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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!