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Events, opportunities offered through San Joaquin parks

Returning programs, office closures and a chance to volunteer are all on the horizon for the New Year through San Joaquin County Parks.

First, officials have announced that the San Joaquin County Park Office will be closed Monday, Jan. 8, 2024 due to office construction. The office will remain closed to visitors with phone service only available Tuesday, Jan. 9 through Friday, Jan. 12, 2024 during normal operating hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Park Office will reopen for visitors Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024 following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 15.

Meanwhile, Oak Grove Regional Park’s Nature Center, 4520 W. Eight-Mile Road, Stockton, will be open every Saturday now through March 30 from noon to 4 p.m.

Docents will be available to conduct tours of center exhibits, the Native American Village and the Native Plant Garden. Admission is free, parking is $6 cash. For more information, or to book a school tour, call the Nature Center at (209) 953-8814.

The Moon, Saturn, The Pleiades and The Hyades will be visible during the first Astronomy In The Park event of 2024 on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Oak Grove Regional Park. Sunset is at 5:15 p.m. Event is free (weather permitting), parking is $6 cash.

Also, if you have some free time in the New Year, officials at Micke Grove Zoo are looking for a couple of volunteers.

Requirements include being at least 18 years old and every volunteer shift requires a commitment of a minimum of four hours. Volunteers also need to commit to a minimum of six months.

Currently, there are openings for morning shifts, though Zoo officials also indicate they can work with a volunteer’s schedule of availability. Micke Grove Zoo is at 11793 Micke Grove Road, Lodi.

Volunteers will be trained by Micke Grove Zoo staff to assist with projects including: horticultural projects such as raking leaves, removing leaf litter and weeds, watering plants, and disposing of leaf litter; organizing animal carriers, animal enrichment items, nets and other items. They also may be asked to assist with administrative projects such as organizing files and documents, updating animal information in an animal records keeping system called ZIMS; and assisting with guest services.

A negative result for a tuberculin test is mandatory and COVID vaccinations are preferred.

For additional information, visit the website at or call 209-953-8800.