2013 Action Grants

Congratulations, Parks Alliance Action Grant Recipients!

With more than 25 submissions, we are excited to announce the awardees of our 2013 Park Action Grants!  We were thrilled to be able to select a total of 12 groups across the City that are hosting great events, enhancing the parks, or greening the City.

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 Mountain Bike Festival

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 Saturdays in McLaren Park

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.

Community Open Market at Buchannan Malls

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 Tenderloin Youth Track Club

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.  

Greening Projects:

Climate Action Now! Mission Education Center

Climate Action Now! will remove concrete and create a sidewalk garden along with expanded tree wells along 30th 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.

Cabrillo Playground Dahlia Garden

This outer Richmond project will support the continued development and expansion of the Dahlia Garden at Cabrillo Playground.  This new area on 38th 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.  

Conservatory of Flowers Volunteers

 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.

Park Enhancements

Coleridge Mini Park Lemon Tree Orchard

This project by Just One Tree will plant up to 20 lemon trees on a slope at the Coleridge Mini Park near Bernal Hill.  The project promotes local food production and has considerable neighborhood involvement.  The Park Action Grant will fund the lemon trees, planting supplies, and some outreach materials.

Fallen Bridge Activity Court

The Fallen Bridge Mini Park on Portrero Hill will be upgraded to transform the underused green space to include a multi-use activity court that will be a focus for neighbors to interact and play.  The Park Action Grant will purchase redwood timbers for the retaining wall that will level the space and additional funding to surface the court and landscape is coming from the Community Challenge Grant program.

Corona Heights Kiosk

The newly formed Friends of Corona Heights Park will install a new kiosk with the Park Action Grant to inform park visitors of volunteer opportunities, park events, Randall Museum activities, and trails orienteering.  Community members have committed to funding the additional amounts needed for the kiosk and maintain it at monthly workdays.  

Parks Alliance is extremely proud to give these projects the extra help they need to activate their community in parks.