Altruism converges on us this week with National Wildlife Week, National Volunteer Week, Earth Day on Wednesday and National Arbor Day on Friday. If truth be told, some of us join in a cleanup here or a hike there as a salve for our consciences. Sometimes, though, a moment emerges in our token actions, a clarity of vision in our own daily lives. We appreciate what we do have, we see what we can have, and it motivates a genuine spirit of good will that lasts the rest of our lives.

Earth Day especially reinforces the notion that we are not alone as an individual, as a country, as a species and as a planet. Our interdependence demands a brave imagination to look beyond the day. Sometimes our responsibility seems so enormous it paralyzes us, but it only takes a little bit every day to help one another, a creature or our surroundings. One pebble carelessly thrown can cause a landslide, but one seed planted can feed a nation.

Welcome to the Earth and have a good time while you’re on it.


Bay Area Action, East Bay Earth Day calendar, www.baaction.org/earth_day/calendar-eb98.html.

Today through Saturday, Cyberfest National Wildlife Week, www.teaching.com/cyberfest/. An Internet celebration combines Earth Day reverence and National Wildlife Week celebrations. Teachers and students log in to talk to people around the world about the Earth, read and respond to words of famed conservationists, win prizes for telling of successful classroom projects and share in writing an adventure story about buffalo in the Wild West.

Rides for Bay Area Commuters, 800-755-7665, www.rides.org. $1,000 to be awarded to someone on a commute alternative, be it bus, train, bike, ferry, car pool or telecommuting.


8 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Celebrates Earth Day, Visitors’ Center, Fremont, 510-792-9222. Show up early for refuge cleanup, which ends at noon. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., native plant nursery sale. 2 p.m., plant walk. 4-5 p.m., geological slide show. 7-8:30 p.m., twilight walk.

9:30 a.m., March for Parks, 415-561-3030, Ext. 2422. Five-mile walk to help preserve the national parks at Golden Gate. Sponsored by Golden Gate National Parks Association, National Park Service, National Parks and Conservation Association. Starts at Fort Mason’s Great Meadow, along Crissy Field, across Golden Gate Bridge, and ends at Fort Baker. Preregistration is $15 general, $8 under age 12. Day of walk, $20 general, $10 under age 12.

9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Wildflowers and Whales on Earth Day, Point Reyes National Seashore. Sierra Pacific Education Adventures, 707-451-4453, www.community.net/~spea. Celebrate spring with a 9-mile hike between lighthouse and Chimney Rock. Off-trail trekking brings participants close to checkerblooms, seals, tidy tips, sea lions, hairy-star tulips, whales and other life of the plant and sea mammal variety.


4-6:30 p.m., Youth Earth Summit, Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. Winners announced for poster design submissions. Discussion on community gardens, native plant restoration and more.

7:30 p.m., Biodiversity and Stewardship: Our Common Responsibility, 2040 Valley Life Sciences Building, UC-Berkeley, 510-643-0600. Speaker: Peter Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden.


5-7:30 p.m., Earth Day Population Forum, Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., San Francisco. Call Dick Schneider at 510-530-5232 for questions. Speakers: UC-Berkeley professors John Harte and Malcolm Potts and Population Coalition executive director Marilyn Hempel. The free 6 p.m. program follows a wine, hors d’oeuvres and jazz reception. Close to Montgomery BART/MUNI station.


Bay cleanup with canoes, Save San Francisco Bay Association, 510-452-9261.

8:30 a.m., East Bay Trails Council Trail Day Crew, North Peak Trail, Brad Edmonds, 415-775-2135. Meet at Mitchell Canyon.

8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Earth Day/California Trails Day, Coyote Hills, 510-635-0138, Ext. 2631. Prune, paint, plant and improve. Tools and lunch provided, but bring sturdy shoes, gloves, water and snacks.

9 a.m.-1 p.m., Earth Day ’98 Restoration and Cleanup, presented by Enron, 888-987-2757, www.athand.com.

9 a.m.-1 p.m., Habitat restoration on Albany Hill, 510-643-0600. Meet at north base of Albany Hill across from Creekside Park.

9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Tri-Cities Earth Day Family Fair, Fremont Senior Center, Lake Elizabeth, 510-494-4741. Frolic in various activities, but only Fremont residents can win the compost giveaways.

11 a.m.-3 p.m., Bay Area Discovery Museum, Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, 415-487-4398, www.badm.org. Admission $7 general, $6 children. Saturday: habitat walk, beach cleanup, pier fishing. Sunday: live critters.

11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Berkeley Earth Day, Martin Luther King Park, Allston and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, 510-654-6346. Eco-Motion parade uses feet, bikes, stilts, electric cars and other nonpolluting transport. Fair begins at noon with music, electric car test drives, climbing walls, Eco-art areas, booths and electric bus tours of the city’s green businesses and gardens.

April 26

8-10 a.m., Berkeley Bicycle Boulevard Bike-A-Thon, 510-704-5599: Bicycle-Friendly Berkeley Coalition and City of Berkeley Earth Day Committee propose their vision of auto-free boulevards in the bike tour.

10 a.m.-6 p.m., 8th annual Contra Costa Earth Day Festival, Concord Pavilion, 925-274-3669. Theme Restoration/Celebration. Four stages, hundreds of exhibits, earth-friendly food, a multicultural village with entertainment, farmers market, Native American exhibits, a maze with more than 100 panels representing various cultures and each made by a Bay Area youth group, rides on electric- and solar-powered vehicles, animals, UC-Berkeley’s giant bug exhibit, ritual stage, contemplative tent, green home green garden, high-tech tent, photograph tent. Shuttles running all day from Concord BART.

11 a.m.-3 p.m., Eco-Fest, Arroyo Del Valle, Livermore, 925-525-2233. Environmental celebrations courtesy of the East Bay Regional Park District.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. Bay Area Discovery Museum, Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, 415-487-4398. See Saturday listing.

Get involved year-round
  • Bay Area Ridge Trail, 415-391-0697.
  • California Turn In Poachers 800-952-5400. Free 24-hour CalTIP number to report poaching, pollution or any fish and wildlife violation.
  • Coastal Conservancy, 800-262-7848.
  • East Bay Regional Park District, Community Resources, 510-635-0138, Ext. 2515.
  • Contra Costa Food Bank, 800-870-3663.
  • Greenbelt Alliance, 415-543-4291
  • Green City Volunteer Network, 415-285-6556. Free bimonthly calendar of volunteer opportunities and environmental events.
  • Lindsay Museum, Walnut Creek, 925-935-1978.
  • Marine Mammal Center, Marin Headlands, 415-979-4357.
  • San Francisco Estuary Project, 510-286-0460.
  • Save San Francisco Bay, 510-452-4261.
  • Save Mount Diablo, 925-947-3535.
  • Sierra Club East Bay chapter, 510-848-0800.
  • Urban Creek Council, 510-540-6669.
  • Volunteer Center of Contra Costa County, 925-472-5760. Also provides free copies of “The Bay Area Volunteer Book” (Earthworks Press).
Web sites
  • Impact Online, www.impactonline.org
  • Bay Area Volunteer Information Center, www.meer.net/users/taylor/