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St. Anthony’s Parklet 1 Assembly and Planting Day Provides a Glimpse into the Full Potential of the Golden Gate Greenway Project

December 22, 2023

Members of the community with St. Anthony’s Community Engagement Manager, Geoffrey McFarland

Greenery is scarce in certain parts of San Francisco. As one of the most densely populated and diverse neighborhoods in the city, the Tenderloin neighborhood is the definition of an urban jungle. The Golden Gate Greenway project is turning a small piece of the jungle into a green oasis.

On December 21, St. Anthony Foundation, together with volunteers from across the city, began assembly of Parklet 1, one of three parklets to be built as part of the Golden Gate Greenway project. Team members placed several luscious trees and plants to the west end of the 100 block of Golden Gate Avenue. Together, they then filled planter boxes with nutrient-rich soil, trimmed branches to absorb sunlight, and watered down the trees and plants for optimum growth.

“This is one small and mighty step toward the long-term vision of the Golden Gate Greenway project,” said Geoffrey McFarland, St. Anthony’s Community Engagement Manager. “The neighborhood has consistently requested measures to calm the street and increase greenspace.”

Rendering of Parklet 1

Parklet 1, located just steps away from the corner of Golden Gate Avenue and Leavenworth Street outside 826 Valencia), is a unique space comprising of a mix of fixed and flexible planters, designed to adapt to the community’s needs on any given day. The flexible planters can expand and contract, and heavy rolling planters are intended to break away for use in various activations or events. This protects street activities from cars and enhances visibility for community engagement, while providing more greenery and shade to the street.

“This is long overdue. I’m glad to see that the community has responded and is working to improve the conditions here in the Tenderloin to make it a more relaxing and more sustainable place to be,” said Al Hawley of Fauvescaper Studio. “I’m really happy to see folks from outside the neighborhood come down and help, and be interested in this project. It’s not only something interesting for people on this block or to the Tenderloin, it’s of interest to all of San Francisco.”

Originally a vision that developed during the COVID pandemic, Golden Gate Greenway project aims to close the 100 block of Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin district for the purpose of a permanent neighborhood green space, safe for events, activities, and families with children.

In December 2022, the parklet phase of the project was included as part of the Tenderloin Community Action Plan (TCAP), a voting process for neighborhood residents and workers to fund specific initiatives to improve the quality of life for Tenderloin residents and the community. The long-term vision, which expands upon the parklets to include a green play space for the neighborhood’s children, was presented to the city in 2022, and recently received $1 million dollar city and federal investments towards the anticipated construction in 2025.

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