Tag Archives: rosa parks

Thank You Hall Capital!

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On September 17th, 2019, CommunityGrows had the honor of working with some of Hall Capital staff, to work on  garden maintenance and beautification projects in the Buchanan Mall Garden. These group workdays are a huge help to our staff because it can be difficult to work on large garden projects between teaching classes, curriculum building, and day-to-day work tasks.

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We divided into three groups to be more productive and get more projects done. One team worked in the African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC) garden- they were in charge of cleaning up the garden for the new plants, pruning and deadheading the plants growing there, and cleaning up the beds and sidewalks. The second team created garden journals for the students – they folded and stapled over 100 new journals! Last but not least, team compost- they walked to Rosa Parks Elementary School to go sifted and flipped both of the compost bins. The new sifted compost was then used to plant new plants in the Buchanan Mall Garden.

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At the end of the day, we walked to Rosa Parks to end the workday appreciating our team members and hard workers from Hall Capital.

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Once again, thank you Hall Capital and every member of CommunityGrows that came out! Hope to everyone there again next time!

Fall Back into Garden Class!

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This week kicks off the beginning of garden and nutrition classes at Rosa Parks Elementary School and Rosa Parks ExCEL after school program. (And at school partners including Booker T.  Washington Community Center, Faces SF, too! Classes at John Muir Elementary School, Western Addition Beacon, Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club, and Magic Zone will be starting in the next few weeks!) Here Garden Programs Manager Anna Luberoff shows Mr. Bordallo’s 2nd grade class the calendula seeds they will plant in the garden. They are growing calendula, and other classes planted lettuce this week, which they’ll eventually harvest and make into a big salad for Salad Day!

Every single garden class will celebrate the end of their garden lessons by harvesting, preparing and enjoying a salad together with Ms. Anna and parent volunteers. Salad Days are a fun and delicious way to show students the full life cycle of plants and the deliciousness of local, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

The class will begin by playing a game to see what garden rules they remember (for most students in Mr. Bardallo’s second grade class, this will be their third year learning about gardening, the environment and nutrition!) Later, they will pretend to be alien scientists! As alien scientists, they will need to use all of their observational and sensory skills to determine what plants are currently growing in the garden!

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We’re looking forward to a wonderful season and lots of fun and learning with the kids! This year we’re working with nine partners to teach over 15 environmental and nutrition education classes (an estimated 405 classes between September and June)! We’re increasing our connections between our gardening and cooking curriculum by incorporating more nutrition and cooking lessons into our garden programming, and by expanding our cooking classes to new partners such as Booker T. Washington Community Center and Magic Zone, in partnership with the African American Art and Culture Complex.

Morgan Stanley Brings Sunshine to Our Gardens

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Summer is now upon us! As educators have come to know, the warm weather signals not only some well deserved vacation time, but also an opportunity to catch up with projects that were put on the back burner during the busy school year. Last week, two teams from Morgan Stanley volunteered with CommunityGrows staff to help us out with our summer projects in the gardens at Rosa Parks and Buchanan Mall.

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The day, which started out chilly and overcast, brightened up just in time for the start of the workday! During introductions, the two teams got to know each other with a creative icebreaker that tested both a person’s observations and descriptive skills as well as their artistic ability. In pairs of two, each person was asked to describe an object in nature to their partner who, in turn, was asked to draw the object being described to them. This exercise, one we also use in garden classes to help students focus and sharpen their own observation skills, often produces some interesting — and in some cases, entertaining — pieces of artwork.

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Following introductions, the large crew was broken down into two task forces. The first team headed over to the gardens at Rosa Parks Elementary School, where in-school garden lessons are taught. During the course of the day this team harvested vegetables, weeded the garden beds, turned the compost bins, and helped with general maintenance and planting projects. And they did an awesome job!

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The other team remained at Buchanan Mall working on beautification projects. In addition to planting, weeding, watering, and picking up trash, this team also created journals for the students who will be joining us for the summer session. Students use these journals to draw and label plants and to reflect on their time in the garden. The volunteers even added their own creative flair to the journals, taking clippings from the nearby plants to make the journals special for the students. Everything looked beautiful!

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In addition to their time and energy in the garden, Morgan Stanley also raised funds for our BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) program. As a group, their donation will go to support and cover the stipend of one BEETS member during the upcoming fall session.

On behalf of the staff at CommunityGrows, we want to thank Morgan Stanley for their support and engagement in both our programs and this workday! The gardens look wonderful, and their actions have set the stage for another great year with our students.

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.

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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!

The BEETS: Not Just Gardeners

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In addition to their culinary, resume designing, gardening, and teaching skills, the BEETS added construction to their accomplishments this month!

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Our Rosa Parks Garden Educator Anna led the BEETS in the build, explaining about how ensure the wood was flush and how to properly use the drill.

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For many, this was a new experience — but for others, their skill at construction earned them the nickname Drill Sergeant (we appreciate the pun).

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Did you know that redwood is the best wood to use on raised garden boxes? It is less susceptible to rot and can last as long as 20 years.

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Though the planter was complete, the work was not done yet!

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The BEETS team then shoveled compost and soil and moved it into the newly finished planter box, in preparation for the following week’s community planting.

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All in all, it was another productive day outside for the BEETS!

We want to give a special thanks to Broadmoor Landscape Supply in South San Francisco for donating the compost, to Ashby Lumber for donating the lumber, and to U-Haul for donating a truck for the afternoon.

Yoga and Salad in the Lower Garden

Spontaneous salad day in the Lower Garden

Finding Inner Peas: Yoga in the Gardens

A new tradition has begun at Rosa Parks as students join Seed-to-Mouth Garden Educator, Annie, for weekly yoga sessions in the Lower Garden. The kids have fun choosing Yoga Pretzel cards for the group to achieve, cards which illustrate common yoga poses and encourage health and wellness for the body and mind.

Loving Salad From My Head To-ma-toes

Students at Rosa Parks were treated this month to an impromptu salad day thanks to all of the extra veggies in the gardens. Due to the warm weather and sunny days this Fall, the garden plots are thriving with excess produce filling the beds. Wanting to avoid waste, Annie was inspired to create a spontaneous salad treat, complete with homemade croutons she made the night before! Students loved the salad and the entire bowl was finished in just over 20 minutes.

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Official Salad Days at Rosa Parks started up again this month with the support of the dedicated Green Team!

Four-Ingredient Homemade Croutons

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of cubed bread
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.
  • In a bowl, combine cubed bread, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle olive oil over bread while stirring. Stir well until bread is coated by all ingredients and olive oil is absorbed.
  • Spread bread cubes into an even layer on a sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
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Good Times in the Garden

Besides yoga and salad days, students are also becoming involved in the Lower Garden by helping with watering, weeding, pruning, litter clean-up, and maintenance. Since the start of the school year, the gardens have transformed thanks to the time and energy put in by students, teachers, and staff. With the vibrant mural and the beautiful greens, the space has become a calming and welcoming place for the students to spend time.

What a Transformation!

July 2017

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December 2017

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Moving Heaven and EARTH!

9.9.17-RP-Wkday_IMG_1971On Saturday, September 9, 2017, CommunityGrows kicked off its partnership with Rosa Parks Elementary by literally moving over 40 cubic feet of beautiful soil into the two school gardens. Parents and students, many from the Green Team of the PTA, began arriving around 10am and pitched in where needed. It was a warm and sunny day, with lots of sweat equity going on. 9.9.17-RP-Wkday_IMG_1978An hour into the workday, everyone came together in the lower garden to rehydrate and partake in the delicious spread brought by the parents.9.9.17-RP-Wkday_IMG_1988 One of our new CommunityGrows Advisory Board members, Jessica Jauw, came to help out with her nephew. 9.9.17-RP-Wkday_IMG_1999It was here that our new Rosa Parks Garden Educator, Anna Luberoff, emphasized the dire need to get all the soil moved by 1pm. Crews mobilized with five wheelbarrows, and by the end of the day, all soil had been brought into the gardens. Beds were shaped in an empty area 24 feet wide with 18 inch paths, and soil was added to all the plots. 9.9.17-RP-Wkday_IMG_1976Drip lines were moved, dead plants pulled, and soil broken up and rejuvenated. Weeds invading raised planter boxes and fruit trees were weeded. Strawberry and blueberry plants were transplanted into temporary pots. Raspberries were pruned. Sage was dug up and transplanted. Beds in the lower garden were weeded and soil added. Trash was picked up and paths were mulched with straw. It was an extremely ambitious day for our Garden Educator’s first workday!9.9.17-RP-Wkday_IMG_1994 Congratulations Anna for doing such an amazing job! 9.14.17-RP_IMG_2088-SFW9.14.17-RP_IMG_2083-SFWFor more photos from the day check out our Flickr Photostreatm 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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Great GAP Volunteer Day at Rosa Parks Garden

8.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_1390On Friday afternoon August 11, 2017, volunteers from the GAP came out to help us prepare our Rosa Parks Gardens for the upcoming school year. 8.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_1381After introductions and tours of the Upper and Lower gardens, two groups worked on watering and breaking up a area for planting. 8.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_14328.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_1379Tilling hoes and shovels did heavy work on the hard earth opening up the soil. 8.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_1423Compost was mixed in and cover crops of beans, oats and crimson clover were added to bring nutrients back. The chickens enjoyed the afternoon taking naps in the dirt and fluffing out their feathers. 8.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_1418At the end of the day everyone shared what the experience was like and what they learned. 8.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_1366It was also the last day of our great Rosa Parks Garden Educator, Jay Jordan, 8.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_1454and the second day of his wonderful replacement, Anna Luberoff. IMG_1360Thank you so much GAP volunteers for helping us get the gardens ready for school. For more photos check out our Flickr Photostream here. 8.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_14558.11.17-GAP-RP-IMG_1445

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