A Living Library = A. L. L.

Everyone and everything on Earth and in Space is part of A Living Library of diversity: people, birds, trees, air, water, and all the things we create, such as - parks, gardens, schools, curricula, artworks, networks, communities, celebrations. A Living Library, or, A.L.L., for short, provides a way to understand that culture and technology are part of nature. It’s all nature.

A Living Library provides a powerful systemic framework, multiple methodologies and strategies for creating place-based, ecological change in communities and schools - locally and globally.

A.L.L. integrates local resources - past, present, future - and transforms them with community, to become vibrant, content-rich, art-filled, ecological learning landscapes; each Branch linked to another.

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Updated by @alivinglibrary

Recent Updates

Apr30

A Living Library: Cultivating The Human & Ecological Garden – Presentation By Bonnie Ora Sherk

Please enjoy A Living Library:  Cultivating the Human & Ecological Garden, a Presentation by Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder & Director ofLife Frames, Inc. A Living Library.

Jun04

Site Meeting With CA Natural Resources Agency For Living Library Seneca Avenue Transformation – A BIG Success !!

Principals, City Agencies, Neighbors, Parents, Funders, Friends, ALL:   Your participation was greatly appreciated on June 5, 10-12 noon. We met onsite in front of San Miguel Early Education School, 300 Seneca at 10 am. Our proposal had been shortlisted by CA Natural Resources Agency for a sizable CA Prop 1 grant to redo the whole Seneca Avenue Sidewalk on the SFUSD property side from San Jose Avenue to Cayuga (shown in green below)  into a series of California Native Learning Zone Rain Gardens that will completely transform and beautify the street, as well as create multiple learning opportunities for students, including learning about the Islais Creek and the Islais Creek Watershed, in which the site is located. This is still a competitive grant process. The more participants at this meeting was extremely important, so the great attendance was imperative to show the 7 State Representatives that the schools, parents, community, and city agencies actively support this work to be done.  It was a success !!         We had a great event !  Multiple city agencies, our D11 SF Supervisor and staff, school district officials including school principals participated as well as many community residents and groups from the neighborhood.                                         If awarded, this grant will provide a significant influx of resources for this D11 community and the students.                         The sidewalk on Seneca is currently a barren, wide heat island that drains directly into the overflowing sewer in the Cayuga Valley where the Islais Creek still runs underground. Our plan is to create Native Rain Gardens that will allow rain water to percolate into the aquifer as well as be used to water native trees and colorful, understory plants.                   The work on Seneca will also complement the work we will be doing in the rear yard of Denman creating CA Native Learning Zones with a CCG Grant from the City. Additionally, the Seneca Avenue Transformation and its parallel Oneida Streetscape Transformation, which began in 1999, by Life Frames, Inc., and all of the Living Library Gardens, including the new one for Denman’s Rear Yard, is envisioned to become part of the expanding A.L.L. Islais Creek Watershed Nature Walk throughout this Watershed, the largest in San Francisco, that interconnects 11 neighborhoods including: Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park, Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola.                                                                                 Brief description of proposed project submitted for Prop 1 funds:

     

OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park Seneca Avenue Streetscape Transformation/Islais Creek Watershed Restoration

                                      Seneca Avenue between San Jose and Cayuga Avenues is currently an extremely long, wide, sterile and barren, concrete and hilly expanse, with very little visual or ecological relief, that delivers great amounts of stormwater during rain events directly into the sewer system. The rain comes down the long hill from San Jose Avenue into the flooding Cayuga Valley, where it overpowers the already overburdened sewers and adds to flood problems under Balboa High School and in many homes in the path of the historic Islais Creek, which still flows here.                        However, this situation actually provides an extraordinary and exceptional mitigation opportunity:                                     Seneca Avenue borders on four SFUSD schools and affords an extremely significant ecological LID transformation opportunity to create a continuous California Native Drought Tolerant Learning Zone for all ages of the thousands of primarily low-income, culturally and linguistically diverse students – PreK-12 – from all of these schools: Leadership High School, San Miguel Early Education School, James Denman Middle School, and Balboa High School. Our proposed, resulting OMI/Excelsior Living Library Seneca Avenue Streetscape Transformation will function as a series of rain gardens with deep infiltration that will help divert stormwater from the sewer system and use instead for beautiful California native landscapes of trees and colorful understory plants, bringing cheer, delight, and health to this current concrete desert, as well as providing habitat for diverse species of wildlife, and mitigating the heat island effect, which will save energy from nearby school buildings and homes in the area.                       Our goal is to plant California Native Drought Tolerant species in mulched, good composted soil, that will divert stormwater away from the sewer while also beautifying the currently bleak environment for students and the whole neighborhood along Seneca Avenue. It will become a California Native Learning Zone for students, who will participate in the planting and maintenance of the trees and understory plants, and also contribute greatly to the further development of the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park Master Plan developed by Life Frames, Inc., led by Bonnie Ora Sherk in 2000-2001, and currently being implemented in stages in the area.     This Living Library Seneca Avenue Streetscape Transformation and the already existing Living Library Oneida Streetscape Transformation on the eastern parallel side of the Schools' complex completed in 1999, will additionally together become part of the expanded A.L.L. Islais Creek Watershed Nature Walk that is being developed to interconnect multiple schools, parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces throughout the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco. This Watershed frames and interlinks eleven communities: Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park, Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola. (Please see attached existing Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk Master Plan and Islais Creek Watershed Map showing expanded Nature Walk throughout the Watershed)     Although the total, approximately 9 acre SFUSD complex of the four schools, bordered by San Jose Avenue on the northwest, Cayuga Avenue on the southeast, Oneida Avenue to the east, and Seneca Avenue to the south, has many acres of dry and dusty, non-permeable asphalt and concrete, it also has historical flooding problems from the underground Islais Creek that runs under Balboa High School, as well as from large storm events. This Streetscape Transformation will help to mitigate these issues.  
May24

SF Rec and Park’s Partnership With Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library Receive International Acclaim

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department is proud to announce that its long-time partner, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder and Director of A Living Library (A.L.L.) and creator of the prototype, Living Library Nature Walk which links parks, schools, public housing, streets, and other open spaces leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek, is being featured in this year’s Venice Biennale. The international art exhibition in Venice, Italy, began this week and will continue through November. The Living Library Nature Walk will be exhibited as part of Bonnie Ora Sherk’s installation - Evolution of Life Frames: past, present, future.   Bonnie Ora Sherk is a long-time San Francisco and NYC-based artist, landscape architect, educator, and the Founder and Director of Life Frames, Inc., the non-profit sponsor of A Living Library. Her two part installation also features Crossroads Community (the farm), the pioneering, urban agriculture, multi-arts, environmental education, collaborative artwork that resulted in Potrero del Sol Park, incorporated the Chavez/101 Freeway Interchange, and was also one of the first Alternative Art Spaces in the United States. Sherk was the Founding Director and President of Crossroads Community (the farm) from 1974-1980 and made the original drawings for the Park, which will also be exhibited as part of her installation.   SF Rec and Park’s partnership with A Living Library is part of an overall effort to raise awareness of the importance of green space and to encourage community stewardship of neighborhood parks. A Living Library is a powerful and successful prototype for connecting communities in the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco, and aims to expand throughout the eleven neighborhoods of the Watershed, which include: Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park - and to also transform its two neglected and flooding freeway interchanges - Chavez/101 and Alemany/101 into Northern and Southern Gateways to the Watershed. A.L.L. also provides multiple opportunities within these resilient landscapes for community and school hands-on education about watersheds and natural systems, flood mitigation, climate change, California native species, environmental justice, green skills job training, ecological transformation, all while creating a sense of place and wonder in the City’s open spaces.   “The Living Library Nature Walk showcases how parks can connect our communities, as well as the innovation of sustainable landscapes that can tackle many environmental challenges including climate change, wild habitat restoration and so much more,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “The fact that this project and the associated SF parks will be on display to receive international recognition, is a testament to Bonnie’s commitment to the coalescence of arts and nature.”   The Venice Biennale has been, for over 120 years, one of the most prestigious arts and cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition. The history of the Venice Biennale dates back to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. In the 1930s new festivals were born: Music, Cinema, and Theatre (the Venice Film Festival in 1932 was the first film festival in history). In 1980 the first International Architecture Exhibition took place, and in 1999, Dance made its debut at the Venice Biennale.   Bonnie Ora Sherk says, “It is a wonderful honor and opportunity to have my work recognized in this significant international art venue. A Living Library, which links local biological, cultural, and technological systems and resources, and results in place-based, ecological transformation of communities and schools with integrated community programs, is actually a planetary genre. A.L.L. is both local and global in its reach, and is meant to be created in diverse communities of the world, interconnected through Green-Powered Digital Gateways, so we can share commonalities and diversities of cultures and ecologies - near and far. A Living Library is Cultivating the Human and Ecological Garden.”   Since 2002, SF Rec and Park has been in partnership with Bonnie and A Living Library helping to coordinate the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk. The goal of A Living Library Nature Walk is to connect people and places in sustainable, ecological environments, and call attention to the importance of our Islais Creek Watershed, California Native Trees and Understory Plants, diverse wildlife species, and opportunities for ecological transformation of our city.       This summer, STEAM + Literacy With A Living Library, a hands-on Stewardship Camp for children in 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades will be held in July in the Living Library Nature Walk based at St. Mary’s Park and Rec Center. For more information about the Summer Camp and to enroll, please contact: kentanderson@alivinglibrary.org. For more information about A Living Library, please visit: www.alivinglibrary.org or contact:info@alivinglibrary.org     Please email for additional photos or Bonnie Ora Sherk’s contact information.
Joey Kahn
Media Relations and Policy Manager
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department | City & County of San Francisco
McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park | 501 Stanyan Street | San Francisco, CA | 94117
(415) 831  2741 | joey.kahn@sfgov.org
Visit us at sfrecpark.org
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Watch us on sfRecParkTV
Sign up for our e-News
 
May04

PreK-12 Garden-Ecology-Multi-Arts-Literacy-Nutrition Outdoor Educators (Diverse Locations SF)

compensation: TBD employment type: part-time non-profit organization

PreK-12 Garden / Ecology / Multi-Arts / Literacy / Nutrition Teachers (part time) Diverse Locations SF-Available NOW !

This year-round position is a unique opportunity to work with a leading-edge, creative, environmental and educational nonprofit, Life Frames, Inc., dedicated to integrating community resources and creating transformative ecological and multicultural learning landscapes. Called A Living Library & Think Park, this program works with local schools and other community resources, to build on-site educational organic gardens and content-rich landscapes interlaced with other ecological elements, including the arts and digital technologies. A Living Library is linked to the curricula of the schools and animates all subjects through real-world experience. Students, together with adults, are involved in all aspects of the research, planning, design, implementation, use, maintenance, management and communications of the transformed learning environments and integrated community programs. (Life Frames, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to establishing a team of staff and volunteers who reflect the multicultural and linguistic diversity of the communities that we serve.)

Job Description:

Dynamic Teachers For Middle School & High School, plus some PreK-5 Students: Organic Gardening / California Natives / Ecology / Multi- Arts / Technology / Literacy / Nutrition Teachers (part-time diverse SF locations)The dynamic, inspired, and cheerful, outdoor educator will be leading groups of K-12 students and teachers, in hands-on learning and doing, in: organic & native gardening and tree planting, multi-arts including digital media, literacy and nutrition projects, as well as leading students in researching local ecology, history, watersheds, and existing local community, including its natural, multicultural, and built resources. You will be doing extensive student outreach & recruitment, attracting students for hands-on, learning programs, and leading gardening, related landscape, and arts activities as standards-based learning processes. You will be communicating about sustainability, ecological systems and native landscapes as well as performing community outreach activities with children and adults in ways that are fun, educational, and relevant. You will also help with some administration of program.

Qualifications:
  • The exceptional candidate must have at least a B.A. and knowledge of science, organic gardening, California native species, and the arts; digital media a plus ! MUST ALSO BE AN EXCELLENT GARDENER !• Must have extensive experience teaching, including Elementary, Middle School and High School students - working creatively and artistically with all learners with knowledge of Common Core Standards
  • Must be excellent and have ease in managing and leading groups of students with good classroom management skills in an outdoor setting
  • Must have a dynamic, outgoing personality and ability to attract middle school youth's participation in hands-on afterschool and summer program and captivate and hold young students' attention
  • Must be an excellent organic gardener, tree planter, and landscaper with knowledge of botany, cycles of life, insects, natural pest management, companion planting, California Native species, plant communities, nutrition & health
  • Knowledge about San Francisco ecology and watershed systems very important !
  • Must have excellent communication, writing, research skills & experience with curriculum development; knowledge of state standards a plus
  • Must have an evolved aesthetic/design sensibility; ability to draw well is fantastic and able to make attractive digital flyers a real win; carpentry skills are desired; digital media, video & other art skills a real plus!
  • Bilingual Spanish, Tagalog, Cantonese, or Mandarin, a real plus !!!
  • Must be creative, hard-working, strong with a can-do attitude, a self-starter, resourceful, flexible, team player, good team teacher, and able to also take direction from the Director
  • Ability & willingness to do some administrative work and social media !
  • Must be able to do physical gardening work and be able to lift 50 lbs
 
To find out more about A Living Library: please visit our blog: www.alivinglibrary.org Reply to the Founder & Director with cover letter & resume:  bonnieora@alivinglibrary.org
Jan26

Bonnie Ora Sherk Presents A Living Library To Educators At Nevada Museum of Art

The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno is presenting a STEAM TEACHER TRAINING and invited Bonnie Ora Sherk to give Keynote Address: PastedGraphic-2-page-001   unnamed Bonnie Ora Sherk’s Keynote Address:  Steam + Literacy With A Living Library excited the enthusiastic crowd of Nevada educators, city leaders, and others at the Nevada Museum of Art on January 28so much that they now want to develop a Reno Branch Living Library & Think Park.  Stay tuned as this exciting opportunity evolves …
CITY PLANNING : DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN EXPERIENCE
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2017  8 am – 4:30 pm
Reception to follow - Nevada Museum of Art | 160 W. Liberty St. Reno

Imagine a blank canvas where you are given the freedom to design a city from the ground up. Join us for an exploration of this topic through the STEAM lens to discuss city planning for the next generation. Through hands-on activities and presentations, you will bring these material to life in your classroom.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Bonnie Ora Sherk | Landscape Architect, Artist, Educator, and Founder/Director of A Living Library which transforms derelict urban spaces and hidden watersheds into thriving art gardens, resilient learning landscapes,and education centers for children and adults that uses STEAM + Literacy to impact communities.

Will Roger Peterson | Founding Board Member and Board Chairman, Burning Man Project, Black Rock City Planner and Designer

FREE training open to all educators in Nevada.
Includes: continental breakfast, lunch, and reception.
Upon completion participants will receive 0.5 In-Service Credit

VISIT GREENPOWER.DRI.EDU TO REGISTER 

Contact Craig Rosen, DRI Community Relations and Professional Development Administrator at craig.rosen@dri.edu or call 702-862-5332 for more information.
 
Dec13

Arte y Cultiva/Art & Cultivation In Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park At Junipero Serra Early Education School

The Living Library & Think Park at Junipero Serra Early Education School has been transformed this Fall by students, teachers and volunteers working hard to bring life and beauty to the Lower Garden. From Kindergarteners to Fifth Graders, over a hundred students have spent weeks in the Garden, pulling weeds, watering thirsty perennials, creating pathways and building a worm compost to feed the Garden! For some time now, this Living Library & Think Park Garden was needing some TLC, and starting in September it received some enthusiastic helping hands! Bean trellises were built, signs in both Spanish and English were made, and a beautiful mural depicting the relationship between humans and other forms of nature was painted on the stairwell of the Lower Garden.

A fantastic volunteer, Salvador from Chile, graced us with his construction skills and fixed many structures in the Garden. He helped to rebuild garden beds and lent his hand to bringing color and art into the environment ! Thank you, Salvador for all of your hard work!

bedprep-2Growing spaces were rebuilt, soil amended and cultivated with seeds.

plantingbrassicas-34th and 5th Graders planting Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and Kale.

beantrellis-2Ms. Monica’s and Ms. P’s Kindergarten Classes planted the beans that quickly climbed up the trellis that the older students helped to erect.

searchingforworms-2-2 searchingforworms2-2-2

Students learned all about worms in Ms. Kristin’s and Ms. Alex’s classes and then went on a scavenger hunt in the Living Library Garden looking for worms, leaves, grass and twigs to add to the worm compost they built.

bilingualsigns-2bilingualsigns2-2 The majority of students at J.Serra are native Spanish speakers, so we wanted to make their Living Library Garden a bi-lingual space. Beautiful images and scientific terms surround the outdoor classroom

  The Lower Garden at Junipero Serra is in bloom and students truly love spending time there. Their Living Library & Think Park is a year-round sanctuary for not only children, but for our wonderful pollinators like hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. The amount of imagination, smiles and laughs that are growing in this ecological and happy environment is enough to bring the roses to bloom and seeds to germinate. The young gardeners of Bernal Heights and the Mission District are busily transforming their Living Library & Think Park Garden into a magical space for humans and other forms of nature, while learning to plant seeds of kindness everywhere they go.   Written by Alexandra Grubb
© 2017 Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library

A Living Library, Life Frame, Think Park, & A.L.L. are registered trademarks

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