Posts Tagged ‘Landscape Architecture’

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.

May08

A.L.L. Green Futures: Paid Summer Internship for Middle School Youth !

This is a great opportunity for youth to learn green skills, do art and cooking, learn about sustainable business with A Living Library Farm Stand, and mentor younger children in diverse ECO/Art activities. View the Flyer and fill out the Application below today ! Summer15ALLGreen Futures Flyer-page-001__1430504551_23.241.97.142          
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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Feb18

Bonnie Ora Sherk Discusses The Meaning of A Living Library With Young Students

IMG_7937_Fotor_Collage_Fotor__1424126135_73.15.149.33Students from Junipero Serra Elementary School learned about the meanings and metaphor of A Living Library in a discussion led by Bonnie Ora Sherk, as part of a class in the Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Afterschool Program. Afterwards, the children incorporated their ideas and made an illustrated book describing A.L.L.
Through a lively discussion, children learned:   A Living Library of Diversity on Earth and in Space includes: People, Birds, Trees, Air, Water, Plants, and the things we create, such as Parks, Gardens, Schools, Curricula, Artworks, Networks, Communities, and Celebrations. A Living Library demonstrates that Culture and Technology are part of Nature. It is all Nature!
Feb09

Another Fantastic Salesforce Volunteer Group Grows A Living Library Nature Walk !

Helen Chan led another fantastic Salesforce Volunteer Event on December 17 in St. Mary's Park planting California Native Understory Plants in the Oak Allee, adding beauty and health to the Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk. IMG_7955_Foto<em>r_Collage_Fotor__1423168042_73.15.149.33 This planting was accomplished in conjunction with Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder & Director, Life Frames, Inc. and A Living Library Nature Walk, and John Miller, Park Supervisor, SF Recreation & Park Department. This Living Library Nature Walk is linking multiple parks, schools, public housing, and streets, leading to currently hidden Islais Creek at the south side of St. Mary's Park, near Highway 280 in San Francisco. The Nature Walk is a prototype for what can be occurring throughout the whole Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in SF that interlinks eleven communities in southeast and southwest SF, through creating a new, narrative native landscape interconnecting diverse community assets and resources, framed by the Watershed. Also, proposed is development of Northern & Southern Gateways to the Watershed, that would incorporate the currently derelict 101 Freeway Interchanges at Chavez/Potrero/Bayshore (to become Northern Gateway) and Alemany/Industrial Way/Bayshore (to become Southern Gateway).  More about this exciting opportunity later. Stay tuned.......
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