Edenvale Park

San Jose , CA


Students from Hayes Elementary, Edenvale Elementary, Davis Intermediate and Oak Grove High Schools met each Friday for a month at the stone circle in Edenvale Gardens. This became our "sense of place". The stone circle was designed by artist Anna Murch. It lies in the center of Mary Folsom Hayes Chynoweth's grove of Oaks. Indentations in the stone circle represent the Ohlone grindstones. Around the stone circle and oak grove is a moat representing Frontier Village.

At the stone circle we learned about native grasses and plants. We learned that the Spanish brought with them grains seeds to grow the grains to feed their cattle. The cattle were raised to send tallow and hides back to the king of Spain. The Spanish grains grew so well here that they crowded out the native grasses. Consequently an enviroment that had remaind fairly constant for centuries was dramatically changed in just a few years. The native grasses, such as deer grass, are narrow and clumping. The grasses brought by the Spanish are broader leafed, and spreading. We learned to recognize the native and imported varieties of grasses and plugged in the native grasses.

Native Grasses: Before the Spanish came to California the hillsides and valleys were covered with native grasses. Most of these grasses had narrow leaves and grew in tufts. The Spanish planted grains to feed their cattle. The wind spread the grain seeds and these new grasses crowded out the native grasses. This changed the ecology of California forever.

We also planted poppy seeds in the moat around the oak grove. The poppy is California's state flower

Return to CA History B

More about Edenvale Gardens Project

A Sense of Place