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Student Perspectives: This blog series was written by San Francisco State University students for the Recreational Use of Parks and Protected Areas course taught by Dr. Nina Roberts in Fall 2015. The goal of Dr. Roberts’ blog assignment was to show how student support of redwood parks can create new ways to foster equal access to nature by diverse communities. For this assignment, each student visited a local redwood park and wrote about their experience. Enjoy!

Hole in the Wall: 4 Reasons to Visit Redwood Regional Park

by Jumana Zahid

In this blog I’m going to give you four reasons why, if you live in the Bay Area, you should visit the awesome Redwood Regional Park. Just like many Bay Area residents, I had no idea that Oakland has a stunning redwood forest a few miles away from its busy downtown, so on a Monday, my friend Zayba and I decided to go see for ourselves.

First, it is literally right there!

Zayba, who has been living in the Bay Area for quite a while now, had never once been to the redwood park that is practically in her backyard. “It is such a hole in the wall!” said Zayba, all surprised by this piece of wilderness that lives in the middle of the city. It took us 19 minutes to get to the park from Alameda, and the ride was as easy as spreading cream cheese on a bagel.

Second, it is definitely a change of pace!

I’m a middle eastern, and Zayba has an Indian decent. In both our cultures we grew up not spending so much of our recreational time hiking in the woods. Rather, we went to shopping centers, dined in restaurants, and mainly visited each other’s houses. To spend some time in the outdoors is for sure a change of pace. We even talked about getting our families together for a hike or picnic one day.

Third, free is a really good price!

It was a Monday afternoon when we visited Redwood Regional Park; because the park only collects entrance fees during holidays and weekends, we paid nothing to enter the park. Major kudos, because we love free stuff!

Fourth, a safe haven it definitely is!

Both Zayba and I were going through a stressful time. That morning, she was scheduled to have an interview with her prospective boss. Getting that job meant so much to her, but life happens, and the interview got canceled. In that same morning, I had a midterm. I did not do well, and I was frustrated because of it. Eventually, we both were glad that we planned this hike that day, because afterwards, it felt so good spending some quality time with Mother Nature and each other. This redwood forest is such a great escaping location; whenever life gets too big for one to handle, a place like this forms the best safe haven. We walked, talked, sat a little bit to snack, and took long pauses to absorb what nature has to offer.

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Student Perspectives

We appreciate being able to contribute our experiences and our knowledge to the Save the Redwoods League community through these blog entries and hope that our work can support your cause and our communities.

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The Inspiring Response to Free Redwood Parks Day

Group after smiling group rolled into Samuel P. Taylor State Park on November 27 for the first Free Redwood Parks Day sponsored by Save the Redwoods League, all of them happy to be in the forest’s embrace instead of fighting mall crowds on Black Friday.

The Turret Spider

Turret spiders are related to tarantulas and part of a larger group of folding trapdoor spiders. They are found only in California and live in moist forests, often near streams. The coolest thing about these spiders is the burrows they build.

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