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Viewfinder: Kensington's Blake Garden a Place for Learning, Solitude

Students, nature lovers find their own peace among trees, walkways of university-owned estate garden.

Kenginston's 10-1/2 acre Blake Garden can be deceiving. While it may appear deserted, gardeners, volunteers, a student, a mother with two small children, a dog and its owner, an older couple, and a writer are each tucked away in their own natural haven, with only occasional sounds like the scrape of a rake to give them away.

The University of California at Berkeley-owned property attracts students from preschool to college age, including interns from Albany and El Cerrito high schools. The residence, once part of a private estate and later the home of the university president, is now used for occasional faculty meetings and departmental events. 

Located at 70 Rincon Road, just below the Kensington library, the garden is open to the public 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays excluding university holidays. Well behaved, leashed dogs are welcome.

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