2012 Park Events and Ranger Interpretive Programs at Lake Berryessa; Activities Support “America’s Great Outdoors”

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100

For Release: February 21, 2012

Reclamation's Lake Berryessa website
Reclamation's Lake Berryessa website
The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central California Area Office announces the spring 2012 park events and Park Ranger interpretive programs at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, Calif. All activities will be held rain or shine and are free of charge. Some programs have group-size limitations, so please contact the Park Ranger office regarding availability. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather and bring water and sunscreen for daytime activities. Children are welcome, but those under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

Topic: “Let’s Move” Nature Hike – Wildflower Wander Dates/Time: Saturday March 17, Saturday March 31, and Saturday April 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Location: Meet at Smittle Creek Day Use Parking Lot Join a Park Ranger for a leisurely hike on the Smittle Creek Trail, along the Western shoreline of Lake Berryessa. Enjoy the spring wildflower display and get some fresh-air and exercise while learning about the natural and human history of the area on an easy-to-moderate 2.6-mile (one-way) guided hike. The trail travels through a shaded Blue Oak Woodland, affording hikers scenic views and peaceful surroundings. All three hikes begin at 10 a.m. at the south end of the Smittle Creek Day Use Area parking lot, off Berryessa-Knoxville Road. Vehicles can be shuttled to the trail end point at Coyote Knolls within the Oak Shores Day Use Area. Hikers may stay with the Ranger for the entire 4-hour hike or leave early if they choose. Bring a lunch to enjoy on the lake and learn a bit about Berryessa’s human and natural history. For more details/directions, please contact Mike McGraw at 707-966-2111 ext 112 or mmcgraw@usbr.gov.

Topic: Paddling Berryessa Date/Time: Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Location: Meet at Foxtail Flat Hand Launch Ramp within the Oak Shores Day Use Area Experience the beauty of Lake Berryessa from a unique perspective on this Ranger-led paddling tour. Join a Park Ranger for a fun 3-hour paddling trip, exploring the tranquil waters between the shorelines of the Oak Shores and Smittle Creek Day Use Areas and Big and Small Islands. Watch for bald eagles, ospreys, otters, and other wildlife as the Ranger introduces you to the natural and human history of the lake. This outing is open to anyone with a kayak, canoe or other non-motorized boat. Coast Guard approved life jackets will be available, but boats will not be available for rent. Participants should bring their boat, life jackets, paddles, sunscreen, hat, water and a lunch/snack. For more details/directions, please contact Victoria Bevolden at 707-966-2111 ext 113 or vbevolden@usbr.gov.

Topic: Berryessa Spring Bird Species Inventory Date/Time: Saturday, April 7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Location: Meet at Monticello Dam Overlook Parking Lot This program is a great way to get a little exercise, learn some local history and tally Berryessa’s spring bird species all at the same time! Join Reclamation Ranger and bird enthusiast Todd Eggert to visit Berryessa’s three dominant vegetation regions – oak woodlands, chaparral and grasslands – to inventory the resident and migrant bird species. Participants will car pool/caravan the length of the lake, stopping for short walks. Experienced and beginning birders are welcome with Ranger Todd assisting novices on the finer points of bird identification. For details/directions please contact Todd Eggert 707-966-2111 ext 113 or reggert@usbr.gov.

Topic: World Environment Day Date/Time: Sunday, June 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Location: Meet near Markley Cove Resort, past Monticello Dam Join Reclamation in association with the Lake Berryessa Watershed Partnership for a fun lakeshore clean up event. Volunteers will walk trails and shoreline helping clean up trash and debris at the south end of Lake Berryessa. This is a great opportunity to earn volunteer hours, enjoy nature and recreate in the afternoon! Food and drinks will be provided. Anyone interested in participating can contact Jason Jordan at 707-966-2111 ext 143 or jgjordan@usbr.gov. Pre- registration is required for lunch.

Topic: Lake Berryessa Water Education Program Date: Available Upon Request Location: Oak Shores Day Use Area The Lake Berryessa Water Education Program is an interdisciplinary learning experience for students in grades 4-6. The program integrates the natural resources of Lake Berryessa with California curriculum standards. Classes join a Park Ranger at the lake to learn about the importance of water in their lives. In addition to the on-site learning experience, a teacher packet is available with logistical information and pre and post site activities. Berryessa Rangers are available to conduct pre-site classroom visits. For more details and a packet of information on the program, please contact Mike McGraw at 707-966-2111 ext 112 or mmcgraw@usbr.gov.

Topic: Various Ongoing Activities Dates: Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day Location: Oak Shores Day Use Area and the Water Education Station Keep an eye out for the Park Rangers at Oak Shores on summer weekends. Throughout the day, they will share games and fun presentations on water safety and the natural history of Lake Berryessa. Visit the Water Education Station in Oak Shores to learn more about the lake and borrow life jackets at no charge. Kids ‘caught’ wearing life jackets in or near the water can win prizes! The Water Education Station at Oak Shores is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Topic: Displays and Exhibits Hours: Starting the Week of May 20, Weekends: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Weekdays: Noon-2 p.m., closed Wednesdays Location: Lake Berryessa Visitor Center The Lake Berryessa Visitor Center offers displays and exhibits on the history of Lake Berryessa and the Monticello Valley and the construction of the Solano Project. It also houses an exhibit of local wildlife (stuffed and mounted) showing the common and not-so-common animals found around the lake. Park Rangers are available to answer questions about natural resources, recreational opportunities, wildlife and the area’s history. Brochures, maps, trail guides and other educational information are available free of charge.

Interpretive programs and events at Lake Berryessa tie into President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative (http://americasgreatoutdoors.gov/) which seeks to empower Americans to share in the responsibility to conserve, restore and provide better access to our lands and waters and leave a healthy and vibrant outdoor legacy for generations to come. Ranger-led hikes and activities at Lake Berryessa also follow First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative (http://www.letsmove.gov/) which is dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. And where better for the public to appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors than at a Reclamation facility like Lake Berryessa?

If you would like to participate in a program and need accommodation, please contact Park Ranger Mike McGraw at 707-966-2111 ext. 112 or mmcgraw@usbr.gov or call the Lake Berryessa Ranger Department at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 at least 14 days in advance.

Please visit the Lake Berryessa website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/berryessa/index.html for additional information.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

America’s Great Outdoors Initiative