More than 100 ranch-style and Eichler homes with vast lawn space and quiet avenues are defining features of the Greendell neighborhood, which lies roughly between San Antonio Road, Mackay Drive and Ferne Avenue. Most distinctive is the tract of Eichler homes lining Ferne Avenue, which are mainly one-story and completed circa 1955.
Although Greendell has been around for more than 50 years, its boundaries weren't clearly defined until the residents formed a neighborhood association in 2010, according to Srini Sankaran, president of the Greendell Neighborhood Association. "The association has not only brought a definition to our neighborhood, but it has also helped us work more efficiently with the City, PAUSD and our neighboring communities to resolve issues facing Greendell."
Greendell prides itself in connecting its residents with one another.
"Pardon the cliche, but this is indeed a neighborhood where everybody knows your name," Sankaran said. "Something isn't right if you have 647 Facebook friends in Kyoto, but don't know who lives across the street from you."
For many years now, Greendell has been holding block parties that are typically attended by 100 to 150 residents. In addition, the residents use an Internet-based system to discuss everything from fencing-contractor recommendations to serious topics affecting the neighborhood such as the future of Cubberley Community Center.
Sharing its border with the Greendell school campus and Cubberley Community Center, Greendell is faced with some far-reaching changes around its neighborhood in the next few years, he said. The city and the school district are likely to finalize the future use of Cubberley and Greendell School in 2013.
"We are quite tuned in to what is going on with those initiatives and participating in the advisory committees to ensure that we do our part to help shape our community," Sankaran said.
Gary Schwede, who has lived on Calcaterra Place since 1981, said he moved to the neighborhood for its tranquility and low-density housing.
"I prefer the ranch-styled homes to the Eichlers because they are a more familiar construction to me. I like to have space, to build things and to garden in my backyard."
The historic Eichler neighborhood, Greenmeadow, sits between Greendell to the south and Walnut Grove. Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods frequent the facilities run by the Greenmeadow Community Association.
Members from Greendell and Walnut Grove pay a fee for access the pool, community room and classes, although they are not allowed voting privileges.
Neighbors in Walnut Grove, which is located between East Charleston Road and Adobe Creek, maintain connections through an annual street party. The yearly "earthquake party" takes place along the cul-de-sac of Lundy Lane where all the neighbors are invited to a lively barbecue.
Longtime resident James Silver explained that the event is meant to be commemorative.
"It was after the earthquake of 1989 when everybody came out of their houses and started talking. We have continued it since."
"Walnut Grove is just a nice place. I like the parks being nearby and I use the library often," he added.
The area takes its name from a walnut orchard, which used to extend roughly from Ely Place to Alma Street.
"The trees have lowered in number to make room for newer developments," Silver said. Walnut trees can still be seen interspersed among homes.
-- Zohra Ashpari
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Crescent Park Child Development Center (Peekaboo), 4161 Alma St.; Discovery Children's House - Montessori, 303 Parkside Drive; Palo Alto Infant Toddler Center, 4111 Alma St.
FIRE STATION: No. 4, 3600 Middlefield Road
LIBRARY: Mitchell Park branch, 3700 Middlefield Road
LOCATION: Greendell: between Ferne Avenue, San Antonio Avenue and Mackay Drive; Walnut Grove: between Charleston Road and Adobe Creek, Alma Street and Nelson Drive
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Greendell Neighborhood Association: Srini Sankaran, president email@example.com; 650-485-1335; Walnut Grove Homeowners Association: Tom Crystal, president, 650-493-3276
PARKS: Greenmeadow Park (private); Mitchell Park (nearby), 600 East Meadow Drive
POST OFFICE: Cambridge, 265 Cambridge Ave.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS (nearby): Palo Alto Prep School, 4000 Middlefield Road; Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, 450 and 470 San Antonio Road
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Fairmeadow Elementary School, J.L. Stanford Middle School, Gunn High School
SHOPPING: Charleston Center, San Antonio Shopping Center
MEDIAN 2012 HOME PRICE: Greendell: $1,480,000 ($1,252,500-$1,855,000); Walnut Grove: $1,626,000 ($850,000-$2,452,000)
HOMES SOLD: Greendell: 7; Walnut Grove: 3
MEDIAN 2012 CONDO PRICE: near Greendell: $710,000 ($510,000-$875,000)
CONDOS SOLD: 5