Blasts from the Past

Red-shouldered hawks raising their young in the Hillside

As more and more people enjoy the trails in El Cerrito’s Hillside Natural Area during the COVID crisis, it’s a good time to be observant. The Hillside is home to native plants and native wildlife – including red-shouldered hawks.

These should not be confused with red-tailed hawks. This little video will help you tell them apart.

Gavin Lee has an eye for hawks and is a fine photographer. He sent us these two photos of red-shouldered hawk fledglings.

“With the shelter in place, we’ve been hiking in the El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area daily.  This is where both hawks have nests in two different areas of eucalyptus,” he writes.

You can see more of his photography on Instagram.

Chris Treadway covers the new Rotary Signs for the East Bay times

July 10: New interpretive signs placed in El Cerrito’s Hillside Natural Area

The very first members of the general public to view a Rotary Interpretive Walk sign after its installation on May 1 gave their approval. Photo by Dave Weinstein

The very first members of the general public to view a Rotary Interpretive Walk sign after its installation on May 1 gave their approval. Photo by Dave Weinstein

Rotary Interpretive Walk debuts in the Hillside

Two members of the El Cerrito Rotary Club, which funded the signs, provided inspiration, and are providing labor, took part in the installation of the first of the Rotary interpretive signs. They were club president Marty Kaliski and Lee Prutton, who has overseen the three-year project. Trekker Dave Weinstein assisted in the installation of the first sign. It was installed ahead of the others to gauge how things would go. They went well.

Masks were worn and social distancing reigned.

The remaining 14 signs will be placed later this month by small groups of Rotary Club and Trekker volunteers, probably two volunteers per set of signs, adhering to social distance rules and wearing masks. Trekkers thanks Rotary, the sign designer Jan Byers, the artist Adam Prost, and all those who contributed their knowledge by writing the signs.

The interpretive signs cover a wide variety of topics, from history to geology to flora and fauna. They came about when the Rotary approached Trekkers three years ago suggesting a donation for an important project.

The signs are being installed along portions of the Live Oak Trail.

Authors of the sign text are Susan Schwartz of Friends of Five Creeks, who wrote about creeks, grassland, oaks and shrubs; Tara McIntire, who wrote about red-tailed hawks; Keli Hendricks of Project Coyote, who wrote about coyotes; Gary Prost of the Northern California Geological Society, who wrote about rocks and geology; Zara McDonald of the Felidae Conservation Fund, who wrote about mountain lions; Dave Weinstein, who wrote about Hillside history and banana slugs; Eddie Dunbar of the Insect Sciences Museum of California, who wrote about dragonflies; and Bev Ortiz of the East Bay Regional Park District, who wrote about the Huchiun people.

Tom Gehling contributed drawings of invasive plants.

Trail Trekkers mourns the loss of Mollie Hazen

Trekkers’ board member and communications director Mollie Hazen died on August 11, 2019, after fighting cancer for several years.

She played an important part in our organization, getting out the word about our events and focusing on how to attract more participants through social engagement.

Mollie was a savvy person, knowledgeable about state and local politics, and was very good at sizing up people and envisioning how events might play out. Her contributions to board discussions were invaluable.

Even as she grew ill, Mollie remained active not just with Trekkers, but as board president of the Kensington Symphony and a member of the city’s Crime Prevention Committee. Her energy did not flag until it was gone. Weakness, and the need for a wheelchair, did not stop her from helping run our booth at the July 4 festival.

Shevlin to Arlington Park Path

If there is one here it is.


Trail Trekkers in the news …

Contra Costa Marketplace July 2018


Volunteers Wanted!

The Trekkers are looking for volunteers to help improve trails and continue building new ones. Let us know if you can help – contact Dave Weinstein at 510-524-1737 or


Motorcycle Hill steps installed!

Read about it here.


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