If you haven’t walked the dirt path around LAKE LAGUNITA for a nice lunchtime break lately, you might want to. That’s because the winter rains have left enough water to make the area a semblance of its former recreational self. In fact, there’s enough water to attract an abundance of wildlife, including Canada geese.
According to a 2010 cover story in Stanford magazine, Lake Lagunita was created as a reservoir to provide irrigation for the orchards and alfalfa fields of the Palo Alto Stock Farm. Today, the mostly dry lake’s primary purpose is as a flood control facility and as a habitat for the California tiger salamander.
But, according to the article, “Lake Lagunita was a part of the Stanford landscape even before the university was founded. From the Pioneer Class to the present day, Lake Lag has always been a focal point of student life. In its heyday, the lake hosted cherished campus traditions such as the Water Carnival (starting in the 1900s and later revived as Hydro/Aqua Follies) and the Big Game bonfire. Now dry most of the time, and never full, its shores continue to provide a venue for recreation, relaxation and reflection—not to mention a backdrop for countless romances.”
Read more about Lake Lagunita, which is located behind Roble Hall, and see images from its past in the May/June 2010 issue of Stanford magazine.