Category Archives: Volunteer

June and July garden and volunteer photos

In June and July Quesada Gardens organized and hosted several volunteer groups, including Habitat for Humanity, Good Eggs, Youth Conservation Corps, Bloomburg and ARC of San Francisco.

These groups, organized by our tireless-but-probably-exhausted Co-Chairperson Shane King, help to keep our garden tended and weeded. Carlos John Davila and Co-Chairperson Craig Cannon led groups, helping direct the workers and organize the game plan.

Joel and Mary McClure, as they have for years, directed volunteers at the Bridgeview Teaching and Learning Garden, a project they maintain.

Neighbors Carlos Davila and his daughter Meah, Wei Ming Dariotis and Hussain AbdulhaqqTai Tran and Mark Philpot, Jeffrey BetcherMaxine Kraemer, and Rithy Chan are just some of the neighbors who have been working very hard to make the garden beautiful and welcoming. Thank you everyone. And I’m sorry if I missed anyone, I’m not ALWAYS watching!!

Please enjoy some photos from the volunteer groups and from some neighbors working in the garden.

Elizabeth Skow

Jeffrey Betcher neatens plantings on sidewalk in front of the Pettus’ home. 
Images: Craig Cannon
The models posing with their traffic cut-outs. One has been installed on Quesada Ave.
Hussain Abdulhaqq in his skirt of Nastertium.
Wei Ming working in a terraced section of the gardens.
Images: Maxine Kraemer

QGI forges relationships with intrepid volunteer groups

By Shane King

Quesada Gardens has gone through many changes over the years. But one constant has been the great feeling newcomers get when they first hear the Quesada Gardens’ story and then get to do some work in the place they just learned about. On Sunday, November 22nd, two great relationships between the Quesada Gardens’ community and outside organizations were forged.

It took months of back and forth with various groups to settle on dates and times and tasks that would work for everyone. But now new volunteers have been oriented to the project and are eager to come back and help.         

Event planning included Craig Cannon’s renting of a truck that would take debris to the dump multiple times during the day.

The work party started as they have for over a decade now: neighbors and visitors meeting in front of Jeffrey’s house. Craig, Liz Skow, Shane King and Jeffrey Betcher talked with young people from the Student Conservation Association. Three high school students and two youth leaders arrived in the pouring rain, heard a bit about the history and mission of QGI, grabbed tools and got to work. It felt a little crazy to be working in the middle of one of the hardest rains we’ve had this year, but everyone was willing and, in fact, worked really hard.

The first task was to load the pile of debris that has been sitting across from Lisa’s house for the past eight months. Then we set our sights on the Founder’s Garden at the top of the hill wanting to give it the love it’s been needing. The pounding rain finally stopped about an hour into the work, and we could take off our hoods and see how much we’d gotten done.

Volunteers in Founder’s Garden. Photo: Jim Gatteau

Carlos Davilla joined us at the top of the hill where we finished loading up the truck and then said goodbye to our first group of volunteers for the day.

Craig, Carlos and Shane headed off to the dump and unloaded a very packed truck before returning to the gardens just in time to meet our second group of volunteers. The group is known as “Blue,” a Palo Alto/Oakland-based set of families with a deep commitment to community and service.  It included about 30 people, ages 1 to 60, each as hard-working as the last.

Shane King tells a story to a group of volunteers from Palo Alto known as “Blue.”  Photo: Carlos Davilla

Their eyes lit up when they heard the Quesada Gardens’ story, and most of them gravitated towards the dirtiest, most difficult tasks of weeding and pruning in the Founder’s Garden. These people seemed determined to do hard work, and thrilled to have had the chance to work outside for the greater good.

Along with these amazing volunteer groups, neighbors Jeffrey Betcher, Shane King, Carlos Davilla, Craig Cannon, Liz Skow and Danny Kim with his intrepid kids DJ and Emma accomplished Herculean tasks:

  • We took two truckloads to the dump for a total of 1800 pounds.
  • We filled 38 tall compost bags for DPW to pick up.
  • We filled two larger garbage bags with bottles, shoes, litter and other junk.
  • We disposed of one huge, unsightly pile of debris.
  • We introduced 35 people to the inspiring story of what a community with unity and purpose can do.
  • We renewed our faith in humanity after what was, for many of us, a very disappointing election.

Our next scheduled big volunteer day will be March 4th with a group from Habitat for Humanity.

Look for another group, ARC, in the garden, too.  These folks have been coming every Thursday, and have been planting native plants and other vegetables and flowers across from 1771 Quesada.

Volunteers spruce Bridgeview Garden

Boston Consulting Group2 4-25-2015 by Joel
Photo: Joel McClure

Mary and Joel McClure, Bridgeview Garden leaders, tell Footprints that volunteers from The Boston Consulting Group brought lots of energy and gardening know-how to the heart of Bayview on Saturday, April 28th.

The volunteers came “ready to tackle our gardening project for an Earth Day/Arbor Day celebration. They cleaned up the Newhall Street sidewalk, pulled weeds, trimmed the rosemary and passion fruit vines, and planted corn!” Mary said.

More about the volunteer spirit transforming Bayview   »

Bayview Community Center Christmas toys (1966)

217098KPIX Eyewitness News report from December 1966 in San Francisco featuring an interview with Miss Thompson at the Bayview Community Center where stolen Christmas party presents are being replaced by goodwill donations from Californians all over the State.

Opens with views of KPIX reporter Wanda Ramey and others helping unload gifts from a car.

Bayview Community Center Christmas toys

This video appears courtesy of the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive which preserves over 4,000 hours of locally-produced news film, documentaries and other programs as part of the Leonard Library at San Francisco State University.  The academic resource spans sixty years of social history and cultural revolution in the San Francisco Bay Area.  See the entire Bayview Hunters Point Collection.  For more information, contact Alex Cherian at 415.405.5565 or acherian [at] sfsu [dot] edu.

Gay for Good leave neighbors in awe

A volunteer service group called Gay for Good returned to Bayview Saturday, and left neighbors in awe of how much work got done.

Nearly 60 volunteers worked with a dozen neighbors to weed, mulch and prune the landmark Quesada Garden into seasonal shape.  A second Nourishmat garden was installed in the center section of the garden, along with planting beds constructed with bricks re-purposed from a neighbor’s old chimney.

Over 15 yards of compost was dropped off on Friday, by Recology, in support of the volunteer effort.  On Monday, a friend of Quesada who works for the City came by to pick up green waste.

Quesada Gardens Initiative builds community in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood.