John S. Clarke and other promoters laid out the town from 1902 to 1905 on part of the Rancho Arroyo Seco Mexican land grant, created by a subdivision of 4,000 acres (1,600 ha). The Clark Colony Water Company, which became the organization for water distribution, filled the city with water from the nearby Arroyo Seco AVA was formed in April 1905. The organized water canal system and ideal growing conditions attracted people of Danish, Swiss and other nationalities from surrounding areas to settle in Greenfield. Today, the Clark Colony Water Company still holds 1916 Prior Rights guaranteeing delivery to its members a certain amount of water from the Arroyo Seco River before any other agencies. In 1906, the district purchased a lot from Edward Greenfield along with two adjacent to the Arroyo Seco Development Company. Clark Colony evolved into Clark City and was eventually renamed Greenfield, in honor of Mr. Greenfield., after the United States Postal Service informed the City that there were too many "Clark Cities" in the state. Greenfield was recognized as a municipality by the State legislature and incorporated on January 7, 1947. Greenfield's first Mayor was Tom Rogers.
The city of Greenfield is located in the heart of the Salinas Valley, formed by the Gabilan Mountains range to the east and the Santa Lucia Mountains range to the west. Greenfield is, approximately 135 miles south of San Francisco, 95 miles south of San Jose and 60 miles north of Paso Robles.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), all of it land.
Due to its location near California's Central Coast, the area is filled with rich soil and desirable climate, ideal for many agricultural and wine companies. Some of the Vineyards and Wineries located nearby are Chalone, Scheid Vineyards, Paraiso Vineyards, Pisoni Vineyards, Hahn Estates Smith & Hook, San Saba, J.Lohr, Kendall-Jackson, Ventana, Hess Select, Estancia, The Michaud Vineyard, and Graff Family Vineyard.
The climate for Greenfield is moderate with average temperatures around 40 degrees in winter and about 80 degrees in summer. High temperatures may reach the low 90's during mid-summer. Most rain falls between October and March; there are 14-20 inches of rain annually. On some occasions there might be a snow fall in the mountains.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Greenfield had a population of 16,330. The population density was 7,647.9 people per square mile (2,952.9/km²). The racial makeup of Greenfield was 5,976 (36.6%) White, 183 (1.1%) African American, 878 (5.4%) Native American, 179 (1.1%) Asian, 13 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 8,453 (51.8%) from other races, and 648 (4.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14,917 persons (91.3%).
The Census reported that 16,301 people (99.8% of the population) lived in households, 29 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 3,460 households, out of which 2,358 (68.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 2,273 (65.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 526 (15.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 301 (8.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 251 (7.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 22 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 282 households (8.2%) were made up of individuals and 115 (3.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.71. There were 3,100 families (89.6% of all households); the average family size was 4.72.
The population was spread out with 5,843 people (35.8%) under the age of 18, 2,159 people (13.2%) aged 18 to 24, 5,023 people (30.8%) aged 25 to 44, 2,530 people (15.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 775 people (4.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25.5 years. For every 100 females there were 109.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.9 males.
There were 3,752 housing units at an average density of 1,757.2 per square mile (678.5/km²), of which 1,829 (52.9%) were owner-occupied, and 1,631 (47.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.9%. 7,874 people (48.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 8,427 people (51.6%) lived in rental housing units.
Greenfield is the second most populous city in the Salinas Valley and is the fifth most populous city in Monterey County. In 2006, Greenfield was the fourth fastest growing city in California growing 15.6%, from 13,270 in 2005, to 15,335 in 2006. As of the 2007 California Department of Finance estimate, there were 16,629 people, 2,643 households, and 2,360 families residing in the city. The population density was 9,781.76 people per square mile (3,779.32/km²). There were 2,726 housing units at an average density of 1,606.5 per square mile (619.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 39.65% White, 1.18% Black or African American, 1.19% Native American, 0.77% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 51.95% from other races, and 5.11% from two or more races. 87.86% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,643 households out of which 65.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.5% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 10.7% were non-families. 7.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.75 and the average family size was 4.83. In the city, the population was spread out with 38.3% under the age of 18, 13.4% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 12.5% from 45 to 64, and 5.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 108.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,602, and the median income for a family was $35,520. Males had a median income of $25,759 versus $23,848 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,226. About 17.1% of families and 21.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.2% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.
In recent years, the town has seen a massive influx of immigrants from the Mexican state of Oaxaca . Many Oaxacans speak indigenous languages not related to English or Spanish. and as a result, They find communication with the large Spanish-speaking and smaller English-speaking population difficult. Probably the largest single block of such immigrants are speakers of the Copala Triqui language, who have fled from poverty and long-standing armed conflict in their native region. Tensions have arisen in the town, as some residents of Greenfield have blamed the Oaxacan migrants for an increase in crime, which they believe has gone unpunished due to Greenfield's status as a sanctuary city. It is estimated that around 3,500 indigenous people live in Greenfield, or about 20% of the population. The town has also become a battleground between Norteno and Sureno gangs ever since the Oaxacan immigration.
The city of Greenfield is centered in one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. 80% of the lettuce grown in the United States is grown in the Salinas Valley. The area has often been coined as the "Salad Bowl of the World". Over $2 billion(US) worth of fruits and vegetables are produced and shipped annually across the U.S. and abroad. As a result, many major vegetable producers are headquartered in the nearby city of Salinas. Local tourism is increasing as more people are attracted to the area, which is also known as the center of "Steinbeck Country" because of famed author John Steinbeck. The area is also known as a premier wine grape growing region due to the rich soil and desirable climate. Vineyards, wineries and wine tasting rooms continue to expand throughout the region.
The Greenfield Union School District(GUSD) has three elementary schools and one middle school. The district serves around 2,500 students grades K-8.The city does have a high school but does not belong to GUSD. Greenfield High School (GHS) belongs to South Monterrey County Joint Union High School District (SMCJUHSD). Greenfield High School serves around 974 students. On February 27, 2008, Greenfield Elementary was placed under no help due to the school's achievement in raising their Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Results under the No Child Left Behind Act for the past five years by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell.Cesar Chavez Elementary[cces]
Mary Chapa Elementary
Oak Avenue Elementary
Vista Verde Middle School[VVMS]
Greenfield High School (SMCJUHSD)
Ventana Continuation School (Closed)
El Camino Real Academy Elementary
Greenfield elementary has raised their test scores really drastically, and Vista Verde Middle School was named most technologically advanced school in Monterey County.
Greenfield holds an annual harvest festival each third Sunday of October.
A Northern Campus for the Yanks Air Museum of Chino, CA will be built in Greenfield on a 440 acres (1.8 km2) plot known as the "Hanson Ranch" purchased in 1994 by museum founders Charles and Judith Nichols. Ironically, in World War II the Hanson Ranch was the site of the Hanson Auxiliary Field. The new airstrip will use the original location and will see World War II aircraft landing there some 75 years later. This planned project will include a museum facility and the 4,250 feet (1,300 m) runway that will support both museum flight operations as well as serve the private aviation needs of both museum visitors and local aviators. The new museum facility is not intended to replace the existing facility in Chino, but to greatly expand the opportunities.
Greenfield is constructing the Tom Rogers Community Museum. Named after the first mayor of Greenfield, it will showcase the history of the city as far back as 1905.
First Night Monterey with the Arts Council of Monterey County has opened in partnership with the City of Greenfield the Greenfield Cultural Arts Center located at 215 El Camino Real in the heart of downtown, Current programing includes: free traditional dance classes, summer art camp for youth and a Thursday night visual arts class. Every other weekend, local Indigenous people of Oaxaca who live in Greenfield, teach language and arts to their youth.
The City of Greenfield has joined with two cities in the sister-city program. This program seeks to reach out to other communities to share and exchange cultural opportunities and to support cooperation among our communities. This program is hosting delegations from each city. They are Acambaro, Guanajuato, Mexico
Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico
Las Jicamas, Guanajuato, Mexico
See also: Media in Monterey County
Local radio stations include K-DON FM - 102.5. Television service for the community comes from the Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz designated market area (DMA). Locale newspapers include the South County Index, Greenfield News, and Monterey County Herald.