SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department began construction of the Geneva Community Garden today. The 10,427-square-foot community garden, located at Geneva and Delano Ave, will be the 38th addition to the Department’s citywide community garden program. This spring, the Department will open the community garden located at 17th and Folsom Streets— the 39th garden in the system. Meanwhile, there are still 1,134 San Francisco residents on the waitlist hoping to be part of the Department’s Community Garden Program across the City.
The $1.4 million Geneva Community Garden project will convert an undeveloped, overgrown open space into a 58-plot garden for the community. The capital improvement project is funded by the 2008 Parks Bond which was approved by more than 71% of San Francisco voters. In 2008, there were already more than 500 people on the City’s Community Garden waitlist, hoping to be part of a community garden in their neighborhoods. At that time, the Cayuga Terrace and Outer Mission communities believed that they would benefit from having a community garden at the Geneva Ave plot because growing produce for home consumption would help defray grocery costs, a particularly significant consideration for low-income families in their communities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our neighbors to grow their own food and enjoy the fresh air. I look forward watching the garden grow more lush and vibrant as I drive my kids to school every day,” said District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai whose district includes the Geneva Community Garden. “This is the first of many significant improvements coming to the Geneva/San Jose area. I want to thank SF Rec & Park for their tireless work to improve the health of San Francisco residents by making gardening and recreational spaces more accessible to all.”
In addition to the Parks Bond, the community-driven project was supported by State Housing Related Parks Program Grants, the Open Space Fund, and additional City General Fund provided by former District 11 Supervisor John Avalos.
The new garden will feature raised garden boxes with space for more than 50 garden plots, perimeter walls, fencing, gates, standard park identification sign, seating, gathering areas, accessible area of common amenities, and a primary entrance along Delano Avenue. In addition, the Department has invested funding to ensure healthy and safe soil for an edible garden through the environmental remediation process. San Francisco Public Works’ landscape architecture and engineering teams created the design plans for the new garden. Working with the local contractor Giron, they will also be overseeing its construction. The construction is expected to be completed by Summer 2017.
“I’m proud to have supported residents working on this project from its inception,” said John Avalos, former District 11 Supervisor. “While the garden had several minor environmental complications that slowed it down, the community kept it on the City’s radar. I look forward to celebrating with them and getting my finger dirty when planting begins.”
“Community gardens encourage healthy eating habits and sustainable food production, foster parkland stewardship, and build a community of shared consciousness,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager. “Our Department is proud that we are expanding our urban agriculture program citywide, and in concert with the communities, we have made a significant investment in making the Geneva Community Garden a place where the community can grow food in a fun and healthy way.”