Get Creekside!

IMG_5836My Bay Area families! It’s raining! For the first time in, well, YEARS. This means our creeks are changing, and it’s a perfect time to get outside and find your local creek. In the next few weeks, the creeks will be swelling and shrinking– almost on a daily basis. This is the time to find your local creek and make some visits. We went today for a quick 10 minute visit after daycare pickup. The last time this kiddo saw Wildcat Creek, she could wade in it. Today, the water was rushing so fast that it was obviously unsafe for her to get anywhere near it.

This is why getting outside (again, even for 10 minutes) is so important– kids are able to make the connection between rain and its impact on the world around us in visceral, obvious ways. I strongly encourage you to get to your local creeks as much as you can in the next couple of months. We are scheduled to have ongoing big rains (YES!!!) and there are so many local creeks that will be filled with water–take advantage of it! Go see the creeks in the middle of a downpour, see them when the storm has abated, see them the day after– in short, get yerselves creekside as much as you can in the next few weeks.

I can hear you, though–“Bay Area Families, I don’t have a creek near me! How will I do this?” No! You most definitely DO have a creek near you!! The Bay Area is filled with various creeks– some of them go underground for miles, but there are many, many places to see creeks in action. Clearly you can get to many of the East Bay Regional Park creeks like Wildcat Creek and Redwood Creek, but do not despair if you don’t have time to schlep the kids to the trails on a weeknight. Creeks are close! Probably much closer to you than you realized, in fact! You can find them through the most amazing Oakland Museum‘s online Guide to Bay Area Creeks. 73rd & Krause in East Oakland, you say? No creeks there? Ha! Try wandering over to 66th and Arthur. We have a paper copy of the Richmond & Vicinity map at home, but I had no idea (until today) that you could find all of them online. (Let’s all have a moment of appreciation for the interwebs, shall we? And the Oakland Museum. It’s pretty rad, too.) Nature is all around us. We just have to pay attention.

I will also just put a plug in here for an amazing book that a friend found and gave to our three year old– it’s called “I am Sausal Creek/Soy el Arroyo Sausal” and it tells the story of (wait for it) Sausal Creek. Go get it and then wander up Sausal Creek to Joaquin Miller.

So go forth–find a creek! Notice the water level. Go back in a day. Or go back in three days. Go back in the middle of a rainstorm. It’s pretty spectacular.

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