Saturday, September 10, 2016 was an exciting day at Rosa Parks Elementary. As usual, this workday was a blowout fantastic event with so many families and friends. It was also the exciting arrival of five new chickens for the coop in the upper garden! Scroll down to read more…The Green Team and other parents from the school laid out a delicious spread of snacks and goodies for everyone to munch on during the morning.A group of neighbors showed up and joined Principal Jacobsen as well as University High School student Ian, and our CommunityGrows staff and BEETS intern, Ivan Gladamez, and Advisory Board member Sarah Penny. Tasks for the day were split between the Upper Garden under Garden Educator, Jay Jordan’s supervision, the Lower Garden under Garden Assistant Cha’Shay Woldridge’s supervision, the Courtyard work under parent Wayne, East Gate, under Jocelyn and the Chicken Coop, under parent Debra’s supervision.Everyone pitched in and the youth went right to work exploring bugs and butterflies, as well as watering.In the lower garden, the teachers’ plots were gleaned and made ready for the new school year. In the upper garden, compost was rotated, tomatoes were staked, vines were attached to arches, weeds were pulled, sage cuttings were planted, and collard starts were prepared.The highlight of the day was the arrival of five new chickens to occupy the newly restored and renovated chicken coop. Everyone wanted to hold the chickens that were very accommodating. We hope they find their home a pleasant place. The students will love taking care of them! For more great photos from the day, check out our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream here.
On Saturday, April 23, 2017 CommunityGrows joined the families of Rosa Parks Elementary School, the student volunteers from University High School, and our BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) and Advisory Board members and candidates, for a very successful workday.. Jay Jordan and Cha’Shay Woldridge, CommunityGrows staff, led the group in a number of projects. Jay started the day with a check-in circle and talked about Earth Day and our commitment to making the world a better place for future generations. Tasks for the day included Upper Garden Projects (led by Jay), Lower Garden Projects (led by Cha’Shay), Kindergarten Yard Planting (led by Jocelyn Herndon), Cul De Sac Weeding (East-led by Christina Bogiages), and cleaning by the shed (led by Mie Yaginuma). One of the biggest accomplishments was finishing the deck of the new greenhouse shed (led by Kat Sawyer, Bret Lobree, Augie Philips and others). David Burnett, Outreach Coordinator for the Recreation and Park Department also joined us with three more volunteers. Here’s a photo of him with Rosa Parks grandparent, Wayne Hiroshima. Some of the highlights of the day were having the University High School students work with us. Another highlight was having our CommunityGrows Advisory Board out in force, and getting to meet future candidates interested in serving on our board. Thank you Rosa Parks Elementary School, Principal Paul Jacobson, the Green Team (led by Regina Deacon and Jocelyn Herndon), the wonderful parents who brought delicious food, and the many volunteers, young and old, that made this day a great success! For more photos from the day, check out our Flickr Photostream here.
On Monday, January 18, 2016 over 90 volunteers came out to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. This event was sponsored by the African American Arts and Culture Center (AAACC) and CommunityGrows. Volunteers began arriving at 8:30 AM on a morning reprieved from the wonderful rain we’ve been having in the Bay Area. After a light breakfast of bagels and coffee, Mohammed Soriano Bilal, Director of the AAACC directed everyone to the buildings Burial Clay Theatre to hear an inspirational talk by John William Templeton. Mr. Templeton curated a African American Freedom Trail brochure which leads visitors to the various historic landmarks, such as the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco founded in 1852, that illustrate the remarkable contributions of African-Americans to the city. He is also the author of “Come to the Water: Sharing the Rich Black Experience in San Francisco,” “Our Roots Run Deep: The Black Experience in California” and other books. 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 bring the African American history and culture of San Francisco, including where to dine, meet, shop and worship. He spoke about Martin Luther King coming to San Francisco and his importance for the African American community.
Then over 90 volunteers, many from the San Francisco Teacher Residency Program, Playworks, Lick-Wilmerding and University High School divided into three groups and traveled to three garden sites to work. A group from Lick-Wilmerding under the leadership of CommunityGrows staff Kelly Ernst-Friedman and Melissa Tang, worked in the garden and parking lot of the AAACC picking up trash and mulching and gleaning the native plants.
A large group from Playworks joined CommunityGrows staff Adrian Almquist, Crystal Jones, and BEET (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) Jennifer Nazara to work in Koshland Garden.Another large group from University High School joined CommunityGrows staff Jay Jordan, Cha’Shay Woldridge and BEET Adrian Valencia to work at Rosa Parks Elementary School garden.
At the end of the workday morning, groups convened by at the AAACC for a delicious lunch and BBQ. So much good work was done to make these gardens and spaces shine. All the volunteers were awesome. Thank you so much to everyone for this very successful day!For MANY more photos check out our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream.