The East Bay Regional Park District has made the day after Thanksgiving its annual free park entrance day, Green Friday as the Park District calls it, to encourage residents to connect with nature and spend quality time with their family at a Regional Park. All of the Park District's parks will be participating. Entrance fees at the District’s Ardenwood Historic Farm will also be waived.
“The Park District is happy to join the Opt Outside movement encouraging people to visit parks and spend quality time with their family,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “Getting outside into nature improves health and decreases stress levels.
"Hiking is a terrific way to explore the beautiful East Bay hills and shoreline on Green Friday,” added Doyle.
The Park District’s Green Friday is part of the Opt Outside movement started in 2015 by REI when they closed their stores on Black Friday and encouraged employees and the public to explore the outdoors instead of shopping. More than 1.4 million people and 180 organizations participate in Opt Outside each year. 2017 marks the third year the District has participated in the national Opt Outside campaign.
On Green Friday, fees will be waved for park entrance, parking, dogs, horses, boat launching, and fishing. However, fees for state fishing licenses and watercraft inspection, and concessionaires will still be in effect, including Tilden’s Merry-Go-Round and Redwood Valley Railway Train.
“Regional Parks provide local residents with recreational opportunities that are safe, healthy and inexpensive,” said East Bay Regional Park District Chief of Park Operations Steve Castile. “Green Friday makes them even more affordable.”
Special events on Green Friday include a Turkey Hike from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland (Skyline Gate), and Post-Thanksgiving Holiday Fun Day running from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda.
A few recommended hikes in the East Bay Regional Park District are:
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor