SF PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION PARTNERS WITH COMMUNITY TOCREATE AN URBAN FARM ON PUBLIC LANDS IN THE EXCELSIOR NEIGHBORHOOD
Nearly 300 Residents Surveyed about their Hopes for a Community Farm & Sharing Gardens in the Neighborhood
WHAT: PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights) and CPA (Chinese Progressive Association) are organizing a Community Harvest Celebration to share the findings from a community-led planning process to create a cooperatively governed and community-led urban farm at Crocker Park. Neighborhood leaders will share their experiences going door-to-door, learning from the wealth of knowledge, traditions, and skills in the neighborhood, including the nearly 300 surveys they conducted with Excelsior residents. Key findings focus on culturally-based food traditions, programming to address community needs, and the vision for sharing gardens that are cooperatively governed and community-led.
According to community residents surveyed, only 4% of residents have access to a community garden, and as much as 25% have no access to garden opportunities whatsoever, whether it be a yard, windowsill, community garden, or school garden. 39% of community residents surveyed believe that a farm will improve their health; 28% believe they will learn new skills; and 33% believe it will bring diverse communities to work together. In fact, 62% of community members surveyed want to work together, make decisions together, share in the benefits and sign up as a member. Of all 293 Excelsior community members surveyed, 90% believe the farm is a great idea.
WHO: PODER youth members, CPA youth members, Community residents from the Excelsior, SF Public Utilities Commission representatives, Supervisor John Avalos.
WHEN: Friday, July 12, 2013; Welcome by Supervisor Avalos at 6:00 pm, event runs from 5:00 - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Muslim Community Center, 4760 Mission St. (at Russia Ave.), San Francisco
WHY: Many low income and working class families in the Excelsior live with disproportionate exposure to high quantities of toxic pollution, some of the highest rates of heart disease, asthma, obesity, and cancer, poor healthy food options, and high unemployment. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) passed a new environmental justice and secondary land use policy that provides an opportunity to create teaching and learning spaces on PUC-owned land, such as sharing gardens at Crocker Park in the Excelsior. District 11 Supervisor John Avalos also shares this vision.