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Phone: 415-235-1756
762 Fulton St
San Francisco
California 94102-4119
USA
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Target demographics: low-income, high needs youth, especially those living in public housing in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhoods

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500 youth and 400 adults (from John Muir School, Hayes Valley North & South Redevelopment, YMCA Beacon Center, Park stewards and volunteers for five parks/gardens, families receiving produce, participants at events, workshops, celebrations).

Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: help us at our workdays-sign up for our newsletter by sending your e-mails; become our volunteer coordinator; help with office work and data entry.

Geographic areas served: Western Addition/Hayes Valley San Francisco

Programs: Koshland Park Community Learning Garden
This garden is located in the lower part of Koshland Park, on the corner of Page and Buchanan Streets in San Francisco, CA. The garden is ground zero for most of our programs and serves hundreds of youth and neighbor each year. It is a 54- plot garden shared by the students of John Muir Elementary School and community gardeners.

The primary goals of the Community Learning Garden are to help at-risk youth in the community to develop an understanding and passion for nature, to build core academic and interpersonal skills, and to create a sense of community and caring between neighborhood youth and adults.

Environmental Education Classes
• John Muir Elementary School-Western Addition Beacon Center and Hayes Valley Youth Center
Our environmental education classes with John Muir Elementary School offer the Science Content Standards to all students. These classes help students improve their learning through hands-on experience and activities in the outdoor classroom at the Koshland Park Garden. Students also have an opportunity to continue their learning in our afterschool and summer programs.

• Garden Workdays with groups, high schools and youth organizations
Numerous groups, high schools and youth organizations work with CommunityGrows on a regular basis, bringing their youth to the Koshland Park garden for classes in gardening, composting and park maintenance.

BEETS-Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens
We are also hoping to continue our successful BEETS Program (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employed Teens), a green jobs training program for low-income, underserved teens in the Western Addition. This is a six-month stipend program that meets every other Saturday for six hours and every Wednesday after school (for 1.5 hours). Some of the activities include workshops on recycling (Norcal Transfer); nutrition (Next Course): composting (Garden for the Environment); bike maintenance (SF Bike Kitchen). There is also organic gardening, harvesting and cooking nutritional foods. There are field trips to Marin Headlands, Crissy Field, Alemany and Green Gulch Farms. SF Recreation and Park Department teaches participants how to use tools and assists them in maintain five local parks.

LetUsGrow Summer Camp
Begun in 2005, our environmental summer camp, LetUsGrow, offers youth and teen counselors, three weeks of garden fun. Camp started each day with breakfast donated by Kate’s Kitchen, which was followed by fieldtrips, gardening and arts activities and ending with a healthy lunch. Some of our adventures are trips to Green Gulch Farm in Marin County, Alemany Farm in San Francisco, the Arboretum, the Civic Center Farmers Market, painting watercolors of our garden, gardening, composting, and a graduation with our parents.

Seed-to-Mouth Cooking Classes
Begun in 2005 with weekly classes at Modern Tea Restaurant in Hayes Valley and at the Hayes Valley Housing Complex, CommunityGrows offers neighborhood youth and their families, opportunities to prepare delicious, healthy meals with produce harvested from the Koshland Park Garden.

Western Addition Peace Wall at Koshland Park
This project, started in 1998, brought together over 1,000 people, members of churches, schools, and community based organizations to learn a peace empowerment process that culminated in painting tiles of what peace means to each person. Through the integration of the visual arts, a curriculum and program was taught that focused on tolerance, understanding, and non-violence, and collectively learned ways to develop positive and proactive solutions to resolving conflicts and defusing anger. The project has been developed and implemented by residents for residents—a true community endeavor.

Mission:
CommunityGrows is an environmental education program serving high-needs youth, especially those living in public housing in San Francisco.  Youth acquire the necessary skills to live a healthy life through garden education, nutritious cooking and eating, and green jobs training.
Results:
Renovation of Rose-Page Mini Park-1999

Renovation of Koshland Park-2002

DPH-7 Principles Project-Infant Mortality Nutrition Grant-2003

Environmental Adventures-Urban kids Outdoors-2004-2005

Community Learning Garden-Koshland Park Upgrades-2007-2008

San Francisco PEACE WALL Installation-2007

John Muir Elementary School Green Schoolyard Project-1996-present

BEET Rangers-Teen Stipended Envir Ed & Green Jobs Training-2007-present

LetUsGrow Summer Camp-2006-present

Seed-to-Mouth Cooking Classes at housing development and at Modern Tea Restaurant-2006-present

Park Monthly Workdays-1994-present

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12/27/11
A wonderful program. Helping urban kids make connections between the environment, nutrition, exercise, and their health is so important. We need hundreds of small community-based groups like this in neigbhborhoods across the county... more »
04/23/09
I moved recently to SF from NYC. Didn't really know anyone and unlike NYC you don't run into people all the time. Started taking my dog to Daniel Koshland Park in the morning and found an awesome community that's really sweet and caring. They make my days start so much better. The day I found a ... more »
04/23/09
HVNPG has made Hayes Valley a wonderful place to live. Their work with the peace wall and the gardens has improved the quality of life for our community, has given us a feeling of pride in our neighborhood and brought us closer together... more »
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