Stojanovich Family Park, Campbell CA: Natives and Local History

Well, so here's a little story.

Mr. Dusky Footed Wood Rat's "baby brother" (I'll call him Mr. Moose) lives far far away in Minnesota. But now and then his company sends him to Fremont, a town about 40 miles from us. On such occasions we generally find a place to meet and eat half way between.

The fine restaurant we chose using the Internet turned out to be a small, busy, fast food place (with delicious Greek food!) on a noisy main street. So after dinner we decided to escape the noise and stroll for a while in the surrounding suburban neighborhoods -- where we stumbled upon...

Stojanovich Family Park

What a lovely surprise!

The Stojanovich family  started farming on this land in 1913, and in 2007, one of their descendants sold this piece of land at a low price so that it could be made into a park. (Click to read.)

While the brothers caught up, I ran around taking photos of all the lovely native plants, and reading the interpretive signs (above, and shown at the bottom of this post).
Deer grass, Muhlenbergia rigens in the foreground

I was particularly taken with the natural rocks and flowing curves of the bioswale feature that runs through the park. I'd like to see it in a storm!

Bioswale. I love that there's a bald spot showing where children slide down and play in this naturalistic setting

In my memory I see pretty much only the native plantings. I don't remember much about the other amenities of the park, just that they reflect the theme of its orchard and fruit processing past. However if you are interested, you can see photos at the project page of the landscape architects for the project, Callander and Associates (link goes to their project page).

I've also read through the City of Campbell pages associated with the development of the park. It's OK, you don't have to go there. They're really not that interesting.

What struck me was that no mention at all was made about use of native plants. I wonder if it has anything to do with this...

Could the Open Space Authority funding have been contingent on use of native plants and retention of water on site etc?

There were other natives in the landscaping, but I was captivated by that swale. A bioswale as you probably know is designed to let rainwater stay on site, soaking into the ground to recharge, in this case, the aquifer that lies below the Santa Clara Valley. There are a couple or more drains in the bottom of the swale, covered with what we in Glasgow would call a stank. You know a metal barred thing to stop people falling in. I would expect the water to fall into a French drain or some such where the water can seep deep into the ground - but I don't know.

Another view of the bioswale. I really loved this feature, can you tell? Plus - check out the fine silk tassel bush in the foreground, Garrya elliptica.

Hm... Deer grass and California fescue maybe? at the edge of the bioswale. I wish I was better at grasses.

Lovely swooshy grasses in the bioswale. What species I don't know. Natives?

A quiet shady area with picnic bench and flowering currents (Ribes sp.)

Not all plantings were native. I'd like to visit in spring to see the fruit trees in blossom. I'm not sure what this ground cover planting is. It sort of looks like rosemary in this photo. I don't recall seeing typical native plants found in a public landscape such as manzanita or ceanothus, low growing forms of which are often used for a ground-cover.

And off we went into the evening - Dusky on the left of Moose. In this photo we're facing the play lawn area of the park and the entrance from the road. A bit of permeable hardscaping on the right.
Public play spaces -- one use of lawns up with which I gladly put.

The rest of this post shows the attractive signage which, if you are interested in local history, as I am, you might enjoy clicking on, to more easily read the text.


Diana Studer said…
Did you have it all to yourselves?
Country Mouse said…
Pretty much - it was about 8 pm, mid June. There were one or two other people. One dad was chiding his child who was running down the slope beside the bridge, into the swale and I thought - but that's what this is good for - letting kids run in the rough semi-natural area! I saw worn areas so I know the kids were doing that - hopefully the landscaping can hold up.