About Us

CommunityGrows (CG) co-cultivates healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities. Through outdoor, environmental and nutrition education, we help high-needs youth, especially those living in public housing in San Francisco, develop the confidence, skills and experience to live a healthy life and become leaders in their communities. Each year we engage over 1,300 kids through our garden and cooking programs.

We are a grassroots organization that has served the community for the last 23 years. Cultivation of healthy youth takes time and we continue to build support and solidarity with deep relationships amongst our community partners. CommunityGrows is committed to diversity and equity. Our values include: co-powerment, restorative justice, social justice, food justice, active listening, leadership building, love, compassion, respect, nature, community, resiliency, and peace. (Learn more about our tenets and values here.)


 Open Staff Positions

  Garden Educator

 Open VISTA Opportunities

  Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Garden Educator


The Garden Educator manages the in-school environmental education program at John Muir Elementary, one of our primary Western Addition sites, and is responsible for planning and teaching 8–10 one-hour garden and nutrition education classes a week. The Site Manager will be responsible for managing Koshland Garden and supervising interns and volunteers.

Successful candidates will have a demonstrable track record of working effectively with youth of color in low-income communities, strong classroom management skills, experience in gardening or urban agriculture, and passion for food, social, and environmental justice. The ideal candidate will have a degree in early childhood education, a minimum of one year teaching experience, and a minimum one year managing a farm or garden. The best candidate will have a true love for working with young children.


Program Delivery (35%)

  • Plan lessons and curriculum for gardening classes using the Next Generation Science Standards and OST best practices
  • During the academic year, teach seven in-school classes at John Muir Elementary School and two to three after-school garden or cooking classes a week
  • Teach six to seven classes a week during the summer
  • Develop, organize and coordinate at least one school-wide gardening activity per academic year
  • Co-lead field trips to local farms, gardens, and other sites 
  • Oversee monthly Salad Day at John Muir Elementary
  • Support CommunityGrows general activities and operations, including providing classroom support to our BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) program as needed

Garden Maintenance (25%)

  • Oversee garden maintenance at Koshland Garden
  • Organize & keep track of tools and garden sheds
  • Create garden maintenance schedules
  • Coordinate and oversee community gardeners
  • Assist in the maintenance and stewardship of partner gardens

Coordination & Relationship Building (20%)

  • Schedule garden class schedules with teachers for the fall and spring semesters
  • Collaborate with teachers and partners to create dynamic curriculum that suits different age groups
  • Provide program and organizational updates to principal and teachers on a timely basis
  • Serve as point of contact to the Green Team, teachers, principal, and parents of the school
  • Represent CommunityGrows and advocate for the Garden Program at outreach events in the community

Supervision (10%)

  • Supervise volunteers, BEETS, and interns who assist you in teaching classes and with garden maintenance
  • Act as a mentor and co-teacher in BEETS sessions, as needed

Administration (10%)

  • Keep accurate attendance records and evaluations of classes and curriculum taught and share results with staff, teachers, and partners
  • Input data as needed
  • Communicate clearly with all CommunityGrows staff on a weekly basis

Required Qualifications

  • At least 1 year of teaching experience, especially with youth ages 5–12
  • Experience in urban agriculture, gardening, and/or food education
  • Excellent classroom management skills
  • Strong relationship building skills and ability to communicate effectively with teachers
  • Significant experience working in multicultural communities of color
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to work independently and take initiative
  • Good writing skills and computer proficiency
  • Strong collaboration, mediation, and team-building skills
  • Familiarity with theories of environmental justice; knowledge of environmental principles and issues
  • Pass a background check and TB test prior to start date

Desired Qualifications

  • BA or equivalent experience in early childhood K-5 education, urban agriculture, science, nutrition and health, or similar field
  • Knowledge and practice of restorative justice principles
  • Demonstrated experience in curriculum development, ideally garden based
  • Spanish and/or Japanese bilingual
  • Experience living and/or working in the Western Addition
  • Experience supervising and managing volunteers/interns
  • Possession of a valid CA driver’s license
  • First aid and CPR certification

Physical Demands

  • Able to navigate multiple sets of steps
  • Bend, stoop, kneel, sit and/or stand for extended periods of time
  • Able to lift up to 50 lbs

Work Environment

  • Must be able to navigate local travel
  • Must be able to work outdoors in different and sometimes inclement weather conditions
  • Must be able to teach in a garden setting, which may be dusty or dirty, or have slippery surfaces


This is a full time position at 35-40 hours a week.

Compensation and Benefits

  • $18–$20 an hour to start ($40,000–$42,000 a year)
  • Full benefits, including: medical, dental, vision and life insurance; 10 holidays per year; paid vacation; sick leave

Start Date


To Apply

Please send resume and cover letter to:

Kelly ErnstFriedman, Executive Director

AmeriCorps VISTA Logo


Join CommunityGrows as part of the

AmeriCorps VISTA program!

With support from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), CommunityGrows (CG) will be hosting an AmeriCorps volunteer as part of the VISTA Program. The CG VISTA will help build our capacity and increase our impact by strengthening communication and outreach across our communities.

Marketing and Communications Coordinator


The Marketing and Communications Coordinator (MCC) will will expand upon our current social media and communications strategies, focusing on branding and engagement across various channels.

Tasks Include

  • Analyze and expand communications and outreach plans currently in practice
  • Create a branding strategy and best practices for our online and physical presence
  • Oversee social media posting including: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, website, and blog
  • Work with our Advisory Board’s External Committee to design and launch a community and corporate outreach marketing campaign
  • Develop a communication plan to support garden workdays, fundraising activities, and marketing campaigns
  • Assess our current outreach strategies, including social media, website, and newsletter to determine shortcomings and how we might improve our presence, engagement, and storytelling
  • Develop a communication plan to support garden workdays, fundraising activities, and marketing campaigns
  • Plan and run special events for volunteers, partners and community members
  • Create print collaterals for events and campaigns that align with our social media channels


The ideal candidate will have a passion for youth, the environment and/or nutrition, and experience working with low-income and communities of color.  In addition, a strong candidate will have:

  • Experience with social media, blogging, and/or building social networks
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office, WordPress, graphics programs (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.), and experience with Salesforce and MailChimp
  • Superb writing skills
  • Ability to work effectively as a part of a team as well as independently
  • Ability to adapt to new situations and learn new skills
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills; ability to meet deadlines, multitask, and prioritize

VISTA Program Benefits

Benefits of the VISTA program include:

  • $24,120 per year living allowance
  • $5,575 post-service education award (to be used toward future education or toward payment of federal student loans) OR $1,500 end of year stipend
  • Healthcare benefits (learn about VISTA healthcare benefits)
  • Professional development opportunities
  • 10 personal days and 10 sick days

VISTA Program Requirements

In order to apply for AmeriCorps VISTA, the following minimum qualifications must be met:

  • Be at least 18 years old upon entering VISTA training. There is no upper age limit.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status.
  • Not be listed in the National Sex Offender Registry database as having been convicted of sex-related crimes.
  • Be willing to submit fingerprints for a criminal history background check.
  • Be in a position to offer full-time service for one year beginning July 14th, 2017 and ending July 13th, 2018.
  • Be able to relate previous education, training, military, or work experience, and demonstrate other relevant skills or interests necessary to perform a specific VISTA assignment.
  • Be willing, to the maximum extent practicable, to live among and at the economic level of the low-income people served by VISTA projects.
  • Understand that VISTA is a full-time, 12 month commitment and are required to serve an average of 40 hours per week.
  • VISTAs are allowed to attend classes; however their studies must not interfere with VISTA responsibilities. A VISTA must discuss taking classes with his/her supervisor before enrolling. If classes do interfere, the VISTA may be asked to either withdraw from the course(s) within one week or asked to end their service.
  • VISTAs are allowed part-time outside employment; however under no circumstances may a VISTA member be an employee of or a contractor for the sponsor or project to which he/she is assigned to.
  • VISTAs cannot be subjects of legal proceedings (civil or criminal) that may consume time needed for VISTA assignments. VISTA service cannot be used to satisfy service requirements of parole or probation.
  • Attend a CNCS-sponsored VISTA Pre-Service Orientation Training from July 11–14th. (Travel, lodging, and meals for orientation are covered by VISTA program.)

To Apply

Applications for this position must be submitted through the My AmeriCorps portal.

View and apply to our VISTA opportunity listing here.

Learn more about the VISTA program and how to apply for a VISTA position.

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