As the site of a Tuibun Ohlone Native American village that existed for 2,000 years before the arrival of Europeans in the Bay Area, Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont is a center for preservation of ancient cultural resources and the interpretation of Ohlone cultures past to present.

It all culminates in the annual Gathering of Ohlone Peoples, which takes place this year from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the park's visitor center.

It's coordinated by naturalist Bev Ortiz and the park's interpretive staff. Ohlones will share their culture and history, demonstrating basketry, jewelry, soaproot brush and dogbane string making. Visitors can join in an Ohlone game, make fire without matches or put together a miniature tule boat.

Native plant teas, Manzanita cider and acorn soup cooked with heated stones in a basket all will be available for tasting. Coyote Hills is located at 8000 Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway, north of Highway 84. There's a parking fee of $5 per vehicle; the gathering is free of charge. For information, call 510-544-3220.

In the weeks after the gathering, Coyote Hills will continue its ongoing series of programs led by naturalist Dino Labiste, demonstrating skills that were a part of early peoples' everyday life for millennia.

Cordage making will be the focus of a program from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 12. Learn how to twist, twine or braid plant fibers into cordage used for dozens of purposes.


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The activity is designed for ages 9 and older. It's free, but registration is required. Cordage also was used to make knotless net bags. Dino will teach that skill in a program from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., also on Oct. 12. This one is for ages 18 and older; there's a fee of $6 ($8 for nondistrict residents).

Then from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 19, Dino will conduct a session on flintknapping, the art of turning an obsidian flake into a cutting tool or arrowhead. It's free, but registration is required and participants must be 18 or older. For registration and information on any of these three programs, call 888-327-2757 and select option 2. For cordage making, refer to program 3457. For netted bags, the number is 3458, and for flintknapping it's 3459.

LAKE TEMESCAL: Saturday and Sunday Strolls are free, family-friendly walks led by naturalists to explore various regional parks.

There's one from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Temescal in Oakland. It's an easy, mile-long walk around the lake, which was Oakland's first water reservoir. Meet at the park's Broadway Terrace staging area. For information, call 510-544-3187.

Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at nedmackay@comcast.net.