Category Archives: Environment

Literacy for Environmental Justice seeks board members

By Elizabeth Skow

Literacy for Environmental Justice was founded in 1998 by community members to build a greener, more equitable future for itself. LEJ has been educating youth about their environment and leading volunteer groups to restore green parts of Southeast San Francisco for almost twenty years. They also run a native plant nursery that provides plants for many greening and conservation projects in San Francisco.

Currently, LEJ is restoring an area of Candlestick Point and building six campsites that will accommodate walk-in, boat-in and bike-in campers. It will be one of only two places in San Francisco that allows camping. The campsites will be available to the public, and will prioritize youth camping in an urban setting.

This project is in conjunction with expanding their garden and native plant nursery for eco-restoration on Carroll Ave. The nursery will provide plants for the Candlestick Point project and others in Southeast San Francisco. LEJ will have coordinated 1,000 youth and other volunteers who will have donated 3,000 to 5,000 volunteer hours by the time the work is finished. The project will also involve Parks and Rec in an effort to promote better use of San Francisco’s parks.

LEJ’s Executive Director Patrick Marley Rump has been working with LEJ since 1999. He got involved after he did some restoration work at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and heard about LEJ projects at Heron’s Head Park. He had noticed a disconnect between ecology and preservation work and the communities most in need of that work. As he was living in Bayview, he saw an opportunity to serve the community in which he lived.

Today, Literacy for Environmental Justice is looking for Board of Director candidates.

Patrick says the ideal LEJ board member would be rooted in Bayview, and would want to be involved in governance, planning and community building. That board member would have a connection or desire to connect with environmental justice work in Bayview, would want to impact the lives of young people here, and would bring to the board role some funds development skill.

If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact LEJ.

A walk above the Shipyard

Shipyard tile map
Detail from tile art by local artist.

Construction is fast and furious at Hunters Point Shipyard (which marketing folks wish we’d call the “San Francisco Shipyard“). But a nice walk and quiet moments are possible in Constructionville.

The sidewalk rising from behind The Storehouse located just inside the gates forces a decision. To the right is a climb into asphalt and cement where sections of the massive building project emerge in various stages of completion. To the left is public art and a football field-sized patch of green grass at the crest of the hill.

Either way you proceed, you can get to the visitors’ center, a pleasing Southern California-esque structure where salespeople await. Never far away is what may be the development’s major sales point, a grand view of a long-neglected swath of the SF Bay’s waterfront.

Text and images: Jeffrey Betcher

Marketing meets construction.
Marketing meets construction.
Art frames nature.
Art frames nature.
An industrial gazebo with circular metal bench swing.
An industrial gazebo with circular metal bench swing.

More about Bayview’s changing natural and built environment

Bayview Hill trail, the perfect walk

Bayview Hill Trail is the perfect walk.
Bayview Hill Trail is the perfect walk.

The trail, from the end of Key Avenue, up and around Bayview Hill, is steep enough you feel like you’ve gotten some exercise, but not so long you’re down for the count by the time you make it to the top.

According to a 2013 report, the park’s distinctive characteristics include that it offers the highest publicly-accessible view in the southeast part of the City, and it retains some of the most diverse natural habitat in the City.

In many ways, walking the hill is the perfect way to get a break from city life without forgetting where you are. The trail circles between sweeping urban views and jagged reminders of Bayview’s natural environment.

Here and there are vantage points that bring to life the neighborhood’s densely populated future, as predicted in urban planning studies.  Yet the park has a peaceful aura about it, and the critters still outnumber the people by a wide margin.

Along one side of the hill, new housing has sprouted like gazillion dollar weeds. On the other side, Candlestick Point is missing a stadium and largely remains a blank canvas for the mixed-use development under construction.

On Bayview Hill, the natural beauty of the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood is as unmistakable as it is comforting in the midst of the rapid change raising dust in all directions.

Text and images: Jeffrey Betcher

Rows of new housing press the northern slope of Bayview Hill.
Rows of new housing press the northern slope of Bayview Hill.
Nature still asserts herself on Bayview Hill.
Nature still asserts herself on Bayview Hill.

Building sustainable community, one solar installation at a time

GRID, an Oakland-based nonprofit that installs solar while training those who need jobs in how to do it is back in Bayview. GRID has already installed 12 systems on Quesada Avenue, three of them at Quesada Gardens.

According to GRID outreacher, Ronnie Mataquin, the district with the closest number of GRID installs is in Vis Valley.

Contact Ronnie to learn more about how GRID can help you and your home contribute to building a sustainable community.

Urban naturalist wanted for ad campaign

A well-known “World Accommodations Company” based in San Francisco is looking for real urban naturalists, 25 to 35 years old, for a docu-style ad, and in a welcome twist for most naturalists…the company is willing to pay.

Footprints has learned that an 8-hour shoot is planned for weekend of February 6th and 7th. It pays $250 for day plus $1000 usage for the lucky naturalist who is selected for the final ad.

Act fast! Contact Michelle for detailed instructions on how to apply before 5pm on Sunday, January 24th.