On the heels of Thanksgiving, many East Bay residents will be heading outdoors to take part in an emerging initiative to promote recreational activity and environmental awareness on Friday.
The East Bay Regional Park District will be waiving visitor fees at all sites in celebration of Green Friday. Created in 2015 nationwide with support from outdoor recreation store REI, Green Friday aims to provide an alternative to mass shopping on what is typically known as Black Friday.
Consumers are encouraged to head outdoors instead of into commercial department stores and malls.
The park system has taken part in this day every year since. It now continues to be largely celebrated by other environmental appreciation groups as a way to raise awareness about consumer impacts.
"Green Friday encourages residents to get into nature to maintain and improve their physical and mental health and spend quality time with family and friends," EBRPD spokesperson Dave Mason said.
"Visiting parks on Green Friday is a great family-friendly, healthy activity, especially when extended family members are in town for the holidays," Mason added.
Composed of over 70 parks, visitors will have no shortage of activities or locations to choose from. Several Tri-Valley parks and visitor centers, including Sunol and Del Valle, will be hosting Green Friday activities for groups.
Sunol visitors can enjoy a 3-mile "Burn the Turkey Hike" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meanwhile, Del Valle is hosting its own Green Friday Hike from 10 a.m. to noon on the Dog Run and East Shore Trail. Each is open to the public.
According to the official park website, the day is hosted as a "healthy outdoor alternative to Black Friday holiday shopping."
"To encourage time in nature, the Park District is again making Green Friday a free park day, meaning all district fees are waived for park entrance and activities, as well as entry to Ardenwood Historic Farm," officials said. Complimentary Green Friday entry does not include state fees, such as fishing licenses.
Additional information about Green Friday activities near the Tri-Valley can be found here.