When Heather O'Brien first stopped by the Quesada Gardens, she represented more than a Bayview neighbor curious about all the activity.
Heather (also known as "Wondergirl") is one of the forces behind a unique "digital world" social venture, called CouchSurfing International, that connects active travelers to destination points most tourists never know exist. The not-for-profit enterprise also connects those travelers to volunteer opportunities available to them when they arrive.
Oh, yes...it connects them to couches, too. If you ask Heather, "couch-surfing" is more than a rite of passage for young travelers. It is a lifestyle.
Heather and her colleagues are putting a local face on their international concept by volunteering at the Bridgeview Teaching and Learning Garden, planting a lemon tree the business is donating, and capturing it all on video. The resulting digital short will serve as a home page introduction for CouchSurfing.org.
Heather's concept and neighborly approach seem to be working. CouchSurfing has over 3 million members, representing every country on earth. The website enjoys, on average, over 20,000 new sign-ups per week.
"Our mission is to create inspiring experiences for people," Heather says. "We are working toward a world where everyone can explore, connect and ultimately appreciate diversity."
Heather feels that CouchSurfers and Quesada Gardeners are a "perfect fit," and the resident organizers at the Quesada Gardens Initiative agree.