Learn more about the history and evolution of CommunityGrows - from neighborhood activism in the 70s, to the creation of Koshland Community Park and Learning Garden, all the way to our current programming.

CommunityGrows was created in response to a community need during a time filled with transition and change in the Western Addition neighborhood in San Francisco, CA. Community driven activism beginning in the early 70’s led to the creation of the Koshland Learning Garden and Community Park, the Western Addition Peace Wall, the Buchanan Street Mall, and the renovation of several other parks and community spaces in the neighborhood.

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Our current programming and role in the neighborhood grew out of local residents’ interest in activities at Koshland Park and desire to support neighborhood youth.


CommunityGrows volunteers began teaching weekly gardening classes at Koshland, and as people’s interest (and plants!) grew, the classes began to happen more frequently, and eventually our three programs emerged. Learn more about them on our programs page.


Over 25 years of experience in the community has taught CG that real change starts at the roots, and we are proud to continue providing support, tools, and safe spaces to help youth thrive!

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As we grew more knowledgeable about how to navigate life during a pandemic, we shifted our programming and transformed what we had to to accommodate for the virtual realm while keeping the students connected to the natural world. To keep the kids doing hands-on work, we also began to implement “Garden Kits” which were distributed to our community partners.

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As of late 2021, we have been able to be a part of in person activities. Since folks were not able to come together in scheduled events during the past months, it has been amazing to be back in person and reigniting our beautiful sense of community!

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Written by founder Barb Wenger in 2017