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Growing Community Collaboration
A community garden in San Francisco

Growing Community Collaboration

This empty lot, bordered by houses of Redwood Shores and owned by Redwood City, California, was designated for an organic community garden with the goal of teaching food sustainability, ecological mindfulness and efficient water management.

Growing Community Collaboration

Callander Associates of Burlingame, California, volunteered to serve as the landscape architects on the project, part of which included creating the concept plan for the .56-acre project, known as Grow Peninsula, on land in between a fire station and a municipal water tank.

Creating a community garden in the Redwood Shores area south of San Francisco was the dream of Brad Hogan. To further that dream, he formed Grow Peninsula, a 501(c)(3) organization whose overall mission is to educate youth about where food comes from and food sustainability, and through the application of expertise, resources, and support, empower the next generation to grow foods organically.

Part of the strategy was for the organization to provide "a streamlined integrated process between city governments, local schools, homeowner associations, and residents."

Besides the hands-on learning and observation, the goals were also to teach youth responsibility, cooperation, and ecological awareness, advocate for sustainable growing, reducing carbon footprints and water conservation, all the while revamping blighted lots with minimal municipal funds.

To help prepare a presentation to generate support for this particular project, Hogan enlisted the help of Callander Associates, a landscape architecture firm with offices in San Jose, Burlingame and Gold River, California. As pro bono consultants, they prepared the concept plans for the garden and grounds, which will include raised beds, a fruit tree orchard, a native plant garden, a communal seating area with a gazebo, rain barrels and compost bins.

"The groundwork has been laid," says A. Mark Slichter, ASLA, a principal at Callander Associates, though he adds that the project has met with some delays.

"We were moving along and it was kind of on an as-needed basis," Slichter states, "whether or not that would have entailed a presentation before park and rec, or a neighborhood group or actual development of a draft of working drawings."

Also volunteering to the effort were the legal firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which represented Grow Peninsula and assisted them with the articles of incorporation, all state and IRS documentation and additional legal advice; and BKF Engineers, who prepared the survey "critical to the development of plans to the site."

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July 19, 2019, 2:36 pm PDT

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