Posts Tagged ‘Think Park’

May24

SF Rec and Park’s Partnership With Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library Receive International Acclaim

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department is proud to announce that its long-time partner, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder and Director of A Living Library (A.L.L.) and creator of the prototype, Living Library Nature Walk which links parks, schools, public housing, streets, and other open spaces leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek, is being featured in this year’s Venice Biennale. The international art exhibition in Venice, Italy, began this week and will continue through November. The Living Library Nature Walk will be exhibited as part of Bonnie Ora Sherk’s installation - Evolution of Life Frames: past, present, future.   Bonnie Ora Sherk is a long-time San Francisco and NYC-based artist, landscape architect, educator, and the Founder and Director of Life Frames, Inc., the non-profit sponsor of A Living Library. Her two part installation also features Crossroads Community (the farm), the pioneering, urban agriculture, multi-arts, environmental education, collaborative artwork that resulted in Potrero del Sol Park, incorporated the Chavez/101 Freeway Interchange, and was also one of the first Alternative Art Spaces in the United States. Sherk was the Founding Director and President of Crossroads Community (the farm) from 1974-1980 and made the original drawings for the Park, which will also be exhibited as part of her installation.   SF Rec and Park’s partnership with A Living Library is part of an overall effort to raise awareness of the importance of green space and to encourage community stewardship of neighborhood parks. A Living Library is a powerful and successful prototype for connecting communities in the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco, and aims to expand throughout the eleven neighborhoods of the Watershed, which include: Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park - and to also transform its two neglected and flooding freeway interchanges - Chavez/101 and Alemany/101 into Northern and Southern Gateways to the Watershed. A.L.L. also provides multiple opportunities within these resilient landscapes for community and school hands-on education about watersheds and natural systems, flood mitigation, climate change, California native species, environmental justice, green skills job training, ecological transformation, all while creating a sense of place and wonder in the City’s open spaces.   “The Living Library Nature Walk showcases how parks can connect our communities, as well as the innovation of sustainable landscapes that can tackle many environmental challenges including climate change, wild habitat restoration and so much more,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “The fact that this project and the associated SF parks will be on display to receive international recognition, is a testament to Bonnie’s commitment to the coalescence of arts and nature.”   The Venice Biennale has been, for over 120 years, one of the most prestigious arts and cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition. The history of the Venice Biennale dates back to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. In the 1930s new festivals were born: Music, Cinema, and Theatre (the Venice Film Festival in 1932 was the first film festival in history). In 1980 the first International Architecture Exhibition took place, and in 1999, Dance made its debut at the Venice Biennale.   Bonnie Ora Sherk says, “It is a wonderful honor and opportunity to have my work recognized in this significant international art venue. A Living Library, which links local biological, cultural, and technological systems and resources, and results in place-based, ecological transformation of communities and schools with integrated community programs, is actually a planetary genre. A.L.L. is both local and global in its reach, and is meant to be created in diverse communities of the world, interconnected through Green-Powered Digital Gateways, so we can share commonalities and diversities of cultures and ecologies - near and far. A Living Library is Cultivating the Human and Ecological Garden.”   Since 2002, SF Rec and Park has been in partnership with Bonnie and A Living Library helping to coordinate the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk. The goal of A Living Library Nature Walk is to connect people and places in sustainable, ecological environments, and call attention to the importance of our Islais Creek Watershed, California Native Trees and Understory Plants, diverse wildlife species, and opportunities for ecological transformation of our city.       This summer, STEAM + Literacy With A Living Library, a hands-on Stewardship Camp for children in 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades will be held in July in the Living Library Nature Walk based at St. Mary’s Park and Rec Center. For more information about the Summer Camp and to enroll, please contact: kentanderson@alivinglibrary.org. For more information about A Living Library, please visit: www.alivinglibrary.org or contact:info@alivinglibrary.org     Please email for additional photos or Bonnie Ora Sherk’s contact information.
Joey Kahn
Media Relations and Policy Manager
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department | City & County of San Francisco
McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park | 501 Stanyan Street | San Francisco, CA | 94117
(415) 831  2741 | joey.kahn@sfgov.org
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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

Dec29

Students Dig in at OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park

Middle and High School Students have been busy in the Living Library Gardens this Fall semester building a new worm farm, digging and planting water-recycling gardens, and cooking up healthy meals of freshly harvested vegetables at the  OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park. During the school day, five hundred students from science classes, special needs classes, as well as social studies and arts classes at James Denman Middle School and Leadership High School come to the garden regularly to learn ecology and science through interactive lessons and team garden activities.

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In a A Living Library's science classes, students discussed the severe drought in California and explored the concept of using local resources in the garden. Together, the classes made the water-wise choice to create a garden that reuses water from the sink in our garden kitchen.

Students cleared out an area next to the sink and shaped the earth into a "Grey water Oasis" complete with an island, native flowers, herbs and cattail pond. Now the water we use to wash hands and dishes has created a vibrant ecosystem enjoyed by the students as well as the butterflies and hummingbirds. A.L.L. Green Futures Eco-Stewards in the after-school program decided to repurpose the old garden sink into a new Worm Farm and built a frame and walls. The A.L.L Eco-Stewards learned how to make a sketch of their idea, measure the wood pieces, and safely use saws, hammers and nails to put together this cozy new home for the worms.

A.L.L. Eco-Stewards measure and cut wood for Worm Farm and enjoy new Grey-Water Garden Oasis that they created.

During science class, students come into the garden to learn about healthy nutrition, harvest fresh vegetables, cook and share food together. In addition to the gardening and building projects, students harvested fresh chard, zucchini, kale, carrots, radishes, beans, and other vegetables from the Gardens and cooked a range of healthy dishes together.

Students prepared dishes with whole grains and vegetables including a tempeh stir fry with black rice, vegetable sushi, quinoa salad with greens and beets, as well as sweet treats such as rice pudding and oatmeal with fresh fruit and spices.

A.L.L. Eco-Stewards wash and prepare vegetables they harvested in the garden.

 We wish to thank the students from James Denman Middle Schools and Leadership High School who cooperatively worked together to make many improvements in their Living Library & Think Park Gardens, Redwood Reading Circle, Farm Learning Zone, and Fruit Orchard this Fall. We are thankful for the recent rains and looking forward to a Spring 2016 Semester filled with many fun days learning in the garden together!

By Grace Dowd
Sep30

FREE Program For Parents & Children with A Living Library & Roosevelt Island Public Library

Please join us again for this exciting Free hands-on learning Program for PARENTS & CHILDREN TOGETHER in NYC on Roosevelt Island !

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A.L.L. Gardening, Literacy, Multi-Arts, Science, Nutrition,

Local History/Ecology 

FREE PROGRAM with

A LIVING LIBRARY & RI BRANCH PUBLIC LIBRARY

Wednesday Afternoons This Fall

September 30 – November 18 | 3:30-5:00 p.m.

RI Living Library & Think Park

Register Now at the RI Library - 524 Main Street, Roosevelt Island 

Enrollment Limited to 25 Families

(Caregivers included) with Children (ages 4-14)

TALK, THINK, FEEL & DO !!!!

Come Grow With Us!

For More Information Contact:

Nicole Nelson: 212-308-6243 / Premilla Dixit Hobbs: 845-443-0386

You can download the application here

Sep15

Bonnie Ora Sherk Discusses A Living Library on ROOSTERGNN, Global News Network !

Astrophysicist, Sinziana Paduroiu, interviewed Bonnie Ora Sherk about A Living Library and her earlier Life Frames for ROOSTERGNN, Global News Network.  Here is the published version, A Living Library - Cultivating the Human & Ecological Garden, which appeared online on September 9, 2014. Enjoy ! OMI before and after Chinatown before & after 2Nature Walk Planting 1A
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A Living Library, Life Frame, Think Park, & A.L.L. are registered trademarks

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