Tucked into less than a square mile of land, the Peninsula’s Edgewood Park is a showcase for stunning wildflower diversity, thanks to its unique serpentine geology.
On a walk through Edgewood’s rolling hills and level meadows at peak bloom time, you may seeas many as 100 species of wildflowers. Among those are a dozen rare and endangeredplants that coexist with a diversity of wildlife, including a threatenedbutterfly, the Bay checkerspot. Most of the flowers bloom on Edgewood’sgrasslands, which cover more than half its area and grow on serpentine soil. Woodlandsgrow on a little over a third of the preserve, chaparral and coastal scrub occupyabout 15 percent of the area, and wetlands cover a smaller portion. Volunteers lead wildflower walks during the season (visit the Friends of Edgewood Natural Preserve website for more information).
Between 1967 and the 1980s, the land and habitat that is now protectedin Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve was proposed for development as a statecollege, a recreational complex, a solar energy facility, and finally a golf course. Inthe mid-1980s, the California Native Plant Society took legal action to protectthe endangered species at Edgewood and along with a coalition of more than 40other organizations worked to preserve the habitat. In 1993, the San Mateo CountyBoard of Supervisors declared Edgewood County Park a Natural Preserve Area, thefirst park so designated in the county. TheFriends of Edgewood Natural Preserve joined together into a nonprofit that same year to protect, support, and celebrate the park.