2013 Action Grants
Congratulations, Parks Alliance Action Grant Recipients!
Volunteer of the Year Award
Mishwa Lee is the force behind the Northridge CommUNITY Garden located within the Northridge Cooperative Homes, a resident owned housing cooperative of over 300 low and moderate income families spanning six blocks in the Hunters Point neighborhood. After a three-year rehabilitation of the housing complex, a group of 10 residents began meeting monthly to discuss the possibility of reviving a community garden.
This community garden could solve many problems including, lack of access to fresh produce, job opportunities, and youth activities. In September 2011, the team received a Community Challenge Grant from the City and County of San Francisco, and the Northridge CommUNITY Garden was born.
Over the course of the next year, the vacant lot was transformed into a robust food producing space for the community to gather to learn about and share healthy local food. Mishwa Lee has faithfully and selflessly served as organizer, outreach coordinator, motivator, gardener, volunteer manager, and grant writer in order for the garden to thrive and serve her community.
Mishwa and her team have distributed over 700 pounds of produce and hosted over 75 volunteers. Mishwa’s work is providing green jobs for residents and a youth program where young adults can mentor younger children. The youth also distribute produce to the elders of the community thus, creating intergenerational connection.
Thanks to Mishwa’s dedication and a few all-night grant writing sessions, the garden’s most recent accomplishment is a grant from the Foundation for Youth Investment to support the expansion of the garden’s youth program.
Mishwa is a delight to work with and San Francisco Parks Alliance is pleased to present this award in recognition of all of her hard work, commitment to her community and to urban agriculture in San Francisco.
SF Urban Riders is holding its first Mountain Bike Festival in McLaren Park this September to build momentum for the McLaren Bike Park. The Park Action Grant will support the rental of temporary fencing to protect natural areas and volunteer t-shirts that spread the message to respect the trail and other users.
Friends of the AMP aim to activate the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park with six free, family-friendly events in the late summer and fall of 2013. The Park Action Grant will be used for outreach supplies and equipment for volunteer docents that will assist with running the event series.
The Community Open Market will be a new seasonal farmer’s market activating the Buchannan Malls open space in the Western Addition. The goal is to transform the space into a community garden and landscaped area. The Park Action Grant will provide funding for outreach materials and supplies for the market.
Panhandle Park Action Project
The Panhandle Park Action Project will activate and increase awareness to the surrounding community. North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association will host six celebrations and events to involve neighborhood volunteers. The Park Action Grant will be used for supplies and promotional materials.
MacCanDo offers track clinics and an annual meet at Kezar Stadium for low income and low performing elementary schools. The goal of the program is to involve children in positive sporting events. The Park Action Grant will support the annual track meet with supplies, PA system rental, and rental of the stadium for the event.
Climate Action Now! will remove concrete and create a sidewalk garden along with expanded tree wells along 30 Street at Mission Education Center. The project will provide garden education at the school and engage students to provide ongoing maintenance of the area. Department of Public Works is contributing to the project by removing the concrete and the Park Action Grant will provide planting and landscaping materials for the site.
This outer Richmond project will support the continued development and expansion of the Dahlia Garden at Cabrillo Playground. This new area on 38 Avenue will be cultivated and planted with dahlias, the official flower of San Francisco. The Park Action Grant will fund planting supplies, tools, irrigation, and fencing supplies.
Each year thousands of San Francisco elementary students tour the Conservatory of Flowers with volunteer docents, or “Jungle Guides” that teach them about adaptation and plant survival. This year the Jungle Guides will be able to send each class back with a new specimen to remember their trip — a carnivorous plant to take care of in their classroom. The Park Action Grant will purchase the carnivorous plants.
Parks Alliance is extremely proud to give these projects the extra help they need to activate their community in parks.