Final concept garden design is here!

On Saturday, July 25, 2015, we hosted the “Finding roots in Brotherhood Way” neighborhood activity day.  This successful event was organized by Tiffany Ng from the Chinese Progressive Association, Tere Almaguer from PODER (People Organizing to Demand Economic and Environmental Rights, youth leaders from the Common Roots program, and the project team.

The day featured a relaxing gathering of neighbors, food, and activities.  Jerad Weiner from SF Public Works, presented on the project status.  The Brotherhood Way Community Garden project has received funding in the Mayor’s 2015-16 budget, Supervisor Avalos’ office provided additional funding and the project will also receive funding from the Department of Environment Carbon Fund. This is exciting news because the project now has the resources to move forward to a construction phase. Youth leaders from the Common Roots program presented the findings of their neighborhood community survey that they have been working on the past few month.  Bill Bulkley from SF Public Works Landscape Architecture presented the final concept design and answered questions regarding the final design.


Next steps for the project involve developing more detailed construction drawings so that a implementation schedule and final cost estimates can be more accurately created.  We hope to have the drawings completed within the next few months.  Once we begin the construction phase, we will renew our engagement efforts with the neighborhood and the project Champion group to begin to form some semblance of a garden leadership structure.

We appreciate everyone’s continued involvement in the project and look forward to seeing this vision become a reality.

Finding roots in the Brotherhood Way Garden!

EVENT SATURDAY, JULY 25 @ 12:00PM – 3:00PM  (Corner of Brotherhood Way and Arch Street)

Join your neighbors and representatives for an on-site community event to continue conversations to transform the Brotherhood Way into a thriving community garden!

  • Free family friendly event
  • Hands-on games and activities
  • Delicious food
  • Translations will be offered in Cantonese and Spanish
  • Youth members from the Common Roots Program will share results from a neighborhood survey project about the community garden.

Can you dig it?  Please RSVP with Tiffany NG at  415-601-2830

Event organized by representatives from Supervisor Avalos’ Office, S.F. Public Works, S.F. Recreation and Park Department, San Francisco Parks Alliance, People Organizing to Demand Economic & Environmental Rights and the Chinese Progressive Association.

Brotherhood Way Design Meeting

Thank you to the residents who participated in the Brotherhood Way Community Garden design and feedback meeting.  We were very excited to be able to share the designs that our SF Public Works Landscape Architects produced based on the feedback collected from the previous public meetings.


William Bulkley and Kevin Quach from SF Public Works gave a presentation which reviewed the results of their site analysis, consolidated feedback from previous public meetings, and three potential designs for the garden.

Meeting participants had the opportunity to look at the presentation boards, ask questions, and use post-it notes to provide feedback on the designs.  The participants were then split into small groups where they discussed the different elements that they liked, elements they didn’t like, and general thoughts about the three designs.  Participants were also given individual worksheets where they were allowed to record and provide individual feedback on each of the designs.

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Next, we conducted a dot voting exercise on the three designs where everyone was given three red dots and three green dots. These dots were placed on the designs so we could see collectively the elements that the group liked and didn’t like. This exercise allowed the entire group to identify design elements that had consensus and other elements that required further discussion.

All of the feedback collected at this meeting will be complied and incorporated into a second draft design of the garden.  We are aiming for a second design meeting in June to present the revised design and discuss next steps in the project.

We are still looking for residents who would like to take a more active role in the project and serve on our Champions Group.  Please feel free to contact Jerad Weiner if you have any questions about the project or how you can get more involved. , 415-641-2637


Here are the boards that were presented at the meeting:

Board 1: Topographical Survey (pdf)


Board 2: Site Analysis (pdf)


Board 3: Image Survey Feedback (pdf)


Board 4: Skill Share Feedback (pdf)


Board 5: Design A (pdf)


Board 6: Design B (pdf)


Board 7: Design C (pdf)





Design Meeting – April 29th, 2015 – 7pm- I.T. Bookman Community Center

Join your neighbors and representatives from Supervisor Avalos’ Office, SF Public Works, SF Recreation and Park Department, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance for an evening meeting to build our community involvement, start discussing the design, and to continue to move this project forward.  We will be presenting two draft concepts for the garden based on our previous public meetings. We are looking for your participation and feedback to guide the design revisions. We are continuing to grow the core organizing group, so please attend if you are interested in taking a more active role in the project.

For any questions regarding this meeting, or to request translation services, or to make any other reasonable accommodation requests, contact Jerad Weiner 415.641.2637

Another great day at Brotherhood Way

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Thank you to all the neighbors who participated in our January 24 on site activity day!  We had over 40 people participate in the activities which generated a lot of great ideas and discussion around the project.  We had fabulous weather and delicious food from April Nine Thai Restaurant.

Project Champions
Our first activity of the day was a brainstorming session to define the various roles and responsibilities of our Project Champions.   We then asked for volunteers to sign up to be part of the Project Champion group and take on some of the roles we identified.  As we enter the next phase of this project, it is the goal of the City agencies involved to begin to hand-over some of the responsibilities to this Project Champion group.  This project is very much a community led effort and it is our goal to make sure this Champion group has the support it needs to succeed.  If you are interested in being part of the Champion Group, please email or call 415-641-2637

Soil Testing
We had representatives from the San Francisco Department of Public Health give a brief demonstration on how they test for toxins and contaminants in the soil.  The Department of Public Health will be testing the soil on site which will help inform how we garden at the site.

Site Analysis
We broke into small groups to conduct a preliminary site analysis.  The purpose of the site analysis activity was to inventory assets and gather information about the site which we will use when we begin to make design decisions for the garden.  Participants gathered information regarding topography, sunlight, existing plants, views, circulation of people, quality of soil, and sense of space. We then shared our observations with the larger group.

Next steps…
Over the next few weeks, we will be meeting with those individuals who expressed interest in participating with the Champion group.  We will be supporting the Champion group as they plan, and coordinate the next public meeting for the project.  If you are interested in being part of the Champion Group, please email or call 415-641-2637


Join our on-site Community Meeting on January 24 from 12pm – 3pm

Join your neighbors and representatives from Supervisor Avalos’ Office, SF Public Works, SF Recreation and Park Department, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance for an afternoon of activities designed to build our community capacity, start a site analysis, and to continue to move this project forward. We will be formulating the core organizing group at this meeting, so please attend if you are interested in taking a more active role in the project.  Please meet at the corner of Arch Street and Brotherhood Way.

Lunch will be provided to participants, please RSVP to Jerad Weiner 415.641.2637 or
Please dress in layers, bring a water bottle, and something to sit on. In case of rain, please check back to this site for updated information.

For any questions regarding this meeting, or to request translation services, or to make any other reasonable accommodation requests, contact Jerad Weiner 415.641.2637

Post-rain pictures along Brotherhood Way

This morning I visited the site between shower storms in preparation for our January 24 on-site event.  The area was very quiet and peaceful this morning; with a few walkers, joggers, and pet owners strolling the path.  I was struck with the amount of trees we have on site and it made me think how that would influence our future designs.   We are lucky to have an interesting and beautiful site to work with for this project.  Fingers crossed for more rain this winter and keep checking back for details regarding our on-site day on January 24.


11/24/2014 – Public Meeting Update

Thank you to those who took time out of your Thanksgiving holiday week to participate in the second community meeting for the Brotherhood Way project. We appreciate your involvement and feedback.

Upcoming Events:
Saturday January 24, 2015 – On-Site Activity Day
Check back to the website for updates!

Meeting Recap:
The meeting on Monday continued to focus on our efforts to build community capacity which will be essential as this project moves forward.  Attendees participated in two activities; the first activity was an “elbow-to-elbow getting to know you” exercise which got attendees out of their seats and talking to one another.


For the second activity, we broke into smaller group discussions where we surveyed what skills individuals could contribute to the project, what skills they would like to learn from the project, what changes they would like to see in the neighborhood, and what they would like to see in the garden.  Reporters from each group shared their discussion with the larger group; here is a summary of what we heard:

What skills can you contribute?
Artists, gardening with different vegetables, knowledge of micro-climates, carpentry and electrical, composting, sign making, fundraising, translation and language skills, ikebana (flower arranging), general construction, access to power tools, social media, photography, grant writing, web development.

What skills would you like to learn?
Gardening with vegetables, growing mushrooms, cooking with different types of fruits/vegetables, different planting techniques, bee keeping, medicinal plant and herb preparation, knowledge of local wildlife, health and exercise, tai-chi

What would you like to see in the neighborhood?
More opportunities for cross-cultural exchange, safer spaces, active spaces, more places for children to gather, places for neighbors to interact

What would you like to see on the site?
Space for play, experimental/ demonstration garden space, a place to share harvests, exercise (par-course), BBQ or eating spaces, common areas, fruit orchard, communal herb planting areas, translated signage, tai-chi space, sitting areas, benches, chess tables, communal garden spaces, areas for instruction and learning


Overall, the group discussion was very productive and many great ideas were brought up. These activities and the feedback we recorded will be useful to identify our community’s values which will help inform the design process.

We hope to see everyone on Saturday,January 24 for our on-site activity day!  Please feel free to contact with any questions.

Mark you calendar for the next public meeting! Monday, November 24

District 11 Supervisor John Avalos, the Department of Public Works, the SF Recreation and Park Department, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance are hosting the second community planning meeting for the Brotherhood Way garden project.  We invite you to engage in the process and help brainstorm ways to unite the neighborhood into a supportive and sustainable gardening group.  Light refreshments will be served.  For questions regarding this meeting, to request translation services, or to make any other reasonable accommodation request, contact the District 11 office at 415-554-6975.

I.T. Bookman Community Center
446 Randolph Street
Monday, November 24, 2014
7pm – 9pm



First Brotherhood Way Community Garden meeting

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September 17, 2014 – The first Brotherhood Way Community Garden meeting was held at the I.T. Bookman Community Center and attended by approximately 70 members of the community.  The goal of the meeting was to gauge community interest and capacity to support the development of the project, identify key community members to serve as champions for the project, and to introduce attendees to different forms of community gardens that exist in San Francisco.

The meeting started with a welcome from District 11 Supervisor John Avalos and followed up with presentations by representatives from Public Works and the Parks and Recreation Department.  Jerad Weiner, Community Liaison from Public Works, provided background on the project and an overview of potential next steps for the project.  Hannah Shulman, Urban Agriculture Program Coordinator, presented on the various types of community gardens within San Francisco and discussed their advantages and challenges.  Download a copy of the presentations here.  Anne Brask, a student at the Urban Permaculture Institute, presented their designs for the community garden at Brotherhood Way that was created as a capstone project.  This presentation allowed participants to visualize some potential directions that the community garden could take.  Download a copy of the Urban Permaculture Institute design presentation here.

The meeting concluded with an exercise where participants could provide their reactions, suggestions, and feedback to various images of community gardens that were posted around the room.
Here are the images that were included with the exercise along with the comments left by the meeting participants.



Love it!  Really enjoy the asymmetry

Love this!

How will the distribution of fruit from edible arboretum work?

There should be a central open space for gatherings…

Maybe more box gardens

Absolutely opposed to the garden extending all the way to the walkway, …garden should be setback from the sidewalk.

Are these spaces edible or decorative?  How about “natural combination” of edible and decorative plants together.


This design is open, very creative, instead of using mulch use small rocks to walk on.  Also keep in mind accessibility.

Love the open growing spaces

Should be fencing that defines the area, design has potential

Nice! Open feel!

This is my favorite combination of plots and rows.  Urban people don’t know how food grows.  This educates other by gardening by example.

More space, good!


Best, like individual plots.

No animals in garden

Like it, encourages individuals and families to use a reasonably sized plot

This is fantastic to inspire individuals buy-in.  People are more likely to participate regularly if they have their “own” space.

Like individuals plots so gardeners can have ownership, but lacks communal space. 

Like the idea of communal fruit tree and herbal garden areas.

Boxes are too restrictive in the long run, please have more planting strips.

Like the boxes, more organized.


This is good for biodiversity and environment.  Good for birds and beneficial insects.

I like the wilderness feel for this garden, inviting.

Dislike the traditional farm look, but like the wild areas.

These large growing areas are very desirable, makes for more efficient food production.

Prefer fenced in plots, more manageable.

Like it!  Might be nice to have small tiered area against the hillside with seating facing a small stage or open area for music, theater, classes.

Looks like “community”, but looks like it needs a lot of maintenance.

This is a good design, should be moved back from sidewalk and street.

I like the idea of keeping the trees.  Will this open garden design lead to vandalism and destruction against the garden?

Very nice urban element with the combination of organic plots.

Other Ideas and Concerns

Encourage California natives and drought tolerant plants would be best because of the water shortage. 

Fence needed to protect the garden that allow police to see inside the garden.

Include a tool lending library

Plan for gophers in the design, lay down chicken wire to protect beds.

Will the traffic along Brotherhood Way affect the safety of the food?

Utilize a fog catcher to bring in water, include rain barrels and other methods for recycling water.

Compost boxes, vermicompost, and soil amendments.

Communal areas for education, demonstration; communal arbor, decorative flower, and herb sections.

Project should start small with one block, them move to the other blocks as demand and support grows.

Facilities for families and seniors, accessible paths, benches, bicycle racks.





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