Tag Archives: workdays

Three Cheers for the Green Team!

Green Team Members and Volunteers at Rosa Parks Salad Day – 3.14.2018
Green Team Members and Volunteers at Rosa Parks Salad Day – 3.14.2018

As the school year comes to a close, we want to share our gratitude and highlight the Rosa Parks Green Team.

This group of parents are incredible advocates for CommunityGrows’ programs at Rosa Parks Elementary School. They work behind the scenes on fundraising and outreach projects, they’re instrumental in planning and implementing monthly Salad Days with us, and they host garden workdays for Rosa Parks families and neighboring communities. We cannot thank them enough for all of their support and dedication!

The coming school year will bring some transitions within the Green Team, as their current lead member Jocelyn graduates after four years with the group. Green Team member Mie is excited to step into the role, and was kind enough to sit down and talk to us about her involvement with the program. 

Mie has been involved with the Green Team for the last three years. She was initially drawn to participate because of how they combined food, health, and the outdoors all in one program. She enjoys working with a program that engages all the students in the school and finds it rewarding to see the kids hugging the chickens, eating salad, and creating beautiful spaces on campus.

RP Student in Lower Garden with Butterfly Wings

On the role of the garden spaces at Rosa Parks Elementary, Mie says that the visual impact changes the feel of the campus, softening and beautifying the outdoor spaces. Accessible and inviting, all of the students get a chance to experience the garden classrooms each year during our seven-week environmental education and nutrition courses. Mie believes that eating well is a skill that all children should have the opportunity to learn, and that being able to see, taste, and learn from our Garden Educator, Anna, helps to get kids excited about the material they are being taught.

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For Mie, one of the best parts about being on Green Team are the weekend workdays. She is inspired by the dedication from the parents, some whom even stay late to finish projects! The bonding that happens at these events, in addition to the actual work done, strengthens the community identity at Rosa Parks. See photos from the Green Team’s latest workday below.

Rosa Parks Workday – 4.28.2018

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CommunityGrows gives three cheers for the Rosa Parks Green Team!

Workday with Bain & Co and Gateway High School

On September 29, 2017 volunteers from Bain and Co and Gateway High School joined CommunityGrows for a workday in Koshland Garden. Melissa Tang, our new CommunityGrows Director of Programs, working with Adrian Almquist, Garden Programs Manager, led the day and assigned tasks.IMG_2117 These great crews turned the compost, IMG_2111prepped beds in the lower garden, weeded, moved concrete blocks, IMG_2103pruned ivy near the stage and above the shed, IMG_2102chopped down fennel, IMG_2094touched up the mural, aerated roots on trees, gleaned the nasturtiums, weeded grass out of the blackberries, sweep steps and the stage, IMG_2104weeded along outer edge of garden, organized the gloves, checked tool shed, and watered.

During the workday we had a visit from the new Recreation and Park Department’s Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens Program Manager, Mei Ling Hui.IMG_2110She was able to identify one of the mysteries of the garden: a citrus tree that seemed to grow gigantic limes. It turned out that this was a grapefruit tree, IMG_0172and Mei Ling suggested we prune it back and give it lots of nitrogen. We are very excited to discover the identity of this gem in our orchard.

Both Bain & Company and Gateway High School worked very well together, accomplishing so many tasks to get our garden in shape for the fall environmental education classes. IMG_2108IMG_2115Thank you so much for your great work! For more photos, check out our Flickr Photostream here.

GAP Workday in Buchanan Mall

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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The gardens looked healthier after some weeding and trash pickup.

 

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And the water and deadheading went a long way towards beautifying the plots.

 

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Not to mention how welcoming the area looked after the leaves had been swept and collected!

 

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There was also some heavy lifting involved, not that it stopped Colleen! (full disclosure: the bag is filled with leaves).

 

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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.

 

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Morgan Stanley Shines at Koshland Garden

IMG_1470On Wednesday August 16, 2017 a large group of Morgan Stanley volunteers came out to help us get Koshland Garden in good shape for the upcoming school year. After welcomes and introductions by the CommunityGrows staff, Melissa Tang, Director of Programs led everyone on a tour of the garden. IMG_1490The memorial planting garden was under renovation and expansion thanks to a Community Challenge grant from the City of San Francisco.IMG_1535Walking through the rows of beds volunteers learned about and tasted various plants that were growing. In the fruit orchard they got to see apples, lemons, prunes, persimmons, raspberries, blackberries and figs growing for fall harvest. IMG_1495Then volunteers were assigned different tasks that keep them busy for the afternoon.IMG_1517 They got to clean up the memorial circle, prune ivy, IMG_1512rake paths, sweep stairs, weed berry bushes and community beds, IMG_1534as well as sweep the stage, turn over the compost IMG_1505and prune along the fence line. IMG_1531IMG_1528When all this was done, everyone enjoyed watering. At the end of the day the group reconvened to talk about their experiences and what they enjoyed and learned from their visit. Thank you so much Morgan Stanley for providing this volunteer opportunity for us.IMG_1503 We are extremely grateful for your support and hard work! For more photos, please check out our Flickr Photostream here. Thank you again!

Workday with Starbucks!

6.10.17-KP-Wkday-Starbucks_IMG_0580Koshland Garden got a spiffing up on Saturday, June 10, 2017 with the help of a great crew from Starbucks. Thanks to CommunityGrows Advisory Board member Jaromy Schmidt, who manages a Starbucks stores in San Francisco, many of his team came out to support us and brought delicious coffee. Adrian Almquist, Garden Programs Manager led the morning, and got people weeding the pathways, composting, and pruning back blackberries, ivy and mock orange plants.6.10.17-KP-Wkday-Starbucks_IMG_05866.10.17-KP-Wkday-Starbucks_IMG_0583Long time neighborhood volunteer Richard Johnson trimmed the ivy along the ramp of the peace wall. CommunityGrows ED joined the day to meet and greet, take photos and organize the garden gloves, finding 23 lonely right handers! At 1:00 PM some of the community gardeners came by to check out the upcoming plans for garden renovations. 6.10.17-KP-Wkday-Starbucks_IMG_05936.10.17-KP-Wkday-Starbucks_IMG_0589A couple new gardeners were thrilled to finally get a plot and get off the three year wait list. 6.10.17-KP-Wkday-Starbucks_IMG_0584Thank you everyone for a great day. The garden looks terrific!6.10.17-KP-Wkday-Starbucks_IMG_0592

Sun and Fun in Buchanan Mall

6.9.17-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_0510What better way to be outside on a beautiful sunny day, than to give back to the community by spiffing up Buchanan Mall. Citizen Film, the Village Project and most of the CommunityGrows staff rolled up their sleeves to plant and mulch this wonderful space, making it even more inviting. 6.9.17-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_0487This five block area has been undergoing a transformation thanks to Citizen Films and many community partners. Today’s event got kids to put their hands in the dirt and do a lot of weeding and cleaning up of the site. 6.9.17-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_04336.9.17-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_0431They really got into having the responsibility of working with shovels, pitchforks and trowels, all under adult supervision.6.9.17-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_0526The space was truly transformed when the work was done. Thank you everyone for making the neighborhood more beautiful!
6.9.17-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_04766.9.17-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_0455For more photos see our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream here.6.9.17-Buchanan-Mall_IMG_0546

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

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. 1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_007-2eVolunteers 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. 1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_012eMr. 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. 1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_022eAfter 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.1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_024e1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_036e In Buchanan Mall, a five-block greenway on Buchanan Street, volunteers were able to collect trash and spruce up the garden.1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_033e1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_043e 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.1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_058e1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_089e1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_090e At lunch-time everyone met back at the AAACC to have a great lunch and receive thanks for the amazing work they did. 1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_116eThank 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.

Bain & Co Volunteers

bain-workday_group-photo_2A group of great volunteers from the San Francisco office of Bain & Company spent Friday, September 16, 21016 working with CommunityGrows. We met at the African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC) garden, where CommunityGrows’ headquarters is located. To start the day, Kelly ErnstFriedman, CG Deputy Director, Melissa Tang, BEETS Program Manager, and BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) intern Ivan introduced the group to the history and current programs of CommunityGrows. bain-workday_compostBoard members Jaromy Schmidt and Sarah Penny shared how and why they chose to get involved with CommunityGrows. Then the team got to work. We started with some pruning, weeding, and planting in the public beds located outside of the AAACC in Buchanan Mall. bain-workday_aaaccAt lunch time, we walked a few blocks over to Koshland Park on Page and Buchanan Streets. Over lunch, Ivan shared some of his personal experience with the BEETS program with the participants. Then we got back to work. The volunteers spent the afternoon tackling a variety of tasks in the Koshland Park Community Learning Garden, including flipping compost, pruning raspberries, painting over graffiti on the storage shed, and of course lots of weeding and watering!bain-workday_paintingbain-workday_sandIt was a great day to celebrate all the good work we do at CommunityGrows and share it with Bain & Company. Thank you for volunteering! You guys are awesome!9-23-16-wkday-bainco-photo_1For more photos, check out our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream here.

Gateway High Service Day in Koshland Garden

9-30-16-gateway-kp_img_7749On Friday, September 30th, Gateway High School joined CommunityGrows staff Melissa Tang and BEETS intern Ivan Gladamez in Koshland Garden for a volunteer Day of Service. These 15 youth and their Humanities Teacher, Amanda LaBerge, did a lot of weeding, mulching, composting and getting the garden ready for the fall. 9-30-16-gateway-kp_img_7774Great job everyone and thank you so much for making the garden shine!9-30-16-gateway-kp_img_77639-30-16-gateway-kp_img_77699-30-16-gateway-kp_img_77599-30-16-gateway-kp_img_77519-30-16-gateway-kp_img_77569-30-16-gateway-kp_img_7752