills Regional Park. The series, subtitled "Exploring Nature's Treasures in the East Bay," is cosponsored by Bay Nature magazine, the Oakland Museum, and EarthLight magazine.

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