Youth Opportunity [August-September 2010 print edition]

By Barbara Wenger

CommunityGrows, an environmental education program serving high-needs youth through gardening, cooking and green-jobs training, has been very busy this summer in the Western Addition. Thanks to our great partnerships with Mo’Magic-Western Addition groups, Hayes Valley Apartments, and other summer programs, we were able to serve over 300 youth this summer.

We built gardens at Hayward Recreation Center, Opportunity Impact and Booker T. Washington Community Center. We took field trips to many places, including Green Gulch Farm and Alemany Farm. We cooked every week at Hayes Valley Apartments Community Room on Wednesday afternoons, with each week being a fun experience of hands-on learning. Our Seed-to-Mouth cooking program, in its fifth year, had youth harvesting vegetables from the Koshland Learning Garden, prepping and preparing a three-course dinner and sharing it together.

Lajaiyah Watkins enjoys a delicious and heathy meal.

This fall we will be continuing our work with the students of John Muir Elementary School and starting a gardening program at Rosa Parks Elementary School. CommunityGrows will host a workday on September 18th in Koshland Park from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., and we will have a garden fundraiser on October 16th from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. in the Koshland Garden. There will be live music and fresh local food. Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased from CommunityGrows, 300 Page St, San Francisco, CA 94102. We look forward to seeing you!