The Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward is a wildlife education and rehabilitation facility. Its mission is to promote the conservation of local environmental resources by generating an appreciation and understanding of the wildlife that cohabitate the area. The Nature Center does this through various avenues including educational programs and activities. An animal lending library is located within the grounds of the nature center. Here people can take home live animals such as guinea pigs, rats, mice and hamsters for up to a week so that potential pet owners can develop a proper feel for owning a pet. The library also provides necessary food and supplies. Also located on the premises is the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which takes in sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife, found in the Hayward, San Lorenzo and Castro Valleys. The onsite Discovery Center has wild reptiles, amphibians, fish and arthropods on display, making it a perfect place to spend the afternoon with your family.
The crystal clear blue waters of the Don Castro swim lagoon are just one feature of Hayward’s Don Castro Regional Recreational Center. The lagoon and adjacent lake were constructed in 1964 when the Alameda Flood Control and Water Conservation District dammed the San Lorenzo Creek. Today, parts of the lagoon have been roped off for children while wildlife such as turtles, frogs, ducks, raccoons and deer can be found frolicking about the adjacent lake areas. Swimming is allowed in the lagoon area, which also consists of a bathhouse, sandy beach and large lawn areas. Picnicking is available on a first come, first served basis. Fishermen can catch trout, bass, catfish or bluegills in the lake.
Also located in Hayward is the McConaghy Estate. This 12-room farmhouse, tank house and carriage house is preserved in its original late 19th century style and is owned by the Hayward Area Parks and Recreation District. Operated by the Hayward Area Historical Society, the McConaghy Estate hosts many events including the popular McConaghy Antique Show. During Christmas time, the McConaghy home is decorated as a house of “Christmas 1886.”
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