Archive for April, 2012

Urban Green-ing at Frederick Triangle

Aster Chilensis


A project proposed by Native Plant Nursery Founder, Greg Gaar, in 2010 is now in full bloom outside Kezar Gardens.  The proposal was to collaborate with a variety of city agencies and nonprofits to remove concrete from the triangle at Frederick Street and Arguello Street and replace it with a native plant garden.


Part of the approval process was a community feedback session on the triangle site.  The plans were discussed and moderated by a Parks Trust official and gave an opportunity for neighbors to contribute their feedback to plan.


After several months of tearing up concrete and planting the area,the garden began to fill in.  Now, in bloom, this urban greening project has improved the lives of everyone who encounters it.  Come by this corner and take a walk through the new and improved green triangle!  Native plants for the greening project were donated by Kezar Gardens Ecology Center, a project of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council.  See our video below on the before and after look of the space.

Amy Franceschini’s OCCUPY actions


Amy Franceschini stopped by Kezar Gardens today to pick up some plants for the OCCUPY Gill Tract at UC Berkeley.  Protesters have taken over this swath of unused land and turned it into an educational farm.  Kezar Gardens was happy to donate several native plants to the effort and Amy was happy to deliver them to the newly erected public farm.


Amy is a longtime artist and activist from San Francisco.  Her work is dedicated to the JUST FOOD movement.  She has created a large body of innovative work that seeks to illuminate the fantastic connection between art, nature, and taking a stand for something you believe in.  Famous for her work with the Victory Gardens at City Hall in San Francisco, Amy is a widely known and appreciated artist who continues to share her talents with everyone she encounters. The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council also helped out with the Victory Gardens at City Hall by making the monies available to the project early through their fiscal sponsorship of Garden For the Environment, who administrated and coordinated the effort.  The funding for the gardens ultimately came through SLOW FOOD and was a great success for everyone who participated.


After she delivers the native plants to OCCUPY Gill Tract, she will hold a course on silk screening on site.  This effort will create a collection on posters to trade with an OCCUPY group in Columbia, South America.  We hail all those individuals like Amy, who use their creativity, perseverance and ability to take action in order to support those who need it.  We look forward to seeing the posters that emerge from today’s collaboration and the results on the status of the newly farmed land.  We will keep you posted.  Meanwhile, enjoy this interview with Amy as she collected native plants today at Kezar Gardens.

These hands of mine…


Kezar Recycling welcomes patrons no matter what their class, race or economic background.  People come to the center in cars, on bikes, on foot, rolling, carting, pushing, pulling and zooming their trash to the site everyday.  This exciting endeavor puts the recycling revolution in the hands of the people who drive it there.

Today’s video juxtaposes these individual hands and the cars they come in over a typical day.

The PLASTIKI Adventure


Less than two years ago. the Plastiki boat was just a dream.  The adventure ecology team, led by Sir David de Rothschild, occupied an abandoned pier on San Francisco’s waterfront to make that dream a reality.  The fantasy was to erect a boat from thousands of plastic bottles and sail it across the ocean past the great gyre and land in Sydney, Australia.  Many months were spent in San Francisco testing and perfecting the unusual vessel, building the dream, bottle by bottle.


There was an arduous process of collecting plastic bottles and scrutinizing them for durability and endurance.  Many bottles did not make the grade.  Kezar Recycling donated over 13,000 bottles to the Plastiki team and hired an additional employee to facilitate the collecting and distribution of the materials to the waterfront pier.  Our video shows you what they did with those bottles and a model of the boat that actually, eventually, did sail across the ocean blue.  It was an amazing effort connecting people across the globe over the common problem of too much plastic in our world today, because plastic never ever goes away.  It was also a sophisticated commentary on the power and resilience of plastic, as it carried a team of people from one end of the earth to the other.  Kudos to the Plastiki team on this accomplishment and much success to all their future projects.  Kezar Recycling is very proud to have participated in this environmental statement and watched some of our little bottles go from a Haight Street trash can to Sydney, Australia making our contribution far far reaching.  Near or far, Kezar Gardens continues to impact the world in a positive, creative and community building way.

Thank you for your support!

A Recycled Fountain


Every day something new goes down at Kezar Gardens.  From the hard work our community gardeners do  to keep up their plots and beautify the space, to new native plants springing up and being planted in gardens across the city, transformation is rampant right now.  Matthew Levesque, author of “Revolutionary Yardscape” and an artist-in-residence at Kezar, has made his fair share of contributions as well.  One of his projects is featured in today’s video.  Come by and see this lovely creation as well as other delights at Kezar Gardens!

Surreal Photo Essay of a house made by beer cans. A real celebration of Earth Day.

CNN Photos

From 1971 to 1977 the Environmental Protection Agency hired freelance photographers for a project called “Documerica.” The goal was to capture photographs relating to the environment, including everyday life.  More than 15,000 photos from the project now reside in the National Archives.

David Hiser was one of the photographers the EPA hired, recommended by the director of photography at National Geographic, where Hiser had done some work. His photographic career started at a newspaper in Aspen, Colorado.

“In those days you didn’t go to school to become a photojournalist,” he told CNN in 2012. “You got on with a small newspaper and sort of went from there.”

Aspen, even in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, had plenty of hustle and bustle – the comings and goings of celebrities, nightlife and sporting events. Hiser considers it “a very good grounding as a journalist to work there for two years.”

Hiser said the…

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A History Lesson on Eminent Domain


The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council has fought the UCSF campus development for many years.  In this short video, Greg Gaar, Founder of the Native Plant Nursery at Kezar, gives a show and tell lesson about the the impact UCSF has made on the landscape of the area.  The audience is amazed and you will be too!

Without a firm understanding of our values, it becomes very difficult to know how to temper the difference between change and distortion.