Gilroy Community Information

Education

The Gilroy Unified School District strives to provide students with outstanding academics that will enable them to become exemplary citizens. The Brownell Academy of Humanities and Fine Arts is one of the middle schools within this district and it provides students with a rigorous curriculum that is integrated with visual and performing arts. There are also a number of private schools in the area. For higher learning, students may attend Gavilan Community College, University of Santa Cruz, California State University at Monterey Bay, and Stanford University in Palo Alto.

Recreation

In addition to excellent schools, Gilroy offers an abundance of recreational activities in and around town including an extensive park system with 12 parks ranging up to 125 acres. Within a short drive is Mt. Madonna Park, a 3,200-acre park featuring some of Californiaís finest redwoods as well as several camping and picnicking areas and miles of hiking trails. Fishing and horseback riding can be found at Henry Coe Park, the second largest state park in California with 80,000 acres featuring 200 miles of dirt roads and trails, 90 lakes and ponds and five ecological systems. The Adams-Chitactac Park is a four-acre park that provides an area that teaches visitors about the Ohlone Indians and provides for tours of the original Indian site. There are also several reservoirs that provide several water sports and activities.

For the golf enthusiasts, the Eagle Ridge Golf Course is located in the west side of town and the Gilroy Golf Course offers a nine-hole course. Within the region are a total of 11 golf courses to choose from. The Bonfante Gardens Theme Park entertains people of all ages with its acclaimed Circus Trees, a 1927 carousel, waterfalls, topiaries - all within a 600 acre preserve. There are also several historical sites places that are listed on the National Register within the city.

Shopping

Shopping is another draw to the Gilroy area. For the antiques lover, there are numerous shops in the city. The Gilroy Premium Outlet Mall provides 145 stores that offer name brands at a discounted price.

Brief History

Gilroy wasnít always known as the place to go for garlic. The first inhabitants of the area were the Ohlone Indians Spanish colonization began in the mid-1700s and over the next century the land was divided into large ranches. In 1814, Scotsman John Cameron arrived in Monterey and later adopted his motherís maiden name becoming Juan Bautista Gilroy. In 1850, a flood of pioneer settlers entered into the area and began stock raising and grain farming. The Town of Gilroy was officially incorporated in 1870, becoming the largest community in Santa Clara County with a brewery, flouring mill and a distillery.

The railroad arrived in 1869 making the community the hub of Santa Clara County. After World War I, Japanese farmers arrived and wanted to take advantage of the fertile soil in the area. They brought with them the garlic crops that continue to grow there today.

Gilroy has since developed from being a predominantly agricultural community to the fastest growing city in the Silicon Valley, thanks to high-tech and support industries as well as a number of manufacturing and production companies. An ideal location, annual festivities and beautiful neighborhoods are just some of the reasons residents of Gilroy enjoy an excellent quality of life.

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