Salt Pond History Exploration

 As a state designated historic landscape, the Oliver Brothers' Salt Ponds are an underused destination. The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center and the adjacent salt ponds offer a historical site ideal for bringing fourth grade social science and environmental study to life. The salt ponds provide students a living “sense of place” where abstract facts about the bay industries from Ohlone life and trade to growth of gold-rush spawned industries become an engaging and interactive discovery.

Note: This program is only offered from September to late November; during the winter, the ponds are too flooded, and in the spring, the ponds are used by Snowy Plovers (an endangered bird) for breeding.

Student will:
  • Identify the resources from nature which humans need to survive
  • Provide examples of how the use of goods and ecosystem services by California Indians influenced the biological diversity of the bay area
  • Analyze the effects of Gold Rush communities and mining on daily life, politics, and the health of the environment
  • Discuss immigration to California between 1850 and 1900 including the conflicts and accords among the diverse groups.
Grade Level
This program is designed for students between 3rd and 12th grade.

Subject Area
  • Life Science
  • Physical Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Social Studies
  • United States History
The program lasts four hours.

The program includes a 15 minute introduction, a 45 minute human timeline, a 2 hour history walk, a 15 minute hands-on boat design activity based on historic transportation shipping, and a 15 minute salt activity.

  • Analyzing
  • Identifying
  • Observing
  • Communicating
  • Inferring
  • Discussing