‘Not a typical research project’: How maps and an enchanted garden in Oakland are teaching UC Berkeley students about the Bay Area’s past

March 13, 2024

Exploring past and present through maps, stories, and community engagement with the American Cultures Center

A unique collaboration between UC Berkeley's Department of Geography and Canticle Farm, an oasis in Oakland's Fruitvale district, has provided students with hands-on learning about the Bay Area's past and present. Through this project, students are untangling the site's complex history, learning about injustice, and exploring the hidden stories of their own backyard. Using maps and primary documents from the Earth Sciences & Map Library, students are uncovering layers of historical significance, shedding light on Indigenous ecology and the impact of colonization. The project goes beyond traditional research, fostering a supportive environment for students to engage with community members and gain valuable life lessons about empathy, activism, and the power of place.

Berkeley Library