Our mission is to cultivate healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities.
- CommunityGrows, a project of the Tides Center , was established in 1994 to respond to the tremendous needs in the Western Addition community. Back then we were known as the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Parks Group and our goal was to reclaim Koshland Park from rampant criminal activity. Having been successful, we created the Koshland Park Community Learning Garden and Western Addition Peace Wall and, working in conjunction with John Muir Elementary School, we developed the park’s first community garden and nutrition education program for youth.
- In the past decade, CommunityGrows has renovated and/or maintained eight other parks and gardens in the Western Addition, providing welcoming oases for residents and outdoor classrooms for youth.
- Today, CommunityGrows serves over 1,330 youth each year through three interconnected programs: Environmental Education; Seed to Mouth cooking classes; and the BEETS paid teen internship.
- We have annual budget of $450,000. Our budget has tripled over the past 5 years and we continue to ensure that every additional dollar raised equals additional services for youth.
- CommunityGrows has been featured on the Neighborhood Empowerment Network, in City Star newspaper and the Edible SF magazine and recognized as the “Small Nonprofit of the Year” by Great Nonprofits in 2010.
- Barbara Wenger, our founder and executive director, was awarded the Chrissy Field Community Hero’s award in 2008.
CommunityGrows requires all new and current employees, volunteers and contractors who work with children and youth to have a complete criminal background check on file with Tides Human Resources. Read more about our Criminal Background Check Policy here.
Help us raise funds to get 1,300 youth from low-income communities away from violence and into programs that make them healthy, smart, environmentally educated and create pathways to jobs.