On Friday, September 8th, volunteers from GAP joined CommunityGrows in Buchanan Mall and the AAACC to help us get the gardens in shape for the Fall season.
We started our afternoon with a visit from two Citizen Film representatives. They shared the story of how the community came together to create, and now maintain, the Buchanan Mall street gardens.
For the first part of the workday, we divided and conquered. One group assembled student journals for the Rosa Parks garden classes, while the other group began working in Buchanan Mall.
The gardens looked healthier after some weeding and trash pickup.
And the water and deadheading went a long way towards beautifying the plots.
Not to mention how welcoming the area looked after the leaves had been swept and collected!
There was also some heavy lifting involved, not that it stopped Colleen! (full disclosure: the bag is filled with leaves).
Thank you so much to the GAP volunteers for taking part of their Friday to help us clean up and give the gardens a fresh new look for Fall! Check out our Flickr page for more photos.
On Monday January 16, 2017 CommunityGrows joined the African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC) to honor Martin Luther King Jr with a presentation and workday in various sites in the Western Addition. Great volunteers joined us from all over the Bay Area, with an especially large contingent from Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. Volunteers met at the AAACC to sign in and enjoy a light breakfast. Then they were treated to a short presentation by John William Templeton, who spoke of the impact Dr. King had on the African American community in San Francisco. Mr. Templeton is well known for curating a brochure entitled The African American Freedom Trail, and authoring books such as Come to the Water: Sharing the Rich Black Experience in San Francisco, and Our Roots Run Deep: The Black Experience in California. He is founder of ReUNION: Education Arts Heritage, an instructional video network designed to provide culturally responsive curriculum to schools globally. Templeton also operates SF Soul Shuttle tours which highlight the African American history and culture of San Francisco. After the presentation, volunteers divided into groups to work at three sites: Buchanan Mall, the AAACC, and Koshland Garden. They were able to clean a large parking lot adjacent to the AAACC, collecting trash and renewing the native plant garden along the periphery. In Buchanan Mall, a five-block greenway on Buchanan Street, volunteers were able to collect trash and spruce up the garden. A few blocks away at Koshland Garden, CommunityGrows staff Melissa Tang and Paul Bergkamp sent teams of volunteers with our BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) to different areas of the garden to flip compost, lay wood chips, pick up trash, prune trees and vines, weed, mulch and harvest peas, broccoli and mustard greens. At lunch-time everyone met back at the AAACC to have a great lunch and receive thanks for the amazing work they did. Thank you everyone for a great day to uphold the values of giving back and volunteering for this important cause. A special thanks to Peter Merts for his beautiful photos! His photos can also be found on our CommunityGrows flickr photostream here.
On Saturday, December 12, 2015, the African American Arts & Culture Complex held it’s 15th Winter Carnival. While Santa met youth inside the Complex with toy giveaways, and food, carnival and fun games prevailed in the parking lot. There were performances by Project Level, Village Dancers, Talent Allstars, PUSH Dance Company, Larkin Bukido Karate, Capoeira Angola,the UMCA Hayward Reconnect and others. Some of the most fun was outside with the pony rides, checking out the animal farm, riding the saucers, flying the twirly-whirl, doing the arcade, and playing in the snow. Great time was had by all. For more photos from the day, check out our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream.