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Agency - CommunityGrows Board Match San Francisco 2016

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Agency Details:

Last updated on June 1, 2017


CommunityGrows cultivates healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities.

Today, changing weather patterns are creating some of our nation’s largest disasters. Obesity and mal-nourishment are straining both our health system and our children’s capacity to reach their full potential. All the while the financial downturn and the continued cycle of poverty moves our connection to the environment and a healthy diet even further out of view. This won’t work. This doesn’t work.

We believe that connecting our youth to nature, and training them for tomorrow’s green workforce is the best way to face some of our nations greatest challenges—head on.

That’s why, for more than 20+ years, CommunityGrows has been doing just that right here at home. Working with youth in San Francisco’s Western Addition, we focus on environmental education, access to green jobs, gardening and healthy eating, and leadership training to grow confident, self-sufficient adults and a thriving community.

Over the past twenty plus years Community Grows (formerly Hayes Valley Neighborhood Parks Group) has put this vision into action and made great progress in an area that suffered one of the highest crime rates in San Francisco during the 1980’s and early 90’s. The neighborhood surrounding Koshland Park was afflicted with violence, drug dealing, and prostitution. Koshland Park itself was an epicenter of this atmosphere.

In response to these problems, Community Grows, founded in 1994, renovated and revitalized Koshland Park with new landscape, play structures, the Community Learning Garden, and the Western Addition Peace Wall. The organization has since renovated and created four more parks and gardens in the Western Addition neighborhood to provide welcoming oases amid the harshness of the urban environment. Emphasizing community involvement, Community Grows is helping develop a deep sense of stewardship in the residents who are finally able to benefit from these parks. These efforts have helped unify the community and transform public space to an atmosphere promoting peace and safety, but for a whole and healthy community we have also addressed the well-being and quality of life of the families living here.

Now that the parks have stabilized, CommunityGrows has increasingly shifted its focus to serving at-risk youth, especially those living in the area’s many public housing developments, who are in danger of becoming victims of violence and/or childhood obesity. CommunityGrows positively affects local youth by addressing various health disparities through nutritional and physical education, and addressing poverty issues through job training and leadership skills.

Contact people:
 Barbara Wenger, Executive Director, (phone), (email)
Kelly ErnstFriedman, Director Of Programs, (phone), (email)
Melissa Tang, BEETS Program Manager, (phone), (email)

Main office number: (415) 235-1756

 762 Fulton St
San Francisco, CA 94102-4119
(See a map)

Web Site: http://www.communitygrows.org

Miscellaneous Information
Besides English, which languages are spoken at your agency?
American Sign Language, Spanish
What is the minimum age for volunteers at your agency?
5 years old
Is your agency wheelchair accessible?
Does your agency have the capacity to host groups of more than 10?
Does your agency have the capacity to host groups of more than 20?
Last updated on June 1, 2017

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