Sunday, October 5, 2008

New heroes at Bridgeview Garden

A stunning teaching and learning garden in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood, at the corner of Bridgeview and Newhall Streets, continues to take shape, and more community heroes step forward to take part.

Yesterday, while roofers and sidewalk contractors worked around his house, David Antunovich somehow managed to find time to lead a hectic cement pour at the Bridgview Garden. David, a Quesada Gardens Initiative member, is a trade carpenter who designed the fence, a modern steel and cable structure that will enclose the garden site where it is currently exposed above a steep drop. He is also rehabbing the Quesada Avenue house he lives in with partner Linda and two children, Eva and Dylan.

The cement was for the fence post footers. David -- with help from University of San Francisco faculty and students, and residents Steve Jordan and James Ross -- donated time and muscle over several days to dig the holes for the footers. The task proved to be a mammoth one.

With the posts now sturdily installed, the fence will come together soon. It will join other garden components that are already in place, such as a series of terraced planting beds, a small amphitheater, and an orchard of dwarf fruit trees. The Bridgeview neighbors' vision of a showpiece community space, one of Bayview's newest treasures, will soon be realized.

Later this month, the Quesada Gardens Initiative will host MyFarm, an innovative backyard garden company, for a day of volunteerism to do soil remediation and irrigation system installation. The partnership comes with compliments from Yahoo!'s Purple Acts of Kindness program, a philanthropic arm of the online company which also donated benches for QGI's community gardens.

Bridgeview Garden project leaders and QGI Board Members, Joel and Mary McClure, have been extraordinary throughout the garden development process, regularly hosting volunteer appreciation lunches at their home, supplying tools and power, and plenty of community spirit.

Steve Jordan and James Ross, who live a stone's throw away from the garden, on Quesada, have contributed enormous energy and good will to the project.

David Antunovich, a busy family man with plenty to do around his own house, is an example of the heroism that is remaking the heart of Bayview with a large family of community and backyard gardens, public art, and regular community events. We salute him, and the long list of others who have contributed to the project.

Funding for the food-production work of QGI is provided by SF Environment, Kaiser Permanente, and California Pacific Medical Center.

1 comment:

mike adams said...

I was lucky to stumble upon, and help a bit, the crew working on the 25th to continue the revitalization of Bridgeview Gardens. Quite a day- warm and many hardworking individuals carrying soil, sifting out rocks, and laying urbanite.

There really is something special going on with the Quesada Gardens Initiative- their commitment to community and consensus decision making. Many clean up the neighborhood ideas have been put into place in many locations over the years, but the ideas in Bayview are among the few that seem to be entirely what the community wants and not some outside group.

As we know life if about the journey, not the destination, in Bayview the process, one that involves the community at every step, is more important that the result. By involving all who show interest, the results in Bayview will be results that should stand the test of time.

Thanks to all your hard work and time.