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A Living Library = A. L. L.

A Living Library provides a powerful systemic framework, methodology, and strategy for creating placed-based, ecological change in schools and communities - locally and globally.

A Living Library (A.L.L.) incorporates local resources, and transforms them to become vibrant, content-rich, 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.

Aug17

Another Great Salesforce Crew Volunteers To Plant Living Library Nature Walk !

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On August 14 another great group from Salesforce led by Aditya Devhar, joined forces with Life Frames Inc.'s, Bonnie Ora Sherk, and Recreation and Park Deparment Staff in Holly Park, to plant more California Natives in the Living Library Nature Walk.  On this day, their work focused on the Children's Playground in the Park.  Ceanothus, Matilja Poppies, and fragrant Salvia were planted under the existing Ceanothus Ray Hartman trees that had been planted earlier as part of the Nature Walk.

IMG_7501The Living Library Nature Walk is linking multiple parks, schools, public housing, and streets in the area through a new narrative landscape, all leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek at the south side of St. Mary's Park.  This Nature Walk is a prototype for what could be happening throughout the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco that interconnects eleven neighborhoods in Southeast and Southwest San Francisco

Everyone had a great time on this day, and the area is greatly improved !  See for yourself !

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Aug17

A.L.L. ECO-Stewards Learn Green Skills & Help With Planting & Plant Establishment of Living Library Nature Walk

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This summer a group of neighborhood High School youth from nearby Alemany Dwellings were paid interns who met three days a week and learned green skills by helping with the planting and plant establishment of the California natives in the Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk in St. Mary's Park.  They received a monetary stipend for their work, while also making a contribution to their community.  Have a look at these young people at work !

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Aug09

Thriving Redwood Circle in Living Library Nature Walk Lands Beautiful Boulders & Native Understory Plantings

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We are so excited that our Redwood Circle in the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk at the south side of St. Mary's Park circling Alemany Farm near the currently hidden Islais Creek, is very healthy and growing ! 

John Miller from SF Recreation & Park Department (RPD), and I, found, purchased, and planted four gorgeous boulders on July 18, to help define the entrance to the Redwood Circle planted with California Native Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens).  Funds from our grant with California Strategic Growth Council were used.

This Living Library Nature Walk is a prototype, narrative, ecological landscape transformation, that could be occurring throughout the whole Islais Creek Watershed, the largest watershed in San Francisco, that interconnects eleven neighborhoods.  In Bernal Heights, this Nature Walk is connecting multiple schools, parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces calling attention to the Watershed, the Islais Creek, and diverse native species of plants and wildlife.Lyngso Bouldersjohn&boulders Boulders PlacedTwo days later, on July 20th, we hosted two volunteer groups to plant the entrance area, and add native riparian understory plants in our Redwood Circle plant community, as well as some large Dogwood trees (Cornus nuttallii) and native shrubs on the nearby hillside.  Our plant palette included a few varieties of Dogwood, California Rose, Sword Ferns, Wild Ginger, Redwood Sorrel, Woodland Strawberries, Huckleberry, and other species. It is beautiful !

Young Adults from Jewish Community Federation began the morning planting, and the NYC  YMCA Global Teens High School Students representing every NYC Borough, participated in the PM Volunteer Group, along with Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder & Director of A.L.L., Craig Heckman of the Alemany Farm's Native Area Group, Jasmine Woo, our Summer Nature Walk Intern, Brian from RPD, and Yiwen Gong who came from Yale University to participate ! 

Everyone had a fantastic time, and hundreds of native plants were planted.  Our Redwood Landscape is growing and becoming a more lush environment!  Have a look !

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JewishCommFedGroupAnd, then the PM Group, the NYC High School Students came to the site, and finished all the planting !  A great day and a beautiful transformation !  The Redwood Circle is so beautiful and a wonderful place for respite !!!  It is our natural cathedral in the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk in St. Mary's Park

Thank you all, for your generous help and contribution to growing the Living Library Nature Walk  !!!

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Aug09

Bonnie Ora Sherk Interviewed For New Video About A Living Library

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Bonnie Ora Sherk was interviewed in the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park Lower Garden on August 8, 2014, by Starr Sutherland, who is shooting and editing a new video on A Living Library, for Producer, Patricia  Watts, Founder & WestCoast Curator for ecoartspace. This video will be shown on the ecoartspace website as a companion piece for a prior video interview with Bonnie Ora, in which she discusses her earlier art works, linked here.

Stay tuned to see the new video !   See pics below of Starr and colleague Matt, getting ready for the video shoot:

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Aug09

A.L.L. Green Futures Stewards Practice Sustainable Business And Sell Bountiful Produce To Neighbors !

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This summer our A.L.L. Green Futures Student Stewards learned about Sustainable Business, the Triple Bottom Line, and how best to present to the public, by preparing their abundant fruit and vegetable produce, making floral bouquets, packaging seeds with colorful labels, and then selling their bounty their Farmstand at the neighborhood BART Station.  All proceeds from their efforts will go back into supporting their Afterschool and Summer Program.  For their efforts, they earned $126 dollars, learned math, and had fun !   Have a look at their adventure !

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Aug09

Chinatown Living Living Library Students Make Ice Cream & Learn Math !

Children in the Chinatown Branch Living Library had a real treat with A.L.L. Teachers Briggin and Danielle !  They made delicious ice cream, adding fresh fruits from their gardens, and using rock salt and ice to freeze the flavored cream.  The children also learned math through measuring all the ingredients.  Have a look at these adorable pics !

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Jul02

Two New Exciting Art Exhibitions Feature A Living Library & Bonnie Ora Sherk – In Italy and NYC !

RI Living Library & Think ParkFOODshed: Art and Agriculture in Action, curated by Amy Lipton at Smack Mellon Gallery in adorable Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY,  from June 7-July 27, features Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library.  The exhibit focuses on New York artists who work with food and agriculture.  This exhibition features A Living Library, and specifically showcases an installation on the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park. View more information about the exhibit on the Smack Mellon Website and ecoartspace blog.   Also read the FOODshed Press Release.

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uVJ7Frjozuqw5ZMQfgMepMmERf6MYy34upRHY0645CEBelow are views of the installation on A Living Library at Smack Mellon Gallery in NYC:

IMG_6798IMG_6812Another exciting exhibition that features Bonnie Ora Sherk's work with A Living Library and her earlier Life Frame,  Crossroads Community (the farm),  is in Turin, Italy, at Parco Arte Vivente (PAV).  The international exhibition, which opened on May 30 through November 2, is Vegetation As A Political Agent, curated by Marco Scotini and Andris Brinkman. The Museum has invited Bonnie Ora Sherk to visit Turin this fall, and explore with the Museum and local community, the opportunity to create a Turin Branch Living Library & Think Park

Please see press release, website, and installation views below:

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Jul01

Roosevelt Island Branch Living Library & Think Park: Preparation & Planting On Roosevelt Island Day – June 21

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Elementary School Students from Roosevelt Island learned science, math, and literacy, and about gardens and plants while preparing the garden beds of the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park for the Annual Living Library Planting on Roosevelt Island Day, this year, held on June 21.

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And they wrote about their experiences in their A.L.L. Journals...  .and then continued to dig in the earth !

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14IMG_6649And, then came the planting on Roosevelt Island Day - June 21 by the community led by Bonnie Ora Sherk !   A great time was had by all and another beautiful Living Library Garden was created by the Roosevelt Island community !!!

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Stay tuned for updated pictures as the beautiful RI Living Library Garden grows !!!

 

Jul01

Volunteers From Salesforce Plant California Natives In Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk In Holly Park

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Two Volunteer Groups from Salesforce led by Jillian West and Dennis Won, joined Life Frames, Inc., Bonnie Ora Sherk, and SF Recreation & Park Department in Holly Park on May 2 and May 7, respectively, to prepare new planting beds, and plant California natives in Holly Park, as part of the Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk.  Volunteers helped tremendously in developing the new native landscapes in the Park, and the Living Library Nature Walk is growing and blooming with gorgeous colors !

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Volunteers planted all California Natives: Lavatera, Mimulus (Sticky Monkey), Yarrow, Douglas Iris, Penstemon, Romnya coulteri (Matilja Poppy), and other colorful natives.

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The Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk links schools, parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek at the south side of St. Mary’s Park.  The Nature Walk is creating a new, expressive,  narrative landscape that is a prototype for what could be occurring throughout the whole Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco, that interlinks eleven neighborhoods:  Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park.

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More volunteer events are coming up !  If  you would like to participate, or would like more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact us: info@alivinglibrary.org

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Jun13

Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library Featured at Open Engagement Conference at Queens Museum

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Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library were featured at the Open Engagement Conference on Social Practice Art at the Queens Museum in New York, on May 17, 2014.  The panel focussed on Watersheds, and Ms. Sherk discussed, with a slide presentation, the Branch Living Library & Think Parks underway at five schools in the Islais Creek Watershed in San Francisco, and the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk, that is linking multiple schools, parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces, and that serves as a prototype for what could be happening throughout the whole Islais Creek Watershed, the largest watershed in San Francisco, that interconnects eleven communities. 

The audience was very interested and several groups from around the United States want to now develop a place-based, Branch Living Library in their community.

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Matthew Friday wrote: "Many thanks to Gregory Sholette, Linda Weintraub, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Iain Kerr, and Emily Vail for participating in the Watershed Panel at Open Engagement. So excited to be able to sustain a fluid and dynamic conversation about this important topic and looking forward to future collaborations."

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© 2014 Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library

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

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