Archive for the ‘Art, Landscape Architecture, & Systemic Design’ Category


Year in Review 2023: Rebuilding & Reconnecting!

A Living Library Think Parks and Gardens (A.L.L.) is continuing the work our founder Bonnie Ora Sherk started decades ago. Over the years, Bonnie engaged school children, gardeners and community members in creating acres of beautiful garden spaces. She created gardening curriculum for youth and programming that is thoughtfully interwoven with the ecological fabric of local communities.

The power of these gardens lies in their connection to public school sites, libraries and nature walks, thereby enriching the everyday lives of underserved youth and their communities. Bonnie’s legacy includes green infrastructure that we are re-activating into a sustainable resource for future generations, as well as places of learning, well-being and joy.


NYC Roosevelt Island Branch Think Park & Garden

  • Continued to build school-parent partnerships to collaborate on youth activities.
  • Taught the first Vegetables & Me Class for children under 7 years old in English and in Japanese. Next year, the class will be taught in three languages: English, Japanese, and Korean.
  • With the help and support of grants and the community, the NYC Roosevelt Island Branch is working to convert the garden into a Native Habitat for Monarch Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Local Birds.

San Francisco Branches Think Parks & Gardens

  • Resumed the after-school paid internship program into its second academic year with San Francisco School District middle and high-schoolers.
  • Developed a volunteer community that included college students from the Artist as Citizen class from the University of San Francisco, community volunteer days, and celebrations.
  • Organized our largest Summer Internship ever, consisting of 39 interns working 20 hours a week to renew the Think Park and Gardens.
  • Resumed work and funding on the Seneca Ecological Project in collaboration with community partners.
  • Collaborated with local schools and gardening clubs to maintain and improve the gardens.


  • Built team, board and community partnerships.
  • Resumed much of the funding that previously powered our programs and secured new and exciting grants.
  • The perseverance of our volunteer archive committee has enabled an 8‑week retrospective show on Bonnie’s life works this January at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. The opening event is Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 2 pm. We hope to see you there! More info

We Need Your Help in Continuing This Work!

Your donation bolsters our current programming and ability to maintain the gardens, helps us fund the Seneca Ecological Transformation, as well as help us re-establish our garden classes with the local schools. It will also help us with the much needed update of our website to share the work we are doing!

Please also fill out this form if you would like to connect or reconnect. We would love it if you are interested in volunteering or wish to develop a community partnership.

If you cannot directly donate funds or volunteer your time please share this email with someone in your network who can — any support you can share in spreading the word that A Living Library is still alive and looking to make new connections and build more community would go a long way.

Thank you!


Networked Knowledge: Bonnie Ora Sherk Plants A Living Library Seeds in Liverpool Biennial in UK

Bonnie Ora Sherk will Present an Illustrated Talk, June 15 - 10-11am PT/1-2pm ET/6-7pm BST - on A Living Library and the A.L.L. Toolkit she conceived for the Liverpool Biennial, to create a place-based Branch Liverpool Living Library & Think Park in Liverpool, to be interconnected with other A.L.L. Branches - globally. 

A Living Library facilitates ecological transformations in communities. Pictured: Before & After Views into Chinatown Living Library & Think Park:  2004-2010, San Francisco, California

Her Presentation will expand on a feature she created for Enzyme 2: Life Systems, a creative Magazine developed by Brazilian artists Jorgge Menna Barreto, Joelson Buggilla, and German Art Historian/Curator, Sarah Kristin Happensberger, for the Liverpool Biennial.

Registration for Bonnie Ora Sherk's Presentation and the rest of the Enzyme 2 Event Series is completely free.  Reserve your space today with link – here.  Once you’ve registered through the Eventbrite system, you’ll receive a follow-up email with detailed instructions for accessing the event on the day with a Zoom link.

The June 15th Zoom Presentation will take audience members on a water-based journey, with Bonnie Ora’s site-sensitive and life-framing artworks encouraging an exploration of local watersheds and other resources.

An excerpted version highlighting Bonnie Ora’s contribution to the Magazine is linked here.

The Magazine situates Bonnie and her work as a point of connection — between the early ecological art movement and emerging artists, between different cultures and communities, and between bodies and the earth.  A.L.L. Native Seed Packets included in the printed Magazines are a metaphorical and literal invitation into greater ecological awareness and a transformed way of being and doing for the local community.

The full publication Enzyme 2 is now also live online !  This Magazine collaboration between editors, curators, designers, and artists — including our own Bonnie Ora Sherk —  is part of a commissioned program of works for the Liverpool Biennial 2021.

Enzyme 2:  Life Systems is available for digital download, link here.

Celebrating its 11th year, the Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest festival of contemporary visual art. Centered on the body and its varied ways of connecting to the world, this year’s festival brings together 50 international artists and two collectives.


New RI Living Library & Think Park Master Plan

Please see our new Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park Master Plan with integrated A.L.L. Program Plan for site adjacent to the new RI Public Library. 



Update On Dramatic Transformation of Seneca Avenue Streetscape Into Ecological CA Native Rain Gardens

Continuing with our earlier post on Transformation of Seneca Avenue Streetscape in San Francisco, we want to share more updates on the progress of this unique urban greening project by Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library.  Seneca Avenue, between San Jose and Cayuga Avenues in the Islais Creek Watershed, has long been a wide, barren, long hill, contributing greatly to overflowing sewers and flooding in the Cayuga Valley and Islais Creek Watershed. 

After cutting and removing tons of concrete from the site, the transformation of this former heat island into lush CA Native Rain Gardens has finally begun. Over 200 students from Leadership High School, as well as other community members, have actively participated in planting California native  trees and understory plants on the site. Shown here are a few pictures documenting the dedicated hard work of the youth and adults in transforming this previously desolate space, into fertile, blue/green, multifunctional native landscapes. (more…)


Learn About Organic & California Native Gardening In Next Free Community Workshop By A Living Library On October 12, 2019

A Living Library_SF Community Workshop_Oct 12 2019

Please join us for our next A Living Library Free Organic Gardening & CA Native Plants Workshop in D11 at the OMI/ Excelsior Living Library & Think Park on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Meet us in Lower Garden, on Oneida Avenue, off San Jose Avenue between Ocean and Geneva Avenues & Denman and San Miguel Schools - Near  Balboa BART station. 
All Ages are welcome, including seniors! Please share this information with you friends and neighbors. 
© 2024 Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library

A Living Library, Life Frame, Think Park, & A.L.L. are registered trademarks

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