Archive for the ‘Islais Creek Watershed’ 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!


Bonnie Ora Sherk Presentation On Islais Creek Watershed, May 5, 7:30 PM, ZOOM

Dear Friends, You are invited to an illustrated talk I’m giving on the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco, showcasing the many opportunities for ecological transformation and flood mitigation, including some of the past accomplishments and ecological transformations that address many local, national, and international issues, including climate change, sea level rise, and other related systemic issues that Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library have made, and is still working on. There will be a Q & A to answer questions and gain your input.  Your participation is important for the future of the area. Please join me and Planet Drum on Wednesday, May 5, 7:30 PM PDT, and register with Planet Drum to get Zoom information: using “zoom” in the subject line.

Additionally, on Saturday, May 8, at noon, you can join Judy Berg and Planet Drum, for a masked, in-person, socially distanced, Tour, of the prototype Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk that Life Frames, Inc. designed and developed with the community beginning in 2002, that links multiple schools, parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek at the south side of St. Mary’s Park, Alemany Farm, Alemany Boulevard, and Highway 280.  Please register with Planet Drum: using "ALL Nature Walk" in the subject line.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.  Thank you ! Warm Wishes, Bonnie Ora [pdf-embedder url="" title="flyer(interactive)"]

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…)


Update On Transformation Of Seneca Avenue Streetscape In San Francisco

A generous grant awarded to Life Frames, Inc. in January 2018 by the California Natural Resources Agency under Proposition 1 – California Urban Rivers Grant Program – is helping the ecological transformation of Seneca Avenue between San Jose and Cayuga Avenues in the Islais Creek Watershed. As planned by Bonnie Ora Sherk and Life Frames, Inc. in conjunction with hydrogeologists from Ramboll, the long, wide, currently barren street of Seneca Avenue will be developed into a series of Rain Gardens to help address climate changes and mitigate flooding in the Cayuga Valley from storm water overflows in the sewer system and the historic, flooding, Islais Creek under Balboa High School and along Cayuga Avenue.

This Seneca transformation will also expand the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park at the campuses of the local schools, by planting hundreds of California native trees and understory plants.  This work will also expand the A.L.L. Nature Walk linking schools, parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces in the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest Watershed in San Francisco.

Seneca Avenue Streetscape Sitemap_A.L.L.


Bonnie Ora Sherk Exhibits Her Work At The de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, CA

Sitting Still Series © Bonnie Ora Sherk

From September 28, 2018 to June 15, 2019, the de Saisset Museum in Santa Clara University is hosting the exhibition Radical Velocity, curated by Lauren Baines, showing the power of the human body to impact our sense of place. Several images from Bonnie Ora SherkSitting Still Series (1970), a powerful and pioneering, environmental performance installation series, are being featured in the Exhibition.  The Sitting Still Series highlights how a seated human figure can very simply transform an environment. Seated in an armchair in diverse urban places – Army Street/101 Freeway Interchange Construction Zone, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Financial District including Bank of America Plaza, and various indoor/ outdoor cages in the San Francisco Zoo, Bonnie Ora Sherk transformed dead spaces into new and interesting environments that changed our perceptions about possibilities.


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

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