A safe neighborhood, near many schools
If there is one thing that you hear over and over from the residents of Green Acres, it is how safe they feel in this cozy neighborhood.
Green Acres actually consists of two main areas: Green Acres I on the south side of Arastradero Road, which was built first in the 1950s, shortly followed by Green Acres II, on the north side of Arastradero Road.
Joan Sakaldasis, 70, who has been living in Green Acres I for more than four decades, said she feels comfortable knowing she could knock at anyone's door if she needed help.
"It's very safe here, I usually go for a walk every morning. It is also a really good place to walk your dog."
These sentiments are seemingly shared by most residents of this area. Safety is often cited, especially for those raising their children here.
Standing outside her house on Los Palos Avenue, Sakaldasis finds it easy to socialize with her neighbors. The cars that pass by are often filled with her friends smiling and waving to her. That neighborhood atmosphere is one of the many attractions for new residents looking to move into the area.
The "green" in Green Acres could be attributed to the many trees, both along the streets and in residents' yards. Much of Green Acres used to be orchards. However, the few remaining fruit trees are now confined to gardens, where owners have decided to preserve them.
"I still have an apricot tree and you know, they still taste really good," Sakaldasis said.
Two parks are within easy walking distance of Maybell Avenue and Arastradero Road, where residents can bring children to enjoy the green grass and fresh air.
A big draw to the neighborhood is proximity to both public and private schools, including an elementary, middle and high school, and an international school on Terman Drive.
In recent years the neighborhood has increased its ethnic diversity, as many families of Chinese, Indian and other descent have been drawn to the sought-after school district.
"I was just looking for a school district for my kids but after living here, I love the community and small neighborhood feel," said Corey Levens, 54, a father of three who moved in 2003.
That feeling is shared by Alice Sklar, 69, who has lived there since 1969.
"It's a self-contained neighborhood, a small community. I remember the new sidewalk and single-story houses that brought me to live here."
The popularity of these schools has not been without impact. In recent years, the traffic caused by commuters has been a source of concern among local residents, and in 2009 the City of Palo Alto approved an improvement project along the Charleston/Arastradero corridor, the main driving thoroughfare. The project is scheduled to start this summer.
This development is sure to be keenly watched by the Green Acres Improvement Association, which meets with residents four times a year and has been actively helping to maintain the neighborhood and foster good community relations since 1952.
The association gets neighbors together at parties and events including a Christmas party in December, an ice-cream social for summer and a pot-luck each fall.
"That's how we get to know the new residents. We love our neighborhood and always welcome new folks," Sakaldasis said.
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CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Palo Alto Montessori School, 575 Arastradero Road; Whistlestop Child Development Center, 3801 Miranda Ave. No. T6B; Young Life Christian Pre-School, 687 Arastradero Road
FIRE STATION: No. 5, 600 Arastradero Road
LIBRARY: Mitchell Park branch, 3700 Middlefield Road
LOCATION: Green Acres I: Arastradero Road to Glenbrook Drive, Los Palos to Pomona avenues; Green Acres II: Maybell Avenue to Arastradero Road, Coulombe Drive to Georgia Avenue
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: (Green Acres I) Nina T. Bell, email@example.com; (Green Acres II) Betsy Allyn, 650-493-8859
PARKS: Juana Briones Park, 609 Maybell Ave.; Terman Park, 655 Arastradero Road
POST OFFICE: Veterans Hospital Bureau, 3801 Miranda Ave.
PRIVATE SCHOOL: Bowman International School, 4000 Terman Drive
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Juana Briones Elementary School, Terman Middle School, Gunn High School
SHOPPING: El Camino Real, San Antonio Shopping Center, Downtown Los Altos
Editorial Intern Piyawan Rungsuk can be e-mailed at Prungsuk@paweekly.com.