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.