Tag Archives: CommunityGrows

Celebrating 23 Years of CG

IMG_7104Wednesday, October 4, 2017 was an amazing night to celebrate 23 years of CommunityGrows and Barbara Wenger’s upcoming retirement as founder and Executive Director.

The African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC) was abuzz with activity from early morning, setting up the Hall of Culture and firming up last minute details. Barbara Fujimoto, former Advisory Board member, donated the beautiful flowers and huge pumpkins for our decorations (thank you Barb!). By 4pm a few of our BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens), Eluis, Jennifer, Vihn, and Michelle, arrived with Advisory Board members Jaromy Schmidt, Liz Holt, Catheline Leung, Maricel Guinto, Jessica Jauw, and Christina Mathis to volunteer with setup and our silent auction. 22195363_10155462311501140_6421382218067334561_nStaff and VISTA employees Karen Lally and Laura Witzig also did a lot of behind the scenes work.

CommunityGrows staff: Ana Valdas, Karen Lally, Melissa Tang and Osceola Ward
CommunityGrows staff: Ana Valdas, Karen Lally, Melissa Tang and Osceola Ward

Sophie Constantinou, Partner/Director of Citizen Film, arrived to set up the sound and video work with Kevin Myrick, Director of Synergy Moon and sound director for the AAACC. Name tags were laid out…22154658_10155462310931140_8066386578112722340_n…and delicious food from La Mediterranee arrived. the spread included hummus, organic green salad, falafel, spinach and feta phyllo, rice pilaf, chicken pomegranate, and grilled veggies with tofu.22221655_10155462310936140_4789901640448702517_n Jaromy Schmidt, our Advisory Board co-chair and Starbucks District Manager, brought delicious cake pops and homemade cupcakes with the help of Liz Holm, also an Advisory Board member and Dual Store Manager at Starbucks.Jaromy-Liz-Cupcakers-SFW

Over the past few weeks Barbara had been dreaming about all the people that were invited to the party—friends she’d made over the past 23 years. These were friends from her past, from former employees to friends from the neighborhood. There were friends from Hayes Valley, John Muir and Rosa Parks Elementary Schools, the San Francisco Zen Center, youth organizations, partners, City dignitaries and employees, the Tides Center (CommunityGrows’ fiscal sponsor), consultants, funders, and supporters of CommunityGrows. So many of these people showed up to celebrate with her. It was truly a celebration of life!
22195243_10155462311821140_8219625076929008222_n22228403_10155462311536140_5550771335622914786_n
Barbara thanked the AAACC staff and their two new Executive Directors, twins Melora and Melonie Green, for hosting the evening.

Melora and Melonie Greeen
Melora and Melonie Green

The AAACC has been our home office for the past five years. We feel very grateful to serve the community in such a beautiful, vibrant building, which contains such institutions as the African American Shakespeare Company, the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, AfroSolo, Cultural Odyssey, Project Level, dance and recording studios, and functions as an art gallery and historic center.

Ruby Jackson, Office and Events Coordinator, and Michelle Black, Business Affairs Manager for the AAACC
Ruby Jackson, Office and Events Coordinator, and Michelle Black, Business Affairs Manager for the AAACC

The night was about reconnecting, cultivating and supporting the future of CommunityGrows. Along the walls of the Hall of Culture event space, photos of over 150 of our BEETS teen program participants reflected ten years of the program, as well as highlighting some of the 1,300 youth we serve each year. Here are some guests from the evening…

Alex Vazquez, Lily, Sonja Robles and Sonya Watson, past and present Advisors from the Tides Cewnter
Alex Vazquez, Lily, Sonia Robles, and Sonya Watson, past and present Advisors from the Tides Center
Judith Cohen, Director of Handful Players and her husband Malcomb Gissen
Judith Cohen, Director of Handful Players and her husband Malcomb Gissen
Chandler Covington Braddick and Francee Covington
Chandler Covington Braddick and Francee Covington
Adrian and Nanny Almquist with Barbara Wenger
Adrian and Nanny Almquist with Barbara Wenger
Dahlia and Jack Kamesar, Pam Jackson and Valerie Harris
Dahlia and Jack Kamesar, Pam Jackson, and Valerie Harris

Will Newsom was our Master of Ceremonies, introducing everyone and keeping the program moving along. Speakers came to offer their praise and stories about Barbara, including President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, London Breed; Director of Public Works, Mohammed Nuru; Director of the Human Rights Commission, Sheryl Davis; and General Manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Phil Ginsberg. It was an honor to have them there.

London Breed, President, Board of Supervisors; Mohammed Nuru, Director of the Dept of Public Works; Sheryl Davis, Director of the Human Rights Commission; and Phil Ginsberg, General Manager, Recreation and Park Department
London Breed, President, Board of Supervisors; Mohammed Nuru, Director of the Dept of Public Works; Sheryl Davis, Director of the Human Rights Commission; and Phil Ginsberg, General Manager, Recreation and Park Department

One of the highlights of the evening was the music by Con Brio lead man, Ziek McCarter.

Ziek McCarter, Lead singer of ConBrio
Ziek McCarter, lead singer of Con Brio

Ziek came to us in 2011 as one of our BEETS. He was a very shy and introspective guy. Soon after being a BEET, we hired him onto our staff to be a Garden Educator at Rosa Parks Elementary. Music being his passion, he soon broke out with Con Brio, which is now one of the premier rock, pop, and soul bands in San Francisco and the world. They go on tours through Europe, Australia, and Japan (where they are number 8 on the pop charts)! We have deep love for him and were so happy that he and his bandmate came out to play for us that night. IMG_7063

Barbara introduced the staff and Advisory Board of CommunityGrows and our new Executive Director, Kelly ErnstFriedman, who has been with CommunityGrows for the past three years as Director of Programs and Deputy Director. Kelly has a decade of experience working with nonprofits increasing program performance and impact, grant writing, staff management. She has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from American University in Washington DC. Since she’s been with us, she’s expanded programming evaluations, streamlined and strengthened our operations through better record keeping, financial reporting, and engagement with the Board. With the help of our Board members, she secured two AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers last year, increasing our staff capacity by 80 hours a week! We know Kelly will take CommunityGrows to even greater heights!

Barbara also thanked the Koshland Family who gifted us Koshland Park and the Community Learning Garden over 44 years ago. This park and garden continues to be our home-base site for John Muir Elementary School day classes, as well as after-school and summer programs. It is the site of the Western Addition Peace Wall, a seven-year project that honors the families and youth of this neighborhood. The Koshland Family has continued to support our presence in the park and garden and we owe them our deepest gratitude.

Another highlight of the evening, introduced by CommunityGrows Director of Programs, Melissa Tang, was a surprise video done by Citizen Film in honor of Barbara, thanks to Sophie Constantinou.

Sophie Constantinou, Partner/Director, Citizen Film
Sophie Constantinou, Partner/Director, Citizen Film

Many of Barb’s dearest staff and friends talked about the impact she made on the lives of so many people. It was a beautiful tribune which brought tears to our eyes. Here are more guests from the evening…

Abby Winshop-Hoyos, Assistant Manager, Heart of the City Farmers Market and Dee Lewis, former BEET and Advisory Board member
Abby Winshop-Hoyos, Assistant Manager, Heart of the City Farmers Market, and Dee Lewis, former BEET and Advisory Board member
Linda Ruth Cutts, Abbot and Steve Weintraub, teacher, from the San Francisco Zen Center
Linda Ruth Cutts, Abbot, and Steve Weintraub, teacher, from the San Francisco Zen Center
Wendy and Peter Rudnick, Zela Rowland, Richard Johnson, Pam Jackson and Francis Thompkins
Wendy and Peter Rudnick, Zela Rowland, Richard Johnson, Pam Jackson, and Francis Thompkins
Frances Nealey, Paul Olsen, Bob Barnwell from the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association
Frances Nealey, Paul Olsen, Bob Barnwell from the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association
Nora Brereton, Former Director of Programs, Cheryl Clarke, Development Consultant, Heather Groninger, Former Advisory Board member, and Kristen Wolslegel, Former Advisory Board Chair
Nora Brereton, Former Director of Programs, Cheryl Clarke, Development Consultant, Heather Groninger, Former Advisory Board Member, and Kristen Wolslegel, Former Advisory Board Chair
Barb Fujimoto, Adrian Williams, Ashante Smith, Peter van der Sterre
Barb Fujimoto, Adrian Williams, Ashante Smith, Peter van der Sterre

Finally, Barbara tried to answer one of the burning questions of the night. “What am I going to do when I retire?” Here is what she said: “While I’m happy to be leaving this organization with a young, smart and devoted crew, I want to be outdoors more, as well as pursue the visual arts. I envision walking in a forest as a park ranger or being an assessor of our national parks and old lodges throughout the United States. I also hope to be creating and studying art. If anyone has leads of a part-time job doing these things, let me know.”

An amazing crew of Advisory Board members and others stayed to clean up and put the Hall of Culture back to it original self.

CommunityGrows Advisory Board members and staff
CommunityGrows Advisory Board members and staff

It was a night to remember and one joyously celebrated. Thank you everyone!22196309_10155462311176140_3995917989257693357_n For more photos, most taken by our gracious photographer, Judith Keenan, see our Flickr Photostream here.

Speakers: London Breed (President, SF Board of Supes), Mohammed Nuru (Director, Dept of Public Works), Sheryl Davis (Director, SF Human Rights Commission), Phil Ginsberg (General Manager, SF Rec & Parks Dept)

Food:  La Mediterranee and Starbucks

Silent Auction Donors — Thanks to the work of Bob Barnwell and our amazing Advisory Board: Last Minute Gear – gift certificate, Melissa and Mike Mulcahy and Stuart and Jim Michler – wine tasting weekend in Sonoma, Suppenkuche – dinner for two, Stacks – breakfast for two, SF Symphony – two tickets, SF Opera – two tickets,  Yoga Tree – five-class pass, AASC – two season subscriptions, Legion of Honor/de Young – two VIP passes, Urban Putt – two games of mini-golf, Peggy Chipkin – one Feldenkrais lesson, Bluxome Street Winery – wine tasting at Ghirardelli Square, Rochioli – set of wines

Event Space:  African American Arts & Culture Complex

Donors: Thanks to all attendees, and to those who donated but could not attend.

Night of Fun and Games

9.6.17-Joey-the-Cat_IMG_1928Wednesday September 6, 2017, CommunityGrows held its second annual fundraiser at Joey the Cat, an event space and arcade game rental company in the Mission District. 9.6.17-Joey-the-Cat_IMG_1894 The event was sponsored by Kaiser-Permanente and it was a blast! 9.6.17-Joey-the-Cat_IMG_1899Our wonderful Advisory Board put tons of work into raffle prizes and invited many of their friends. We raised over $10K and made lots of new friends.9.6.17-Joey-the-Cat_IMG_1866 Our CommunityGrows Advisory Board did an amazing job reaching out to their networks for tickets and contacting organizations for raffle donations (we almost doubled our raffle tickets total from last year) and working the room to encourage support (special shout out to Abby Blodgett for doing a fabulous job at running the tournaments)!9.6.17-Joey-the-Cat_IMG_1858Some of our favorite moments were Will Newsom’s pop-a-shot challenge that fell to Christina in short order…9.6.17-Joey-the-Cat_IMG_1803…and the “Santa bag” of baguettes that got distributed to a lot of happy attendees and Mission residents on the walk home. Great job, everyone! 9.6.17-Joey-the-Cat_IMG_1824For more photos check out our Flickr Photostream here.

Growing Power-Milwaukee

11-18-20-16-growingpower_20161118_145448On November 18, 2016 three of our staff members flew to Milwaukee to present at the Growing Power Conference hosted by Will Allen. The theme of the conference was “Let’s Scale It Up! Growing Food and Farmers: Best Practices in Growing, Distribution and Community Building.” This post shares some their reflections.
11-18-20-16-growingpower_img_1527Crystal Jones, Cha’Shay Woldridge and Melissa Tang (here with Will Allen) presented CommunityGrows’ programs & model on scaling up through education. For a small community-based nonprofit like ours, scaling may look different but still has a large impact in building our future leaders in the community. Through educating youth we are able to build a connection with growing food, eating healthy food, cooking food and creating a ripple effect throughout the health of the community. Our model creates trust, rapport and consistency with youth as our programs teach youth multiple times a year. We also prioritize and are intentional around hiring a diverse staff, especially from the community. 11-18-20-16-growingpower_img_20161118_145606196_topCha’Shay spoke about her experience in the BEETS program and why she decided to come back as a staff member. We wrapped up our presentation with a cooking demo of hummus pinwheels! 11-18-20-16-growingpower_img_1525We also got to share the day with our former CommunityGrows Garden Educator, Serena Padilla, who now lives near Milwaukee and joined us at the conference.11-18-20-16-growingpower_img_20161119_114152576
11-18-20-16-growingpower_20161119_160108When recollecting about her experience at Growing Power, Crystal Jones, our Seed-to-Mouth Cooking Coordinator, felt without a doubt, that this conference was the most multicultural conference she’d ever been to and had the pleasure of being a part of. “Living in a nation where there is often so much that divides one from one’s neighbor, there was something very remarkable seeing people from every walk of life and countless nationalities, come together for the same purpose. That purpose being, the strength building and betterment of our communities, our future, and our world. Listening to speaker after speaker and interacting with conference attendees, I could tell one thing to be true – that these people (myself included), had come here to talk, listen, learn and be inspired – sure. But more than that, I could tell that I was in a room full of doers. People who would walk away from the conference and put into practice many of the tools they gleaned.”11-18-20-16-growingpower_20161118_154938“One of the most beneficial bits of information I returned home with, was from the “Political Plate” discussion, wherein governmental resources that aid in environmental work and nutrition education locally and globally were shared. I am excited to see how CommunityGrows might be able to make use of these resources and further the work that we do in San Francisco.” 11-18-20-16-growingpower_img_1523
Everyone at CommunityGrows was excited to share this conference experience with our Garden Assistant & BEET alumna, Cha’Shay Woldridge. This was the first time she would speak at a conference, first time flying, and first time in Milwaukee. 11-18-20-16-growingpower_img_20161119_182918460She spoke proudly of her role in the community as a Garden Assistant and offered new insights on how to support communities like the Western Addition. One thing Cha’Shay took away from the conference was “that there are people in this world who care about where their food comes from. They care about making the world a better and healthier place. They are giving people a chance to learn and experience all these new things. We have a voice and it’s getting out there that your body and what you put inside of it is an important thing to know about.” Cha’Shay also commented, “I want to learn about aquaculture, composting, food distribution, soil reclamation, horticulture, and sustainability. This conference inspired me to continue teaching and reminded me how important my job is to me and the community.”11-18-20-16-growingpower_20161118_154058

Joey the Cat Fundraiser

11-16-16-joey-the-cat_img_8610On Wednesday, November 16, 2016 CommunityGrows Advisory Board hosted an evening of fun and games at Joey-the-Cat in the Mission District of San Francisco. Thanks to our sponsors Avila and Associates and Kaiser-Permanente, we enjoyed a great night of skeeball, pinball, hoops, ping-pong, air-ball, and Wack-a-Mole and raised money to support CommunityGrows. 11-16-16-joey-the-cat_img_8648We munched on goodies from Front Porch and Sugar and Spun, as well as wine from Plumpjack, Fort Point Brewery, Stag Dining Group and Souther Pacific Brewing Company. Folks lined up to have their photos taken at our Garden Booth. 11-16-16-joey-the-cat_img_8682There were skeeball competitions and lots of great conversations throughout the night. Guests were treated to a welcome by Advisory Board Co-Chair, Casey Johnson, and Barbara Wenger, Executive Director, and also included a video of CommunityGrows and shout-out from Ziek McCarter, Garden Educator and lead singer of the band Con Brio. A raffle of terrific items including dinner at State Bird and the Boxing Club, as well as a stay at the Monterey Tides Hotel rounded out the excitement of the evening. 11-16-16-joey-the-cat_img_8654A great time had by all, young and old. 11-16-16-joey-the-cat_img_868011-16-16-joey-the-cat_img_867511-16-16-joey-the-cat_img_8673Congratulation to our Advisory Board for working so hard, inviting their friends and making the evening a great success!11-16-16-joey-the-cat_cm_20161116_204917

Tabling for SFUSD Science Teachers

8.11.16-LHS-Faire_IMG_7309On Thursday, August 11th CommunityGrows staff tabled for a lunch-time resource fair at Lincoln High School for San Francisco Unified School District SFUSD science teachers as part of a professional development day. It was a chance for middle and high school science teachers to learn about other resources available to them, and field trips for their students. 8.11.16-LHS-Faire_IMG_7307Our CommunityGrows exhibit focused on the BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens. Kelly ErnstFriedman, Director of Programs and Ivan Gladamez, one of our graduated BEETS talked with teachers about CommunityGrows opportunities.8.11.16-LHS-Faire_IMG_73128.11.16-LHS-Faire_IMG_7319

Stanford University Honors CommunityGrows!

IMG_1951On Tuesday, June 7, 2016 CommunityGrows staff Barbara Wenger, Melissa Tang and Cha’Shay Woldridge joined Advisory Board members Leah Cerri and Abby Miller at Stanford University to receive a $20,000.00 grant through the University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
The university offers a class “Theories of Civil Society, Philanthropy, and the Nonprofit Sector” taught by Dr. Bruce Sievers. The class is in receipt of funding from The Once Upon a Time Foundation, a philanthropic foundation promoting the values and practices of philanthropy.
In common with similar programs operating in universities throughout the country, the class and the associated funding enable students to learn about philanthropy through hands-on grant-making, distributing funds to Bay Area nonprofit organizations in their chosen field.
Students in the class divided into four teams. One team composed of students Celinda Sandoval, Jamie Stark and Montana Morgan, here with Professor Sievers, IMG_1820 choose to focus on an environmental priority. They were particularly concerned with empowering low-income communities to build sustainable food systems. Their goal was to select a nonprofit which fosters a generation that has a deeper appreciation of food and its impact on the environment. The team invited a select group of nonprofits to apply.
CommunityGrows submitted a general operating proposal that supported our three interconnected youth programs. Together, the programs provide a continuum of environmental, garden, and nutrition education, job readiness, and leadership development opportunities for low-income and underserved youth ages 5-19.
It was wonderful to be part of this celebration with other nonprofits, including Youth Radio, Operation Access and Causa Justa::Just Cause and the National Center for Youth Law.
The CommunityGrows staff celebrated afterwards with lunch at the Left Bank Restaurant in Menlo Park before heading back to San Francisco! Great honor and celebration! Thank you!TwoPhotos-SFW

Environmental Literacy Reports: LEAP, ChangeScale and the Environmental Literacy Blueprint.

2011-Conference-Logo-600pixelsFrom 2013-2015, CommunityGrows participated with 17 Bay Area youth leadership and environmental stewardship organizations, all grantees with the S.D. Bechel Jr. Fund, under the consultation of LFA (Learning for Action) and the LEAPS (Leadership and Evaluation to Advance Programs Success) for Environmental Literacy Initiative. As a result of this work three cluster studies were generated to better understand how to most effectively: engage adolescents in supportive early employment experiences; foster meaningful engagements with the environment; and create safer and welcoming spaces for youth populations traditionally underrepresented in the environmental movement. Here is a document on what we learned.

LEAPS Cluster Studies Lessons Learned_06 30 15 by blwenger

CommunityGrows joined the Student Conservation Association, Youth Radio, Rising Sun Energy Center, to help produce the report on Workforce Development. We utilized workforce development models centered on cultivating youth leadership and voice in local environmental and social justice issues as platforms for preparing youth for future job opportunities, and fostering greater connection with the environment. For the development of our models we adapted to our local communities, engaged many different partners, and drew from diverse funding sources. Here is the Workforce Cluster Report.

LEAPS Workforce Development Cluster Study by blwenger


Two other reports were generated by our S.D. Bechtel Jr. Fund grantee cohort which are offered here:

  LEAPS Meaningful Engagement Cluster Study by blwenger

  LEAPS Safer Spaces Cluster Study by blwenger

In August 2015 CommunityGrows presented at the ChangeScale  Convening on Workforce Development with one of our grantee partners, Rising Sun Energy Center. CommunityGrows has also been a partner of ChangeScale and has promoted its objectives to build on the Green 2.0 conversation. This conversation started at the Environmental Education Congress where this report was generated. You can read the report The State of Diversity in Environmental OrganizationsState-of-DiversityPublication-SFWChangeScale also strives to dive deeper to provide practical tips and tools that organizations and individual can enact to create a culture of inclusion and equity. ChangeScale provides a venue for networking and collaboration among the field of Environmental Education providers in San Francisco and the Monterey Bay Areas. At a recent ChangeScale meeting in Mountain View, CommunityGrows staff and other participants were introduced to the California Department of Education’s new publication entitled A Blueprint for Environmental Literacy: Educating Every Student In, About, and For the Environment. BlueprintPublication-SFWThis report was produced by the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s statewide Environmental Literacy Task Force (ELTF). The Blueprint is a plan of action, unifying us with focus and purpose as well as concrete next steps. This is the definition of Environmental Literacy that is used in the report: An environmentally literate person has the capacity to act individually and with others to support ecologically sound, economically prosperous, and equitable communities for present and future generations. Through lived experiences and education programs that include classroom-based lessons, experiential education, and outdoor learning, students will become environmentally literate, developing the knowledge, skills, and understanding of environmental principles to analyze environmental issues and make informed decisions.  CommunityGrows is thrilled to be on the cutting edge of the Environmental Literacy movement and welcomes your involvement.

Harvest Celebration

IMG_5143CommunityGrows Advisory Board and Staff culminated many months of hard work and planning into a wonderful Harvest Festival at Stern Grove Trocadero Clubhouse on Thursday evening, November 5, 2015. Located in a redwood grove with trails, meadows, ponds, and eucalyptus trees all around, the Clubhouse was a beautiful setting. It gave a rustic feeling to the event, with strung lights and stone fireplace adding a magical touch.IMG_4284Delicious food was provided by La Méditerranée and Bi-Rite Catering, with wines and beers from local breweries and vineyards. Wonderful silent auction items included over-night stays, dinners and massages were beautifully highlighted and competitively sought after. Other great items were raffled off during the evening, including tickets to the CA Academy of Science, excursions, dinners and wines.IMG_4266The evening celebrated the programs of CommunityGrows, and featured three BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) alum, Tanea Lundsford, Asante Munson, and Cha’Shay Woldridge. Each spoke about their experiences with the BEETS and CommunityGrows and share what they are doing now.
IMG_5148Music was provided by Benje Graham, a well-known North Beach Flamenco guitarist. A photo room/booth with a beautiful garden backdrop and props was provided for selfie and group pictures. Judith Keenan offered her assistance as the photographer, who’s photos are displayed in this blog.
IMG_5089IMG_5094IMG_5091Thank you to our sponsors, Kaiser-Permanente, DPW-Public Works Department, and the Tides Center for all their support. IMG_5116Thank you to our amazing Advisory Board and staff for such a successful and memorable evening. For more photos from the evening, check out our Flickr Photostream here.

Staff Presents at ChangeScale

8.27.15-SFW_IMG_3117CommunityGrows staff Kelly ErnstFriedman, Melissa Tang and Cha’Shay Woldridge presented with Julia Hatton from Rising Sun Energy Center spoke at the ChangeScale August 2015 Convening: Creating a Culture of Equity and Inclusion. They reported on their work with other Bay Area organizations that made up a LEAPS (Leadership and Evaluation to Advance Program Success) cohort, funded for three years by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Fund. The cohort of seventeen environmental literacy grantees was brought together in 2012 by LEAPS, a group founded by Learning for Action. Participating organizations share commitment to supporting high-school aged youth to develop as leaders and environmental stewards in their communities.
These seventeen LEAPS organizations were engaged in ongoing technical assistance to develop their evaluation capacity since October 2012.
During the first phase of this initiative, organization representatives attended trainings focused on foundational evaluation and learning concepts: theories of change, logic models, evaluation plans, tool development, data analysis techniques, and communicating effectiveness. They also engaged in a range of leadership capacity building activities.
In the phase that followed and with continued support from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr., Foundation, Learning for Action worked with clusters of organizations to develop shared measures around three cross-cutting areas of interest. The cluster study work arose out of an opportunity for the cohort to begin to document its collective story – which was further emerging after Phase I’s work – and the desire to advance organizations’ evaluation capacity through the hands-on, group learning experience this type of project would provide. Organizations worked together to define and form the clusters, collect data, and analyze the emerging stories.
8.27.15-SFW_IMG_3119Here is a little more about ChangeScale. ChangeScale is working to support and advance the cohesiveness, effectiveness, and prominence of the environmental education field. Funded by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. and Pisces Foundations, ChangeScale’s mission is to ensure that every generation is inspired with the environmental know-how to create healthy communities and a healthy planet. Formed in 2010 and comprised of Bay Area practitioners, academics, and funders, the group will create a strategic plan and road map to strengthen and build the field of environmental education, while helping to create a unified voice for the field.
Congratulations everyone for a job well done!
Here are some documents from our three years of work with the LEAPS Cohort:

LEAPS Cluster Studies Lessons Learned_06 30 15 by blwenger

LEAPS Workforce Development Cluster Study by blwenger

LEAPS Safer Spaces Cluster Study by blwenger

LEAPS Meaningful Engagement Cluster Study by blwenger

Vote for CommunityGrows Video!

7.8.15-BTW-NewLib_IMG_2205CommunityGrows entered their video in a Retale Community Garden Video Contest sponsored by Echo-Reducing Hunger, Improving Lives Worldwide. Please go on-line and vote for us here. We would receive $2500 towards our garden program! The contest picked ten gardens throughout the USA to choose from, and we think ours is pretty good!
You can vote a maximum of one time per day (refresh your browser if it says you voted already). Voting ends on September 4.
Thanks for your support!