Tag Archives: #GivingTuesday

Supporting Educators and Students — #GivingTuesdayNow


Goal $3,000

Raised $900

Supporting Our Educators and Students

Today for #GivingTuesdayNow, CommunityGrows is raising money to support two very important groups in our community – our students and our educators. During the shelter in place order, our educators remain committed to connecting youth with the gardens and kitchens and continue to work hard to create and share lesson plans with our students and partner schools. Please donate today so that our students and garden sites can continue to grow and thrive with all of their combined knowledge and thoughtfulness – both now as they facilitate distance learning and when we’re all able to be back in the gardens with the kids!  

Supporting Nonprofits Worldwide

#GivingTuesdayNow is a worldwide movement to support nonprofits, charities, businesses, and communities that are being affected by COVID-19.

“#GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity” — from the GTN page, see for more ideas on ways to engage.

GivingTuesdayNow Art

#GivingTuesday 2019

IMG_20191118_145750_323 (1)

Goal $2,000

Raised $2,010 !!

What Is #GivingTuesday? 

#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. #GivingTuesday isn’t just about fundraising, it’s about communities banding together and giving of their time, power, skills, expertise and resources. It’s about the collective spirit of generosity that brings change to our communities.


Why Support CommunityGrows

CommunityGrows is a non-profit organization fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center and committed to cultivating healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities. Through our integrated programs – which combine garden education, nutritious cooking and eating, and work-based learning – youth acquire the necessary skills to live a healthy life for themselves, their families, and the environment. CommunityGrows serves over 1,300 kids each year with seven full time staff, two AmeriCorps VISTA, and many volunteers. Your support helps build our capacity, allowing us to deepen our roots in the community, build stronger relationships with our youth, and increase our impact. In short, a partnership with us grows healthier kids and a healthier planet.

Examples of #UNselfie photos!
Examples of #UNselfie photos!

Ways to Support!

  • Donate! As a nonprofit, we raise most of the money for our programs through grants and individual donations. Your support allows us to provide free garden and nutrition programming to our students and supports our BEETS teen workforce!
  • Share our Content! Looking for other ways to get involved? Help us widen our reach and share our content leading up to the event and on the actual day!
  • Create an #UNselfie! #UNselfie’s became really popular in the last couple of years to support nonprofits. Write out some text about why you donated or support CommunityGrows and then have a friend take a photo of you. Make this photo your profile picture and/or share it on your social media pages!
  • Tag 5 Friends! We’ve all scrolled past a post on a friend’s timeline, but that’s a little harder if you specifically reach out to friends! Even if they can’t donate at this time, it would be great to have folks continue to share about CommunityGrows and widen our impact!
  • “I’m Going!” Click that your are “attending” our Facebook event. The more people we have marked as attending, the more reach the post will have. This will also make the campaign visible to your Facebook followers.
  • Come to a Workday! Get involved with our programming by volunteering at one of our weekend workdays, community events, or classes.
  • Share this List! Have friends that are looking to support a nonprofit? Share this list with your friends, co-workers, book club, sports team, family, roommates, etc. so they can get involved in #GivingTuesday too!
  • Take a Break! You’ve spent so much time helping us out – spend some time for yourself! Maybe get some fresh air in the garden(:
Thank you!
Thank you!

Today Is #GivingTuesday


“Like plants, communities and people need support and care in order to grow. Life is like a plant, in that it never stops growing if it is cared for.”

— Summer BEETS Alum 2016

Here at CommunityGrows, we’ve had the privilege of serving and working with the Western Addition and Hayes Valley neighborhoods for 23 years. (Read our story below!)

And we couldn’t have done it without such incredibly generous and dedicated partners, neighbors, and friends in this community. To everyone who has worked with us in the past and present to fulfill the mission of CommunityGrows and to create these beautiful green spaces where all are welcome – thank you!

Today, on #GivingTuesday, we are asking you to support the right of low-income youth and youth of color in San Francisco to learn from the environment and enjoy the outdoors. Your donation will go toward supplies like seeds and garden tools, books, journals and science kits, stipends we provide to our BEETS students, and the continuation of our garden and cooking classes.

Our Story

Those of you who’ve met our Founder Barbara Wenger will have no doubt heard her favorite story to tell – how Koshland Community Park and Learning Garden came to be – and we love to keep sharing it, because it’s the kind that offers even more insight from the past with each telling.

Read on to learn about how Koshland Park and CommunityGrows were born together from a strong community and the support of a whole neighborhood – and about how we’ve spread our roots to empower its most vulnerable residents. 


“For six years my daughter attended the garden classes. [She] enjoyed getting to spend time at Koshland exploring the plants that grow there. It was the highlight of her week, and she talked about it a lot at home.”

— Shandra Butler, parent of a John Muir Elementary School alum

Creating Koshland

The story begins in 1973 after a fire swept through an apartment building on Page Street. Many residents wondered what would happen to the space where the once-large building now laid in ruins.

The Trust for Public Land, with the support of the generous Koshland family, stepped in and obtained the rights to the land. In the space, the Koshland family aspired to build a park to honor their father. With neighborhood residents’ input and support on the project, the park was opened in 1976 and was deemed the largest new park in San Francisco in over 40 years.

“I see firsthand the positive impact that their programming has on the students… [garden classes were] the most serene time of the day, where the students would find a calmness that can only be found by planting a seedling, measuring a pea pod, or filling a water can with a teammate.”

— Melinda Nokes, former Fourth Grade Teacher and Librarian at John Muir Elementary School


Working With the Community

As the ’80s and ’90s came along, violence and drug abuse rendered the park unsafe, and residents no longer felt comfortable accessing the space. But in response, neighbors and local organizations began working together to improve their community.

In this time CommunityGrows partnered with many groups in Hayes Valley, supporting the demolition of Central Freeway and the subsequent creation of Patricia’s Green Parkway, working with neighbors and community groups to renovate and reclaim parks (like the Rose-Page Mini Park), envisioning the Western Addition Peace Wall at Koshland Park with designs from residents and partners, supporting the construction and upkeep of the Buchanan Street Mall, and overseeing the renovation and transformation of the Koshland Community Park and Learning Garden in the early 2000s.

“To me, the garden represents a place for growth and new beginnings. I liked seeing how much progress plants make even if we don’t usually see them growing in reality. Like garden, our lives are constantly changing. We don’t recognize change in ourselves, but it’s there. We just need to look back to see how much we’ve grown.”

— 2016-2017 BEETS Alum


Youth Development Programs

Today, CommunityGrows’ mission is to cultivate healthy, eco-literate youth by growing gardens in low-income neighborhoods.

Through three (free!) interconnected programs, students ages 5–19 are able to learn in garden spaces and engage with the natural environment in the Environmental Education classes, they can put their gardening lessons to good use in the Seed-to-Mouth cooking and nutrition programs, and they can earn money while learning about green jobs and leadership skills by becoming members of the BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) during their high school years.

CommunityGrows History Booklet

Timeline & Impact Booklet

Click here to download Barbara Wenger’s History of CommunityGrows booklet in PDF format!