NEWS FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO PARKS ALLIANCE  
March 2014 
Grow your veggies! Urban agriculture in SF
In San Francisco -- one of the nation's greenest cities and a major foodie capital -- urban agriculture is a hot topic with many innovative organizations leading the way. We're so proud to count these urban ag standouts among our park partners:
  • NOMADgardens is partnering with real estate developers to utilize empty lots for "roaming" community gardens -- when it's time for a lot to be developed, their portable garden plots can be moved to a new site.
  •  Far Out West Community Garden is partnering with a local church to create a garden and hub on an unused part of their Outer Sunset lot.  
  • Urban Sprouts partners with public schools to offer students the full experience of planting, growing, harvesting and eating crops from their school gardens.  
  •  Garden for the Environment (GFE) offers classes taught by passionate and knowledgeable experts on everything from composting to growing fruit trees at their one-acre farm on land owned by the Public Utilities Commission.   
  •  Friends of Alemany Farm runs San Francisco's largest community farm, which produced seven tons of organic fruits and vegetables last year. The bounty was distributed free to farm volunteers, neighbors, soup kitchens and other organizations.  
  • Thanks to our Street Parks partnership with the Department of Public Works and local residents of the grocery store-starved Ocean View neighborhood, Sisterhood Farms will soon be situated on two acres of land on Brotherhood Way. Neighbors--both recent immigrants and long-time residents--will be able to grow vegetables on the site, building community ties and increasing their healthy food options.
The Recreation and Parks Department has also gotten into the action, hiring a new Urban Agriculture Program coordinator, Hannah Shulman (formerly a garden educator with GFE), to help it establish urban agriculture resource centers, manage the 36 community gardens already established on park properties and streamline the application process for new plots.

Want to grow your veggies? After our five fabulous inches of rain in February, there's something for everyone to do in the garden. Get your hands dirty, harvest fresh greens, play with worms and help increase access to fresh food for all residents of our city. Over the next few weeks, we are  hosting three workshops with Quesada Gardens and GFE to help prospective urban farmers figure out what you need to know!

Executive Director, SF Parks Alliance
Kezar Triangle opening celebration March 22!
Come visit this new and improved corner of Golden Gate Park, just south of Kezar Stadium and bordered by Arguello Blvd, Kezar Drive and Lincoln Boulevard. Thanks to a major gift from the David and Carla Crane Foundation and technical assistance from the Parks Alliance, the Recreation and Parks Department has transformed a muddy, forgotten patch of the park into Kezar Triangle, a triangular-shaped green oasis criscrossed by walking paths. The site also features a "Plot to Grow Art," encircled by a beautiful fence of woven willow boughs. The first art installation will involve a thatch of barley, originally planted in Golden Gate Park to stabilize the sandy soil for other plants.

On Saturday, March 22, Parks Alliance Executive Director Matt O'Grady and Recreation and Parks Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg will host a celebration of the new space, featuring a traditional Ohlone blessing ceremony, a welcome from District 5 Supervisor London Breed, circus performances, crafts and live music. Bring a picnic and join the fun! The celebration will take place 1 pm - 5 pm with a formal program at 1:30 pm.


Hidden Garden Steps continues to build community
The Hidden Garden Steps community continues to grow! Come visit these beautiful steps that are on 16th Avenue, between Kirkham and Lawton streets, in San Francisco's Inner Sunset District. Neighbors and others from our extended community were onsite in large numbers on Saturday, February 21, as a result of two different meetup groups making arrangements to arrive en masse. More than 100 urban hikers joined the "Walking in San Francisco for History and Health" meetup that included a mid-day visit  and many other individuals came out to walk, talk, and enjoy the company of others on site.

Volunteers also gather on the second Saturday of each month from 1 - 3 pm to help sweep, plant, and engage in other routine maintenance activities, and project organizers continue to welcome donations of succulents, California native plants, and other drought-tolerant plants for inclusion in the gardens-in-progress. For more information, please visit the project website (http://hiddengardensteps.org) or contact project representatives at hiddengardensteps@gmail.com.


Mishwa

Want to raise money for your park project? Keep an eye on this space for our 2014 Action Grant application!
 
Last year, the San Francisco Parks Alliance distributed $25,000 in Action Grants to promising parks groups with a vision, including a $5,000 grant to our Volunteer of the Year, Mishwa Lee (pictured above in the Northridge CommUNITY Garden she and her neighbors helped create).
In 2014, we will distribute $30,000! Applications and further details will be made available later this month. Stay tuned!  
Do you have a parks policy suggestion for the Mayor? Let us know!

It's an annual Spring tradition for the Parks Alliance to convene a town hall meeting for the Mayor to discuss parks policy and issues with park advocates.

While we have not yet set a date for the 2014 meeting, we are beginning to identify the topics we most want to raise with the Mayor -- and you can help! Please e-mail  your suggestions to: policy@sfparksalliance.org
Strawberry Hill Volunteer Day - Saturday March 8th! 
 
Join us for a day in Golden Gate Park at SFPA's Strawberry Hill Butterfly Habitat Restoration Project. March 8th at 10:00AM - 2:00PM, come get your hands dirty and help enhance the butterfly habitat by removing invasive weeds and replenishing native plants. Learn more here! RSVP to Julia Brashares at julia@sfparksalliance.org.

What did SFPA accomplish in 2013? 

Find out by downloading our 2013 Impact Report here! Learn about the variety of program areas the Parks Alliance is involved in - policy, philanthropy, Action Grants, playgrounds, Party for the Parks, and our future endeavors. Get involved today! 
BECOME A VOLUNTEER
Join us March 8th
at our monthly Strawberry Hill Restoration workday.
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451 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102  (415) 621-3260