SF Rec and Park’s Visitacion Valley Volunteer Group Receives NEN Award

Greenway volunteer group is Neighborhood Empowerment Network award winner

SAN FRANCISCO– San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s (RPD) Visitacion Valley Greenway Volunteer Group received the Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) award for the Best Outstanding Park Group onWednesday, November 16, 2011.  The NEN Awards, produced in partnership by the Neighborhood Empowerment Network and the City andCountyofSan Francisco Community Challenge Grant Program, is dedicated to elevating and celebrating the tremendous work that residents and organizations do every day to make our City a great place to live.

“The Visitacion Valley Greenway Volunteer Group exemplifies the amazing spirit that exists in every neighborhood of San Francisco.  The Neighborhood Empowerment Network is honored to be able to help celebrate their significant contribution to the community they live in.” said Daniel Homsey, NEN Director.

“I am excited to know that members of our communities are empowered and rewarded for bettering our parks and neighborhoods.  It is great to see five individuals and organizations from District 10 awarded.” said Supervisor Malia Cohen. “I am also very proud of the accomplishments and partnerships betweenVisitacionValley volunteers, SF Rec and Park, Trust forPublicLand, and San Francisco Parks Alliance.”

The Visitacion Valley Greenway is composed of a linear series of six publicly owned parcels (each a block long), cutting a verdant swath through the heart ofVisitacionValley. Over a period of 16 years it has been developed by the members of the Visitacion Valley Greenway Project in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD), the Trust for Public Land (TPL), and San Francisco Parks Alliance (SFPA).

“SF Rec and Park recognizes and welcomes the extraordinary value that volunteers bring to the public stewardship of our City’s parks and recreation programs,” said Phil Ginsburg, RPD General Manager.  “We are so thankful for the contribution from the Visitacion Valley Greenway volunteers, and their work is the definition of neighborhood empowerment.”

“Since launching Parks Alliance last month, formerly Neighborhood Parks Council and Parks Trust, I have been amazed at the caliber of volunteers we see working throughout our City’s many neighborhoods and parks,” said Matthew O’Grady, SFPA Executive Director.  “Visitaion Valley Greenway volunteers exemplify what can be accomplished, and we are proud to call them one of our Park Partners.”

Today, the Greenway is an outdoor classroom and recreation area beautifying the landscape and uniting the diverse groups and generations ofVisitacionValley. This hillside park land with its vistas of the Bay and the surrounding Visitacion and Guadalupe Watershed incorporates a native plant garden, children’s play garden, various fruit and street trees, public art made by community members, agricultural crops, herb garden, and a Senior Pavilion.

However, the Greenway would not exist without a strong volunteer base whose advocacy, fund raising, design, construction and work parties have sustained these beautiful and unique parks.

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