NOMDAD_banner2Adam Schnirel, UCSF Mission Bay Recycling Coordinator, spends most of his time finding ways to divert waste from the landfill. He has always envisioned having a center at UCSF that could offer hands-on workshops for the UCSF community on such issues as composting and recycling. Adam’s vision is becoming a reality with a new community garden and event space coming soon to Mission Bay.

The empty lot at 4th and Mission Bay Blvd. North is slated for green space by the City/County of San Francisco, but it is going to lay empty for a few years. When Stephanie Goodson, Founder and Co-Director of Nomad gardens, approached Seth Hamalian, founder of Mission Bay Development Group, about putting in a temporary community garden, at first he was reluctant. He was concerned about having to eventually uproot a much-loved community space. Out of this dilemma, NOMADgardens was born to create a ‘roaming’ community garden and event space that transforms vacant lots into vibrant hubs for the community.

This pioneering concept will be piloted at Mission Bay, where Stephanie has obtained permission to use the land for a two-year period. NOMADgardens will provide small plots for both the UCSF community and the broader Mission Bay neighborhood to grow their own food, connect with others and learn about sustainable food issues.

More than just a garden, it is designed to be a hub for the community, offering movie screenings, art shows, workshops and picnics or barbecues. “It’s a really exciting community gardening program with lots of potential for growth. The neighbors and businesses she’s spoken with are very excited to have something new, fun and community-oriented in the Mission Bay / UCSF neighborhood,” explained Luke Stewart, Director of Design and Planning with Mission Bay Development Group.”

NOMADgardens: Roaming Seamlessly from Vacant Lot to Vacant Lot

UCSF is donating pallets, helping to get the ‘roaming community garden’ up and running. Rather than be shipped offsite by Recology, the pallets, which are used to ship lab equipment and other large shipments to UCSF, will become part of the infrastructure for the community garden. Eventually, the pallets can be lifted off the site and seamlessly transported to the next vacant lot, helping residents continue gardening and giving land owners assurance that their property will be available when that time comes. Each plot will be relocated by a fork-lift onto a truck and driven to its new pre-approved site in Mission Bay. Accessory items, such as irrigation, furniture, storage, will also be relocated via truck.

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The garden will have 220 2’ x 4’ plots available for growing your own food—imagine getting your hands dirty over lunch break and being part of a sustainable food community. Plots will eventually include drip irrigation, which is more efficient than watering by hand. The cost is $240/year. To become a gardener, click HERE. Learn more by watching the video below:

By: Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, sustainability communications and engagement programs that inspire and empower action.

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