A local legend claims that salmon were once so abundant in Muir Woods' Redwood Creek that one could practically walk across the water on their backs. But because of a misguided 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps project that accidentally destroyed important habitats, the number of fish in the creek's waters declined until the population was almost nonexistent. In the mid-1990s park rangers began reversing the trend by removing invasive plants, revegetating creek banks with native flora, and re-creating the logjams and deadfalls that give spawning salmon comfy places to reproduce.
Even those who know nothing about aquatic life can help: Volunteers are needed year-round for the Redwood Creek Stewards Program, especially during wintertime plantings. Good Samaritans can lend a hand each Saturday starting at 9:45 a.m. at the Muir Woods Visitor Center, Muir Woods Trail (between Muir Woods Road and Panoramic Highway), Mill Valley. Participation is free; contact Courtney Johnson at 383-4390 or visit www.nps.gov/muwo.
-- Joyce Slaton
The Niners' Last Hurrah
If you want to see the 49ers play in person this season, today is your last chance to do so. The normally playoff-bound Niners didn't win a single road game this year, so they'll be spending the next few Sundays watching 60 Minutes. At least this game is against the Seattle Seahawks and it's at home, so the red-and-gold might actually win -- particularly since fallible place-kicker Owen Pochman was recently dumped. The final kickoff starts at 2 p.m. at 3Com Park, 602 Jamestown (at Harney), S.F. Tickets are $58; call 656-4949 or visit www.sf49ers.com.
-- Jack Karp
So many sports events bill themselves as "EXTREME!" that it seems a person's got to be Vin Diesel just to get a little exercise. What happened to taking a walk? (Not a hike. A walk.) Or ice skating? Or a leisurely bicycle ride? Normally, sea kayaking doesn't fall into this easygoing category; picture it in your head and you may hear a heavy metal soundtrack. But the Sausalito: Take the Kids kayak trip offered by Sea Trek sounds peaceful. It's open to children over age 6, so think about it: If a 7-year-old can do it, you can do it. Besides, when you're floating through Richardson Bay you're likely to see harbor seals, pelicans, and other sea life up close. Reservations are required; call 488-1000 by Dec. 27 (and receive a map and what-to-wear list via e-mail). Admission is $30-65; visit www.seatrekkayak.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser