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elyn

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Community Grows
April 15, 2009

I have been following this organization since its inception more than a decade ago. The force behind it is Barbara Wenger. She has renovated two parks on my street and been instrumental in the development and stewardship of two others. Over the years she has helped thousand of people young and old with her Peace project culminating with the installation of the Peace Wall on Page and Buchanan streets. Through out these years she has always had a special concern for youth, and the environment. You only need to look at the teaching garden at Koshland park to see how important it is to her. Her organization is embedded at John Muir Elementary school. HVNPG pays the salaries of garden educators who teach all grades, an expansive curriculum based in the garden. I have watched her in cramped home office working seven days a week for years on end -for no pay. She deserves awards, recognition, and everything good.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

daily, I live across the street from the Peace Wall, its wonderful to watch people stop and look at the tiles and read the plaques. I hear the laughter of children coming from the playground. Years ago it was the domain of drug dealers and prostitutes. I see school children from up and down the street accompanied by teachers going the park. Local gardeners tending their plots at Rose Page mini park, and the community plots at koshland park. Youth playing basketball in a safe environment. Children from Hayes Valley South development crossing the street to play at the park.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

A chance to do something for others for no pay just to help.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly, devoted, and tireless. Everyone of them, Barbara, her staff Nora and Elokin, and the members of the board, and a core group of volunteers from local neighborhood groups.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...fund full time gardeners/educators in the parks. Particularly on weekends and summers to engage youth. ..teach round-the-years seasonal classes at Hayes Valley South, about healthy eating from home grown food - for adults and children. ...teach classes about healthy lifestyles by being engaged outdoors in physical ativities, starting in the parks and then expanding,to the city. ...teaching people how to start and tend mini-gardens on their doorstep, or window sills. ...teach how to shop for produces. ...teach how to substitute fresh food for commercially prepared food for school lunches. Have a street level office, for the neighborhood to drop-in for information, classes, referrals, and volunteering.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Through out this time I have volunteered for clean up-days, Peace Wall activities, special events, errands, data entry, grant writing, research, community meeting, stuffing envelopes, distributing flyers.