Just on the other side of the 580 from us, nestled in the residential hills of Hayward, is the Sulphur Creek Nature Center. Not only do they rescue and care for injured local wildlife including birds of prey, coyotes and other species, they also provide an extensive education program about local wildlife and plants, including seminars for adults as well as children. In addition, there is an "animal lending library" program: for a nominal fee you can take home a guinea pig, mouse or similar for a week and test drive a pet with your children before committing to one permanently. Sulphur Creek is closed Mondays but otherwise open to the public so you can stop by anytime and enjoy the wooded grounds (yes, there is a creek!) and visit the rescued animals. Watch your mail for the Hayward Area Recreation & Park District quarterly Recreation Guide, or visit the HARD website for the current schedule of programs.