Tag Archives: beets

Summer 2013 BEETS Graduate!

8.8.13-BEETS-SummerGraduation_IMG_2118On August 8, 2013 our Summer cohort of BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) had a graduation ceremony at Hayes Valley Youth Center. Melissa Tang, our new CommunityGrows BEETS Manager officiated with awards and certificates.

In fact, after giving out certificates of completion, some of the fun awards were:
Barbara Nguyen: Future Firefighter
Venyse Sims: Best Attendance
Carlos Martine: Best Work Ethic
Sydni Walker: Future Entrepreneur
Serena Adams-Johnson: Positive Outlook Award
Jennifer Rodriguez: Most Responsible
Candy Williams: Best Bicyclist
Joana Juan: Future Teacher
Joseph Morrison: Best Dancer
Julianna Echeverria: Future Author
Yeurra Baylock: Cool, Calm, and Collected Award

Family and friends joined us and we all celebrated with pizza afterwards. Shakirah Simley, from our Advisory Board gave everyone gift cards to Bi-Rite Grocery.

Herb Smells for Watermelons-Hayward Carnival

7.12.13-BEETS-Hayward_Carnival_IMG_1225CommunityGrows BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) devised a great game for the 2013 Hayward Rec Carnival held on July 12th. Placing different herbs in cloth bags—lavendar, rosemary, basil, lemon verbena, mint and lamb’s ear, the BEETS allowed the kids to reach in, touch and smell the mystery herbs and guess which ones they were.
7.12.13-BEETS-Hayward_Carnival_IMG_1248
The winners got a slice of watermelon. The BEETS made it easy for everyone, and watermelon was a great hit.
The Hayward Carnival is a yearly event for all the youth in the Western Addition to come together and have fun. Lots of music, face painting and games rounded out the day. All of our CommunityGrows Mo’Magic partners were in attendance. A great time had by all!

Camping with the BEETS in the Presidio!

6.23.13-BEETS-Camping_IMG_0936On Saturday, June 22, 2013, nine of CommunityGrows BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) went on their first camping trip. Armed with backpacks, warm clothes, sturdy shoes, a flashlight and toothbrushes, they hopped on a bus at 10 AM which took them into the wilderness, far from their neighborhood for a weekend of adventure. Joined by CommunityGrows staff Nora Brereton, Adrian Almquist and Adrian Gaino, the teens hiked into a campsite surrounded by eucalyptus trees overlooking the Pacific ocean. It was like going a million miles away to a place in nature with fresh air, trees, wild animals like coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and gray foxes, and an extraordinarily diverse wildlife population. More than 600 species, from expansive birds of prey to North America’s tiniest butterfly, make their home in this park. Hard to believe they’d been transported into another part of San Francisco–the Presidio.

Rob Hill Campground is a hidden Presidio gem and is the only camping facility in San Francisco. It is a fantastic venue for outdoor learning and fun. To provide children and youth who traditionally have not visited national parks with overnight camping experiences, the Crissy Field Center (operated by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service), the Presidio Trust, and Bay Area Wilderness Training have developed the Camping at the Presidio (CAP) program.

A guide greeted the youth and orientated them to the campsite and activities. After setting up their tent and cooking area, they had lunch and went on a hike to Lobos Creek with Park Rangers. The hike was educational with a scavenger hunt to find plants and historic landmarks. Then back to camp to rest and prepare for dinner. Yumm…healthy burritos! Everyone hung out and got to know each other better, played games, dominoes and Uno. BEETS volunteer Johanna Peterson and CommunityGrows Director Barbara Wenger came by for dinner.

Then darkness fell and the over-nighters hiked up the hill to a private campfire to roast marshmallows for smores, make banana boats and tell spooky stories. Nora’s tales were especially spooky and left some listening for sounds throughout the night!

At the ungodly hour of 7:30 AM on Sunday, the youth did a “rise-and-shine,” or at least tried to. A breakfast of pancakes was prepared which made it all worthwhile. Then the tents came down and the campsite was dismantled. The Camping in the Presidio bus came to pick them up and take them back to the Hayes Valley Youth Center. This camping trip is one of the highlights of the year for our youth and we were thrilled to offer it to them.

Spring 2013 BEETS Graduate!


On Tuesday, April 30th thirteen teens graduated from our Spring 2013 BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) Program. Two of them, Delvin Tobie Jr. and Shontay Vessell have gone through three sessions for a year-long internship. Other teens who finished the four-month Spring 2013 session are Serena Adams, Claudia Williams, Shayla Averett,Joseph Lilly, Julien Lundh,Jennifer Rodriguez, Mercedes Cross, Julianna Echeverria, Armani Reed and Sydni Walker. After describing highlights in the program, the teens received awards and kudo from staff, family and friends. Cupcakes rounded off the hour, chillin’ and enjoying each others company.

BEETS-Presidio Restoration Project

On Saturday, October 1st the BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) joined the Presidio Trust rangers for a morning of removing invasive species around Mountain Lake Park. The area getting the makeover will become the habitat for the endangered San Francisco Lessingia, which is a rare flowering plant in the daisy family.