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Our Mission


Life Frames, Inc. is the non-profit sponsor of A Living Library, or A.L.L., for short. A Living Library provides a unique systemic framework, strategy, and methodology for planning, designing, implementing, and maintaining, place-based greening in diverse communities and schools through hands-on, interdisciplinary, standards-based curricula (PreK-16-and beyond) during the school day, after school, and summers. Young people with caring adults create a more ecological environment in their school-yard, neighborhood, and community, while learning multiple subjects and having real-world experience in: math, science, history, economics, technology, languages, multi-arts, technology, youth leadership, health, nutrition, communications, amongst other subjects. 

A Living Library & Think Park in each locale integrates local resources — past, present, and future – human, ecological, economic, historic, technological, and aesthetic – and creates multiple opportunities for multi-generational stakeholders to participate in research, planning, design, implementation, use, maintenance, management, and communications. A.L.L. serves as both community and economic development of the area where it is established, while addressing issues of climate change, sustainable development, water quality, conservation, flood mitigation, urban forestry, pollution, economic growth, and other related issues.

A Living Library demonstrates significant interconnections between systems and disciplines: biological, cultural, technological and is a proven, leading edge, local and global concept, framework, methodology, and educational program, that is cost-effective, healing, beautiful, fun, and forward-thinking. A.L.L. also helps solve local problems, while providing a vehicle for schools, communities, and nations to be in harmony and balance, by Cultivating the Human & Ecological Garden.

Branches in San Francisco & New York City

In San Francisco, Life Frames works with nearly 800 children and youth each month, year-round, at 6 schools funded by Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families, providing hands-on, interdisciplinary, standards-based, education, master planning, greening and conservation programs for children, youth, and adults in the OMI/Excelsior and Bernal Heights districts. 

The Bernal Heights and OMI / Excelsior Branches are part of the Islais Creek Watershed, which also informs the ecological opportunities and transformation underway at each site, and where we are also developing the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk linking schools, parks, housing developments, streets, and other open spaces through planting native trees, understory, and other related elements, leading to the Islais Creek at the south end of St. Mary’s Park, with funding from California Department of Forestry.

Life Frames also has a Branch on Roosevelt Island in NYC, with an emerging Branch developing in NYC Chinatown. Through participation in A Living Library children and youth gain real-world experience in creating their place-based, Branch Living Library & Think Park, and transforming their community into an ecological wonderland that incorporates local resources.

A.L.L. is Extremely Cost Effective

In addition to working with children and youth, A Living Library also benefits the whole community as it improves the health and beauty of the public realm of each neighborhood, by transforming sterile and barren, concrete and asphalt landscapes into eco-art narrative landscapes, through developing diverse Learning Zones incorporating native and fruit trees, vegetable and flower gardens, rainwater harvesting cisterns, native creeks, integrated artworks, and other systemic elements.

Further Meanings of A Living Library, Life Frame, Think Park

A Living Library is a metaphor: Everyone and everything on earth and in space is part of A Living Library of diversity: People, birds, trees, air, water, and all the things we create, such as – parks, gardens, schools, curricula, artworks, networks, communities. A.L.L. provides a powerful systemic framework for understanding that culture and technology are part of nature. A.L.L. is Nature.

The Life Frame, literally frames life so we can see it and experience it more profoundly.

A Think Park is meant to make us think, feel, and be more empathetic.