By Lauren Daley
I met long time Hayes Valley resident Elyze Stewart a couple of months ago while she was watering her sidewalk garden at Haight and Laguna. I have long admired the beautiful green space in front of her home and was able to speak with Elyze about her garden in more depth.
Elyze is a Somatic Therapist and moved to the neighborhood from Sante Fe in 1982. She is originally from Canada. The house she moved into was built in 1886 and was originally a commune connected to the SF Zen Center. But like the surrounding community, it underwent some changes over time and Elyze was able to buy into the building in the 90’s. She has always been a strong proponent of designated community open space. Once she purchased her home, she worked with Friends of the Urban Forrest (FUF) as a Community Liaison and organized a street tree planting along Laguna between Waller Street and Haight Street. All of the kumquat trees along the East 100 block of Laguna are thanks to Elyze’s, FUF’s, and the community’s efforts.
When the sidewalk in front of her home was cited for minor cracks in 2008, she and the other co-owners of the building decided to take the opportunity to replace parts of the sidewalk with gardens. The City of San Francisco encourages this because it diverts stormwater out of the city’s system by allowing more rainwater to be retained in the soil. Often sidewalk cracks are caused by growing tree roots. Thus, taking out concrete and replacing it with planted soft ground is the best long-term solution to fixing the problem. Elyze worked with the other owners of the building Guy and Trey (who also have a sidewalk garden), friend and garden designer Michelle Schaal, and a landscape architect, Jane Martin, at Shift Design, to get the gardens done.
Elyze did all the planting for her gardens and continues to learn as she goes. She mentioned that it is important to choose plants that are hearty, safe to the touch, and plants that are not too expensive, to avoid possible theft. If you plant in pots, use ones that are very durable and put something heavy like a large stone or concrete on the bottom under the soil. Elyze prefers drought tolerant, mostly native plants. She has found succulents to be a little tender and plants mainly perennials. She has also planted some irises, daffodils, narcissus, and sparaxis. An interesting feature of the gardens is the bricks. They are from an original 1886 chimney that was removed from the house and are now repurposed as pavers.
What Elyze values most about her sidewalk gardens is the creativity she gets to express through them, the birds and butterflies attracted to them, and that they change everyday with different things blooming. She has nurtured a bit of natural habitat on a bustling urban street that everyone gets to benefit from. The next time you are walking on Laguna, take note of Elyze’s gardens and allow yourself to get inspired. And don’t hesitate to ask her any questions if you happen to run into her watering her garden. She’s happy to offer advice and you’ll be glad you did.
The workday is CANCELED because of the rain! Have a great weekend and we hope to see you in the garden sometime soon when it’s less wet out.
Save Energy Now, Save Money Now Workshop
A “How-To” Workshop for Small and Midsized Businesses in San Francisco
Date: Monday, November 14, 2011
Time: 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Place: Pacific Energy Center, Green Room
851 Howard Street in San Francisco
By attending this targeted 1-hour workshop on energy efficiency opportunities your members will:
Learn how to read and understand their energy bill
Receive a free rate analysis
Identify money-saving incentives for energy efficiency
Be able to sign-up for a FREE energy assessment
Enjoy networking opportunities and meet their local Energy Solutions and Service representatives
11:30am – 12:00pm
Lunch and Networking
12:00pm – 12:30pm
Rate Analysis, Peak Day Pricing, Time-Varying Pricing and Demand Response
12:30pm – 12:40pm
Big Picture and the Business Case for Energy Efficiency
12:40pm – 1:00pm
Assessments, Rebates, and Signing Site Access Agreements
RSVP here no later than Friday, November 11, 2011
For questions about this workshop please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brought to you by PG&E in collaboration with the Business Council on Climate Change, San Francisco Energy Watch and SF Environment.
Your comments and suggestions matter. Now is the time to comment on your environmental questions and concerns to the planning department regarding Parcel P. (The current site of part of the Hayes Valley Farm.)
See attached project notification. The project at Parcel P is being studied by the Planning Department’s Environmental Planning Division. Contact staff – Andrea Contreras @ 415-575-9044 or email@example.com
The Planning Department wants comments back by October 12th, 2011.
October 16 will be a Day to Celebrate Abundance and Heritage
Its time for the very first Hayes Valley Farm Harvest Festival. Join us for fun under the Harvest Sun, with youth activities, tours, special musical guests DJ Lamont and Tyler Matthew Smith, and of course pumpkins! Harvest Festival will begin Sunday, October 16th at 1:00 pm and continue until 5:00 pm.
Enjoy food crafting at the earth oven, special nature awareness workshops, arts and crafts for all ages, a handmade musical instrument factory, face-painting and a honey sale from our hardworking urban bees. This is a family-friendly day that will honor our land, celebrate our diverse web of community and feature locally-grown foods that nourish our spirit and inspire us to grow it local!
The farm has enjoyed a robust growing season, and will host skill shares on making kale chips, simple homemade breads, and fresh-creamed butter. Farmers will give tours throughout the day, and volunteers are encouraged to show up for the regular flipping of compost and planting that takes place every Sunday on Mulch Mountain in the heart of the farm.
Cultures all over the world celebrate the harvest to welcome the colorful new season and give thanks to the transition of abundance. In India, communities gather to dance and give thanks by lighting a bonfire and offering gifts of popcorn, peanuts and sweets. Jews build a sukkah from natural elements and decorate it with fruits and wheat. Hayes Valley Farm invites friends and neighbors young and old, to enjoy a mix of diverse traditions at the farm on Sunday, October 16. Bring your friends and family!
Title: Hayes Valley Farm’s First Harvest Fest, a Celebration of Abundance and Heritage
Date: Sunday, October 16
Time: 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Address: Hayes Valley Farm. 450 Laguna (at Fell). San Francisco.
RSVP on Facebook to let us know you’re coming.
twitter handle: hayesvalleyfarm
Press Contact: Booka Alon
firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.625.3476
Two more classes offered to show you how to turn “grey to green”
The San Francisco Department of Public Works has teamed up with the SF Botanical Garden Society and SF Parks Trust to bring you free Saturday workshops to teach you everything you need to know to “green” your sidewalk.
We’ll give you step-by-step instructions to transform your sidewalk into a garden including permitting, designing and maintenance. We’ve got recommendations for trees and drought tolerant plants for sun or shade, and design ideas to boot!
When are these Workshops?
Classes held Saturday mornings from 9:00 am-10:00am at the County Fair Building at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.
(415) 661-1316 x456
For more information, please see link below:
Mercury Cafe at 201 Octavia is hosting a parklet fund raising party. A parklet is a temporary deck built over two parking spaces. Ours will include a bench, tables, chairs, planters and even a small bike corral. Consider it a small urban park. This will increase foot traffic and spread business along the commercial corridor that is Octavia Street.
The evening will include food provided by Straw restaurant, live music by Gaucho, Even Taylor and Megan Keeley, art, a silent auction including items donated from Hayes Valley business and much more!
Our nearby neighbor, Smitten Ice Cream will be donating fresh ice cream to the cause! They’ll be scooping up for the first 50 people or ’til they run out, so come early!”
Come, have fun, and meet your neighbors.
If you are interested in donating any items for the event or would like more information please contact email@example.com.
Here are our updated supporters who will be donating items for the auction and raffle.
McRoskey Mattress Company
Arlequin Wine Merchants
Southern Wine And Spirits
New Century Chamber Orchestra
San Francisco Symphony
Smitten Ice Cream
SF Zen Center
Smitten Ice Cream
Dear Neighbors of John Muir Elementary School,
The preschool special education and general education student at John Muir Elementary School do not have a play structure; children run out and play on a bare patch of asphalt surrounded by chain link fence. We’re one of the only schools in San Francisco without a play structure! Read more at our website:
Muir ES is in the Pepsi Refresh Contest, and if we’re one of the top 15 vote recipients between September 1-30, we’ll win $20,000 to win a playground, but we need your help! We need everyone to vote every day for us-votes are cumulative through the month, so every vote counts! We need daily votes- 100,000 votes by the end of the month in order to win! Here’s how you can help:
* Vote via facebook: go to www.refresheverything.com/muirautismplayground< and log-in using facebook. Vote every day!
* Vote with a Pepsi Refresh account: go to www.refresheverything.com/muirautismplayground< and create a Pepsi account. Vote every day!
* Vote via text! Text message the code 108702 to this number: 73774 every day!
* Or…do all three, every day! Every vote counts!
* You can also enter codes on specially marked Pepsi bottles (“Refresh Everything” with a yellow cap) to win up to 100 extra votes!
* Share with friends, students’ parents, other teachers, and ask them to support us as well.
Thank you so much for your support! Please share with your organizations, networks, colleagues, friends, neighbors and families! Thank you!!
Jo Mestelle - Community School Coordinator @ John Muir Elementary
380 Webster Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
by Lori Shelton
The San Francisco Unified School District’s Proposition A 2006 Bond Green Schoolyard Program allows us to announce that we are accepting Statements of Qualifications (SOQ) for Landscape Design Services for several of our elementary schools. Please review the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Landscape Design Services on the District website. You can link directly to the District website via:
Current SFUSD RFPs
The elementary schools interested in landscape design services are:
- Alice Fong Yu Alternative
- Claire Lilienthal– Madison Campus
- Dr. William Cobb
- John Muir