Archive for the ‘Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park’ Category

Mar23

Students Transform Street and Their School Adding To Living Library Nature Walk

Mar. 23, 2016 Blog Post During the month of February, 2016, people from different parts of California came together to transform a street and add to the Living Library Nature Walk on Bernal Heights in San Francisco.  This ecological beautification project involved creating 12 new sidewalk garden beds on formerly sterile concrete sidewalks, and planting them with California Native Trees and Understory plants in front of Junipero Serra Elementary School on Holly Park Circle across from Holly Park. Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder & Director of Life Frames, Inc. created the design for the planting, and then connected with the various San Francisco Departments that helped make it all possible.   The California Strategic Growth Council generously provided the funding for the project as part of their grant for the full Living Library Nature Walk throughout the neighborhood that is linking multiple 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. * Mar. 23, 2016 Blog Post In December, 2015, the SF Department of Public Works, led by Urban Forester, Chris Buck,  removed the concrete in order to create the new 12 garden beds - and enlarge some of the existing tree basins.  SF Unified School District Landscape Department led by Rick Maia delivered compost from Recology in order to improve the soil quality in the new garden beds.  Now it was time to get planting.  93 Students from Junipero Serra Elementary School led by A Living Library Teacher, Kristin DeRose took part in the planting.  It was the students excitement and enthusiasm to help beautify their school that really moved the project forward.  Once planting was complete, the SFUSD Landscape Department donated and delivered a huge pile of wood chips, which the students used to mulch the new garden beds.   There were so many extra wood chips that the students mulched all of the trees on the block !   Through this whole, hands-on learning and transformation project, students discussed the importance of planting natives to improve air quality, increase water percolation, restore the natural Watershed, and re-attract native wildlife species to the area. They also learned about diverse native California plant species, drought tolerant plants, and how this street planting will help improve the quality of life in this neighborhood.  The children were thrilled to be so empowered by their actions ! Students planted 5 trees, 18 native shrubs and 75 native Understory plants.  We plan to keep continue planting on the side street bordering the school as part of the Nature Walk. *  This Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park is a prototype for the whole Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco that interconnects eleven communities:  Bernal Heights, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park, Noe Valley, Mission, Potrero Hill, Bayview.  It is envisioned that this Nature Walk will be expanded to connect these communities by developing a new, expressive, resilient landscape interconnecting them where they have been disconnected by freeways and other streets.  We are also proposing that the Chavez/101 Freeway Interchange and the Alemany/101 Freeway Interchange become the Northern & Southern Gateways to the Islais Creek Watershed. Mar. 23, 2016 Blog Post
Jan26

Unexpected Outcomes !

As A Living Library Garden/Ecology/Multi-Arts/Nutrition/Health Teacher, I plan each lesson with an educational outcome in mind. For instance, last week I wanted the students to learn about different kinds of edible roots; we looked at examples of plants with “taproots,” like carrots, “tubers,” like potatoes, and “bulbs,” like onions and garlic. My goal is that each lesson in A Living Library Garden & Think Park at Juniperos Serra Elementary School has a hands-on component as well. For my root lesson, we started with a discussion and photos, and then planted potatoes and garlic in the garden. After I gave instructions and handed out garden tools, I was immediately met with opposition by three students in the class.

Hands on their hips, disgusted looks on their faces. “I don’t want to get my hands dirty!,” they exclaimed.  “Me too,” another retorted, “I hate when I get dirt on my fingernails!”

Planting Potatoes in the Garden

I showed them my hands, thoroughly covered in dirt. “REAL gardeners” I explained, “get their hands dirty, we will wash out hands after garden class.” Then, I went to get the other students started on planting.   Without much thought I turned around, and to my surprise the three “anti-dirty” students were hands deep in the soil, giggling and playing with a worm they had found. Minutes later I heard them enthusiastically call my name, “Ms. Kristin! Look at my hands,” smiling, they waved their soiled hands in my face, “I am a real gardener too!”

Dirty Hands!

I love how quickly children are willing to change their minds. Adults are so set in their ways, myself included.  We have steadfast opinions about what we like and don’t like, and we are not easily swayed otherwise. I think this trait can be detrimental, as we may miss out on new opportunities and experiences.

I would like to think that in five years, while my A Living Library Garden Students may not remember what a “taproot” or “tuber” is, they will have held on to the sensation of having their hands in the soil. They won’t be afraid to get their hands dirty, and they will dive into the opportunity to spend time amongst plants.

By Kristen DeRose

Sep23

Artist Talk TONIGHT ! Evolution of Life Frames: Past, Present, Future by Bonnie Ora Sherk

Dear Friends! I would like to invite you, your friends and family to attend my talk on Evolution of Life Frames – Past, Present, Future – Wednesday, September 23, 7 pm, in Danforth Hall, adjacent to the Mills College Art Museum.  This talk is being given in conjunction with the Exhibition, Public Works - Artists Interventions, curated by Christian Frock and Tanya Zimbardo. Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 12.33.06 pm TONIGHT : September 23, 2015 at Mills College Art Museum in Oakland.  7:00 pm | Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College I hope to see you !  Pictured below on the announcement for the Exhibition, is my work:  Sitting Still l, when I was actually facing my future, in addition to demonstrating how a seated human figure can transform the environment. Come tonight to learn more !MCAM_PublicWorks_card-page-001
May27

Green Skills Paid Internship for Youth – HS-21 years: A.L.L ECO Stewards Summer 2015

Sign Up NOW !  Space is limited,  Bring or Send your Application to St. Mary's Recreation Center, 95 Justin, San Francisco, CA 94110.  Page1  
Apr22

PRESS RELEASE: SF Rec and Park Partners with A Living Library to Celebrate Earth Day

Contact: Connie Chan - 415-895-0689, connie.chan@sfgov.org
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department

SF Rec and Park Partners with A Living Library to Celebrate Earth Day Living Library Nature Walk Connects San Francisco Parks and Neighborhoods

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SAN FRANCISCO – In honor and celebration of Earth Day, 2015, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department in partnership with A Living Library announced the completion of interpretive signage for the Living Library Nature Walk. The Living Library Nature Walk takes place in San Francisco parks and other community resources throughout the Islais Creek Watershed, which is now continuing its development to be the largest trail to interlink eleven neighborhoods including, Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, Ocean View, Merced Heights, and Ingleside, Sunnyside, Glen Park and possibly more.

"Earth Day is really Every Day ! So, we are creating the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk as a wonderful way to link the rich resources in this community, and showcase the currently hidden Islais Creek at the south side of St. Mary's Park and Highway 280, by planting this new, narrative California native landscape,” said Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder and Director of A Living Library. “The opportunity is to expand this Nature Walk to interconnect the eleven neighborhoods of the Islais Creek Watershed - the largest in San Francisco, and demonstrate how we are all interconnected with each other, and diverse species of plants and animals."

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According to Earth Day Network, Earth Day is honored around the world on April 22, although larger events such as festivals and rallies are often organized for the weekends before or after April 22. Many communities also observe Earth Week or Earth Month, organizing a series of environmental activities throughout the month of April.

“SF Rec and Park’s partnership with A Living Library is our overall efforts to raise awareness for the importance of green space and to encourage community stewardship of our neighborhood parks,” said, Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “The Living Library Nature Walk showcases how parks can connect our communities, as well as the innovation of sustainable landscape that can tackle many environmental challenges including climate change, wild habitat restoration and so much more. It is a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day.”

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Since 2002, SF Rec and Park has been in partnership with Life Frames, Inc., non-profit sponsor of A Living Library coordinating the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk. The program links local schools, parks, public housing, streets and other open spaces leading to the Islais Creek.

The goal of A Living Library is to connect people in a sustainable, ecological environment, and call attention to the importance of California Native Trees and the Islais Creek Watershed. Other city agency partners in this initiative include: San Francisco Housing Authority, San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco Department of Public Works, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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

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