Archive for the ‘OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park’ Category

Jan31

A Library Library Goals for 2018

A.L.L.'s Goals for 2018

2017 was another remarkable and productive year for Life Frames, Inc., non-profit sponsor of A Living Library, with relentless efforts to bring ecological greening across many environments of New York City and San Francisco while educating children, youth, and adults about natural systems and the importance of integrated diversity through Learning by Doing. For those who missed our 2017 In Review Enewsletter, click here to know more about all the work we accomplished last year.

As the first month of the brand new 2018 goes by, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder & Director of Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library, shares A.L.L.’s Goals for this year: Continue reading “A Library Library Goals for 2018” »

Dec19

Transformation Of James Denman Middle School Rear Yard From Gray To Green Expands OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park

Barren concrete Rear Yard of James Denman Middle School

What does it take to transform a barren concrete desert into a vibrant garden of colors? It took a Master Plan developed by Bonnie Ora Sherk, a  SF Community Challenge Grant from the San Francisco City Administrator’s Office, a great contractor to remove tons of asphalt and concrete, and teams of enthusiastic students and volunteers to move soil and start planting an ecological wonderland, transforming the formerly barren, dull, and lifeless Rear Yard of James Denman Middle School, in just a couple of months.  Continue reading “Transformation Of James Denman Middle School Rear Yard From Gray To Green Expands OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park” »

Dec19

Now Accepting Applications For A.L.L. Green Futures Paid Internship For Middle School & High School Students – Spring 2018 !

SEE FLYER AND FILL OUT APPLICATION TODAY !

A Living Library is looking for 20 exceptional Middle School & High School students to join its A.L.L. Green Futures Paid Internship Program as A.L.L. Eco-Stewards for the 2018 Spring Semester. Immerse yourself in a hands-on program that integrates many positive ecological disciplines into two-hour sessions, three times a week! Whether you’re getting your hands dirty at one of the OMI/Excelsior Living Library Think Park’s Gardens, or learning about the latest organic edibles, the experiences that A.L.L. Eco-Stewards learn will stay with them for a lifetime. Earn community service hours or a monetary stipend by participating in the Program.

Application to A.L.L. Green Futures Internship - Spring 2018
  • Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays: 3:30-5:30 p.m., January 9-June 5
  • Located at OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park
  • Limited to 20 participants
Dec11

2017 Art + Environment Conference and Unsettled Exhibition: Bonnie Ora Sherk Presents A Living Library in Nevada Museum of Art

  Bonnie Ora Sherk

Since 2008, the Art + Environment Conference at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada, led by William Fox, has been bringing together international artists, researchers, designers, architects, and scholars to create awareness about human interactions with the environment. The triennial event displays the beautiful amalgamation of futuristic artworks in the face of the rapidly changing global environment. This year, the 2017 Art + Environment Conference (Oct 19 - Oct 21 2017) was themed around the Greater West - the geographical region spanning through the west coast of Americas to Australia and New Zealand. The presenters investigated the cultural and environmental aspects of the region through the lens of aesthetics, technology, and imagination. 

Keep reading

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.

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

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