Katie Colbert, Naturalist and volunteer coordinator
at Sunol Regional Park has developed a program which allows
women who, according to their website, “love to hike,
camp and play in parklands, but whose concern for personal
safety keeps them from enjoying their parks”.
Women on Common Ground is a series of naturalist led programs
for woman who for one reason or another are uncomfortable hiking
in parks. Katie’s group averages between 6 to 25 women
for each hike and the women range in age from 20 years old
to 80 years young. She tries to arrange hikes which will provide
a range of different skill levels in the various East Bay Regional
Parks which are spread out among Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
The goal of this program is to help make women feel more comfortable
by learning about the difference between real threats and perceived
threats in the park system such as mountain lions, snakes,
ticks, getting lost, being hurt and poison oak and to become
familiar with the areas parks and particularly certain trails.
They also teach women to take certain precautions and use personal
The most common crime committed at the regional parks systems
is automobile burglaries. Katie suggests leaving valuables
at home and out of site from criminals. Other safety suggestions
are to hike with a buddy and always tell someone where you
are going, bring water and most importantly be prepared. “Most
women who join the program have always relied on other people
in the past to keep them from getting lost or help them put
up a tent and this is a good opportunity for them to learn
how to do these types of things for themselves; the parks are
a very safe place to be”, said Katie.
A Naturalist since 1985, Katie’s prior experience includes
holding a variety of positions within the Pittsburg school
system teaching environmental education.
Katie says, “One of the things about this program is
that it’s for like-minded women who enjoy similar hiking
styles and have a great sense of humor; together they help
each other learn to enjoy and feel more comfortable hiking.”
The group does take an occasional backpacking and camping
trip and are hoping to plan for more in the future. Upcoming
events include a 3 to 4 mile hike through a former explosives
plant to Point Pinole Regional Shoreline on November 18 and
creating holiday decorations for the Women’s Drop-In
Shelter of Berkeley followed by a winter hike in the Tilden
Nature Area on December 16.
Please call 925-862-2604 for more information, check out their
website www.ebparks.org or email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As previously mentioned in my last column, all of the tickets
for Niles Canyon Railway’s Holiday Train of Lights sold
out in a mere 6 days, but lucky Sunolians will still have a
chance to ride the train on December 2 before our annual tree
lighting ceremony at the Sunol Community Park. If you are interested
in reserving tickets for the ‘Sunol residents only” train
ride, please contact Ario Ysit at 925-862-2251. There is a
maximum of 4 tickets per household.
Grab your purses ladies or more importantly cash and credit
cards because it’s the 3rd annual Ladies Night Out. The
Sunol Glen School Community Club will be hosting this event
Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the school’s
auditorium. It’s a wonderful way to do some early holiday
shopping without any distractions and purchase items from such
vendors as Arbonne International skin care products, Little
Valley Lavender, KeNisey Glass & Wire Works, Pampered Chef,
Mary Kay Cosmetics, All Ways Accessories, Cookie Lee Jewelry,
Creative Memories, Southern Living at Home, Partylite, Tupperware,
Stampin’ Up, Veggie Tales, Neways, Sole Savior, Butterfly
Home Boutique and Scholastic Books.
Birthday girl, Sandi Bohner, co-owner of Little Valley Vineyards & Little
Valley Lavender was thoroughly surprised by family and friends
at a party held in her honor on October 7 at Marlene and Bill
Rebello’s beautiful Sunol home. Guests enjoyed a delicious
meal accompanied by Sandi and husband Bill Webster’s
White Rabbit label wines. Held on the Rebello’s spacious
outdoor terrace, Sandi and her grandchildren danced to local
favorites and good friends, Georgi & the Roughweek as a
beautiful autumn moon crested the clear, crisp, night sky.