Urban Gardens Invade NOPA Sidewalks

Photos: Nuala Sawyer/Hoodline
By Nuala Sawyer - Published on April 03, 2014.
Have you noticed things getting a little greener in the neighborhood? Friends of the Urban Forest has been hard at work to help NOPA residents create sidewalk gardens. 

San Francisco has long been home to urban gardens. In the past, residents built their own, stacking pots of succulents on boxes and occasionally adding a chair, like the one below. 

Now, however, urban garden aficionados have a new resource available. Friends of the Urban Forest can provide funding, DPW approval, and the know-how to get urban gardens up and running. Since sidewalk gardens can cost up to $1500 in permits and building supplies, having some subsidized grants on your side can be a huge help. 

Once a neighborhood finds a lead organizer and a minimum of 15 properties interested in participating, funding can be secured and things can get rolling. Rules for the project include a mandatory 4' between the garden and the street (to allow access to cars) and a raised edge to differentiate gardens from the sidewalk. Due to size requirements, sidewalks also have to be pretty wide to accommodate these gardens, which luckily is not an issue in NOPA.

If you're interested in getting one going on your street, you can find out more here. Or if you simply want to get your hands dirty, you can also volunteer to plant gardens in other neighborhoods. 

We've seen small gardens on Hayes between Broderick and Divisadero, as well as one extravagant block-long series of gardens on Broderick between Hayes and Fulton. Once you start noticing the Friends of the Urban Forest signs you'll see them everywhere. Know of any others in the neighborhood? 
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