Archive for the ‘Islais Creek Watershed’ Category


Bernal Heights Living Library Students Help Develop Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk In Holly Park

Students from the Bernal Heights Branch Living Library & Think Park  based at Junipero Serra Elementary School and Junipero Serra Child Development Center joined Life Frames, Inc., Bonnie Ora Sherk, and the SF Recreation & Park Department in Holly Park to plant California native understory plants at the Appleton Entrance and Entrance across from Junipero Serra Elementary School, as part of the Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk.  The students learned a lot and created beautiful entrances to Holly Park, helping the Nature Walk grow ! 

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3-IMG_6248The Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk is linking multiple schools, parks, public housing, streets and other open spaces leading to 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 whole Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco that links eleven neighborhoods in Southeast and Southwest San Francisco.  Already thousands of native trees and understory plants have been planted and the whole neighborhood is being improved by this new, narrative landscape.

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6-IMG_6258The students planted drought tolerant California Natives including:  Mimulus (Sticky Monkey), Romnya coulteri (Matilija Poppy), Penstemon, Douglas Iris, Yarrow, Aesclepius to attract Monarch Butterflys (native Milkweed), Lupin, Erigonum grand rubescens (Buckwheat), Ceanothus (California Lilac), Lavatera (Mallow),  and other colorful natives ! 

It really looks fantastic now !!!  Please come and see for yourself !

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9-IMG_6397Students learned how to plant from expert, John Miller, Park Supervisor from RPD, and about the 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.

Design and Funding for the project, led by Bonnie Ora Sherk and Life Frames, Inc., which developed the Community Master Plan beginning in 2002, has come from Mayor's Office of Community Development, SF Foundation, California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, and more recently from California Strategic Growth Council.

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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.


Presentation at Van Abbe Museum – A Living Library: Cultivating the Human & Ecological Garden

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

This presentation, A Living Library:  Cultivating the Human & Ecological Garden is currently being exhibited as part of an installation on A Living Library in the Museum of Arte Util  at the Van Abbe Museum in Eindoven, The Netherlands through March 30, 2014.  There is also an installation on Crossroads Community (the farm) in the same exhibition.   Both installations are shown below.




Great Youth Opportunity: Paid Green Internship for Middle & High School Students This Winter / Spring

Check out this fantastic opportunity for San Francisco Middle & High School Students to have a Paid Green Internship with A Living Library and the Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk this Winter and Spring at St. Mary's Recreation Center and Park !  Students will become Environmental Stewards by helping with ongoing development of the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk, planting and helping to establish California native trees and smaller plants, while learning how to care for them as part of this unique paid internship.  Register NOW - Enrollment is Limited !

Sessions will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays after school, starting January 7th.  Students whose school day ends early can begin at 2:45 pm.  Otherwise, students will begin at 3:30 pm, or arrive as soon as they are able after their school day ends.  Please note, participating students will be expected to be involved rain or shine, and on rainy days, related indoor learning activities will be planned.

Spring Student Stewards Flyer

See flyer and application forms for more information:

A.L.L. Student Stewards Winter/Spring Flyer (English)

A.L.L. Student Stewards Winter/Spring Flyer (Spanish)

Application (English)

Application (Spanish)

Completed applications should be submitted as soon as possible to secure a place in this program.

Send completed applications to:  Life Frames, Inc. at 93 Mirabel, San Francisco, CA, 94110

OR,  Drop them off at St. Mary's Recreation Center at 95 Justin Drive @ Murray


Rain, Creek, and Drinking Water: Important for Ecosystem, Living, and Learning

With the addition of many new plants in the OMI/Excelsior and Bernal Heights Branch Living Library & Think Parks, we were also delighted by the visit of more November and December showers that gave our Gardens many, much deserved, long drinks, and softened the soil for planting.

With the falling water and rising puddles to splash, our classes began to learn about the Cycle of Water; water as a significant, precious resource, and the local Islais Creek Watershed that runs under and around our Branch Living Library & Think Parks in Bernal Heights and the OMI/Excelsior. 

Some of our James Denman Middle School Students taught our A.L.L. Garden Teachers how to say the different stages of the Water Cycle, and capture points of water, in Sign Language.  Because of this student training, our Teachers were then able to share this knowledge with many more students in our diverse Branch Living Library & Think Parks.

Learning About The Islais Creek Watershed


Students in Bernal Heights at Junipero Serra Elementary School, were introduced to their Watershed, the Islais Creek Watershed, that interconnects 11 neighborhoods of the City, the largest in San Francisco.  The underground creeks have channeled ground water and rain water for hundreds of years, through the once existing farmland of the Excelsior, and in earlier times, near native Muwekma Ohlone Indian settlements.   Today, the underground Islais Creek can only be seen in areas of Glen Park, since the Creek has been covered and diverted underground from the layering of concrete with city development.

Students Learn:  What Is A Watershed ?


We are hoping to daylight the Creek wherever possible, someday soon, so we can experience its beauty once more, in diverse places in this significant Watershed.   A Watershed Moment For San Francisco Creeks.

Below, a map of the Islais Creek Watershed and some opportunities promoted by A Living Library & Life Frames, Inc.


Our Drinking Water Comes From Hetch Hetchy

Though San Francisco’s drinking water comes from the Tuolomne River in Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite National Park, 200 miles away, we do have many natural water systems here within our city, that can be restored to serve practical, educational, ecological, and aesthetic values.

SF Public Utilities Commission

In December, A Living Library  welcomed visitors from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to the Bernal Heights Branch Living Library & Think Park Gardens and Nature Walk. The SFPUC has been very busy over the past few years reconstructing sewer and fresh water systems and encouraging the protection of natural resources and environments. 

You may have seen them hard at work digging up Cesar Chavez this year.  Chavez is the northernmost frame of the Islais Creek Watershed.  The communities in this Watershed are:  Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview-Hunter's Point, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park. 

We support the PUC in their work to conserve the natural resources of water and land throughout the City, and we work with them in this significant ecological and educational endeavor.  Thank you, SFPUC !

© 2018 Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library

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

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