Lori Lambertson of the Exploratorium in San Francisco (photo, left) will lead a gathering on the occasion of the Spring Equinox at the Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar in the park on Friday evening March 20. The informal gathering will begin at 6:30 and end an hour later. Sunset will be at 7:15.
The equinox is the halfway point between the winter and summer solstices. On this date, the nights and days are of equal length.
The month of March is also closely identified with Cesar Chavez, the co-founder and leader of the United Farm Workers Union and a legendary spokesperson for the Mexican-American community. March 31 is Cesar Chavez Day in California (and Colorado and Texas). The City of Berkeley has declared the period March 20 to April 23 as a commemorative period to honor Chavez. A talk in honor of Chavez takes place at noon on March 20 on the UC campus. The evening gathering at the Solar Calendar in the park will include celebration of the Chavez virtue of Hope.
Lambertson is a member of the Exploratorium Teacher Institute and has presented hundreds of workshops on scientific and mathematical topics to audiences of all ages. She’ll explain about the equinox and about the reasons for the seasons. Children are very much invited to this gathering. Dress warmly even if it’s warm in Berkeley; the weather in the park may be cooler and there is often a breeze.
To access the Solar Calendar by car, park in or near the parking circle at the end of Spinnaker Way. Walk north on the paved path that goes inland (not on the shoreline) and follow it to the picnic area. Leave the paved path there and go on the dirt trail over the little ridge, down into the little valley, and then up onto the next ridge where you’ll see the calendar at the top to your right. Here’s a map.
More information about the Solar Calendar is here. There’s a panoramic view of the Bay from this spot.