Posts Tagged ‘hands-on learning’

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.

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
Aug24

A.L.L. GREEN FUTURES Paid Internship for Middle & High School Students !!

DCYFfall16ALLGreenFuturesFlyer-page-001 DCYF Fall 2016 Green Futures Application Form For more information contact : Cecilia Frisardi ceciliafrisardi@alivinglibrary.org 781-591-9267
Aug01

Summer Nutrition Classes are in Full Bloom!

Some of the healthiest and most delicious nutrition classes happen during the summer months at A Living Library, when fruit is ripening on the trees and leafy greens are at their finest. Teachers at the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park instructed students on how to prepare a salad. Aug. 1, 2016 Blog Post Continue reading “Summer Nutrition Classes are in Full Bloom!” »
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