The GNG members are a wonderful group of positive environmentally minded people. They are well organized and share great concern for the neighborhood and residents. The improvement on the Goettingen hillside garden started in 2007 and as a native San Franciscan, it is so pleasant to see these improvements taking shape.
The best to GNG always!
I live in a nearby neighborhood and am not part of GNG. This group is one of the gems of the City! Their results to date, beautifying the formerly neglected Goettingen hillside, speak loudly about thier organizational skills and fundraising abailities. This is a group that gets things done....more power to them!!! - Ray
When I moved to the Portola neighborhood 5 years ago, my family and I were immediately welcomed by several kind neighbors. Over the years, we have developed trusting relationships and have created warm friendships with several neighbors. We have a small-town feeling, right here in the middle of San Francisco! It all started with a group of us cleaning and caring for a plot of city-owned land at the end of our street, Goettingen Street. This neglected open park space was often used as a trash can; the weeds took over any semblence of a garden. About 2 years ago, we formalized our small group and became a Park Partner with SF Parks Trust. With their fiscal sponsorship, we have expanded our outreach to the neighborhood and have transformed our once neglected open park space! At the beginning of 2008, we organized our first fundraiser, a grassroots plant sale. We exceeded our expectations and raised over $800! It was a fun day made more so by meeting many more neighbors from the Portola. We then got busy writing several grants. We were awarded over $85,000 in grants last year to completely renovate our open park space, the Goettingen Street Hillside Restoration Project. We received a huge, generous grant from Fiskars. Without their help, our process would surely have taken years longer; they helped us create a beautiful garden. We worked with them for several weeks and all of that work culminated in a one-day complete garden installation. The work doesn't stop there, though. Now that our stunning garden is planted, we now have to address the erosion of the soil as well as the maintenance of the plants and trees. We also have to install a water meter to establish these young plants. Luckily, we have grant money from the SF Mayor's Support Fund, the Innovator's Award from SF Parks Trust, and the Community Challenge Grant which is sponsored by the city of San Francisco. Of course, cleaning and greening our neighborhood is what brought us together, but what keeps us together is the comraderie and friendships we have built on our street and within our community. We received a Music in Parks Award to sponsor our 2nd annual Block Party. It was held after our 2nd annual garage sale (part of the proceeds benefited GNG.) We had 11 families participate and many more come out to enjoy the day. In October, GNG continued our community outreach by participating in the Portola Festival as well as the 2nd annual garden tour which was a fundraiser for the Portola Library Campaign. (The library is 3 blocks down Goettingen from our new garden! We also purchased a commemorative brick at the library too.) In October 2008, we received an email from the NEN (Neighborhood Empowerment Network) that we were nominated for an award at their upcoming NEN Awards Ceremony. A few weeks later at the ceremony, GNG received an award for the Best Neighborhood Community Building Project for our Garden installation! It was a great honor and validation for all of the hard work that we put into our group. We recently met to discuss our goals and projects for 2009. We have a full calendar of events. Check us out and keep up with our progress on our blogs: www.gngcore.blogspot.com and http://orangethumb.fiskars.com/goettingen_neighborhood_garden/ This is a true grassroots organization that is maintained by normal, hard-working, people who want to build a safe, clean neighborhood for our children and families.
"When It Rains It Pours" That's the feeling within the GNG group. Our efforts through 2008 have proven fruitful. We were able to get a great start on the Goettingen Hill & Stairs Restoration Project. With Fiskar's help, The Portola has a new community garden. The Goettingen Garden didn't just come together in a day as the time-elapsed video (firstname.lastname@example.org) would lead you to believe, there were weeks of planing for the one-day garden make-over. Most recently, GNG co-won the "Best Community Building Project Award" given by NEN (link to NEN site or SF Examiner article) for community leadership... (more about the event/award/ and/or other recipients) Even before Fiskar's came to town, the core members at GNG were busy finding grants for non-profit groups like ours. Along with the fundraisors this year, GNG was awarded $11,500 in grants for 2008. As a team, we are extremely grateful for these monetary nods of approval. The Community Challenge grant that was announced Nov. 13th, is perhaps our greatest accomplishment yet. This $9,500 grant will allow GNG to make solid improvements to support the hill and budget for a long-term a maintenance plan. Written by Cybil Silberman (see our blog spot for more info on past events)
The Goettingen Neighbors' Group has done wonders for our street. They have organized an annual block party for two years now in order to raise money for the beautification and cleanup of the hill behind our cul-de-sac street. They organize a lunch and a yearly street wide garage sale. Most of the sellers contribute some or all of the sales money to the project. This group worked diligently on this project for over a year and eventually was approved for grant money from the city. The hillside looks beautiful and this group works hard at maintaining the plants and insuring it is graffiti and garbage free. They also organized a very successful plant sale with contributions from the neighborhood and local plant stores. This group is very altruistic in it's efforts to make Goettingen Street a great place to live.
GNG does an excellent job cleaning up the over-grown area in the Portola District that the City owns. We really appreciate it. The GNG-led block parties, neighborhood garage sales and plant sales really bring the neighborhood together. Great community spirit.