W I L D L I F E O F T H E G U A D A L U P E R I V E RM c E N E R Y C H I L D R E N ’ S P A R K, San Jose, California, 1997-2000
Commissioner: Office of Cultural Affairs, City of San Jose
Consultant: Cheryl Barton, Landscape Architect
cast aluminum, glass, steel, mist fountain, basalt stone
insects dimensions: 3 feet to 5 feet
The design of McEnery Children’s Park, located in downtown San Jose adjacent to the new Adobe Systems office building, is inspired by its proximity to the Guadalupe River. Design elements include a hardscape and a landscape concept, a mist fountain, and large-scale insects, which are all indigenous to the area.
Twelve insects (including six dragonflies) have aluminum bodies, steel legs, glass eyes and wings that include colors such as lime, teal, and orange. They are mounted on galvanized steel poles which are 10 to 14 feet tall, and function as wind vanes. Dragonfly is an important indicator of the health and vitality of the ecosystems of the Guadalupe River. Mist fountains are situated between large basalt stone columns. The center portion of the park is a sand area that represents the Guadalupe River during the dry seasons. A section of the park has 3-inch-deep stretch of water flowing above a bed of blue pebbles.