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January 14, 2009 > Historical gardens now open to the public

Historical gardens now open to the public

By Amisha Gandhi
Photos By courtesy of Shelly Lewis

The Meyers Estate Dry Creek Garden and Cottage, located at 550 May Road in Hayward held its grand opening in September 2008. The Garden, once part of the Meyers Ranch Estate, is now open to the public.

Dry Creek Cottage was once a popular summer home of three prominent Alameda residents, Edith, Mildred, and Jeanette Meyers. The sisters were great philanthropists who organized local charities and fundraisers during the early 20th century. The sprawling estate also contained the 1,200-acre Dry Creek Ranch, which was donated to the Park District and became well know as the Dry Creek/Pioneer Regional Park. The Dry Creek Cottage and its garden were also donated to the Park District after the death of the last Meyers sister.

"The park has been around since 1965," says Ron Mueller, the park supervisor. "There are over 25 miles of trails that go through the Hayward and Union City hills," he added. The park boasts many exciting activities such as nature study, where numerous varieties of local wildlife can be observed in their natural setting, the Garin Apple Festival, held during the late summer to celebrate the farm's legendary apple growing tradition, picnicking, horseback riding, and fishing.

The cottage, garden, and hiking trails are located at the end of May Road off Mission Boulevard. Since 1993, the garden and pathways have been undergoing constant restoration. New trails and footbridges over creeks have been built due to the increased foot traffic. The newly opened two-acre garden is filled with 200 varieties of plants, in perennial bloom, including 160 varieties of apple.

The Meyers sisters were excellent hostesses. Their parties were legendary as numerous guests came from all over the county to celebrate holidays with one another. "At the time, it was the social event of Alameda County," said Ron Mueller.

As Edith Meyers once said, "Leave care and worry behind you; enjoy the beauties of nature here in your midst; and pause for a moment in your rush through life to give thanks to the great artist who painted this ever-changing picture of the hills and fields and streams." The garden truly is an ethereal and picturesque escape from reality, one you won't want to miss.

The Park District eventually plans to open the cottage for receptions and weddings. It also plans to open a small visitor center in the cottage to educate citizens about the rich history of the estate.

The garden is open to the public every Thursday and the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meyers Estate Dry Creek Garden and Cottage
550 May Road, Hayward
(510) 582-2206
www.ebparks.org/parks/garin

Thursdays and first Saturday
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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