Friday, November 14, 2008

Karl Paige in NEN Hall of Fame

Karl Paige is fondly remembered in Bayview Hunters Point as the Co-Founder of the Quesada Gardens Initiative. He and Annette Smith started planting on an urban median strip which soon became an elaborate community garden that ignited community change.

Mr. Karl, as he was known here, passed away in August of 2007, but will live on in the Neighborhood Empowerment Network's Hall of Fame. His daughter, Rachelle Paige, was introduced by Quesada Gardens Initiative Board Member Joel McClure in a sometimes tearful moment of remembrance.

Karl and Annette both won Jefferson Awards for their contribution. The Quesada Gardens Initiative has won numerous prestigious awards including the Robert C. Friese Award for Neighborhood Conservation and the Crissy Field Center/Golden Gate Parks Conservancy Community Heroes Award.

The Quesada Gardens Initiative is still a feisty and independent group of residents who are creating change where they live. Residents recently dedicated a memorial to the founders, Karl and Annette, and to the community that gathered around them to take back their neighborhood.

Mayor Gavin Newsom donated a beautiful bronze plaque for the memorial. And Flora Grubb Nursery donated a bench and planters that now contain "ornamental edibles." The memorial is a sitting area at the crest of the Quesada hill overlooking the garden and the San Francisco Bay.

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