September is for Our Children and Our Future
September is an important month at the Garden and this year it has special significance.
On September 15, we host Garden Feast, our annual fundraising luncheon, held in the Great Meadow. Always a lovely time to visit the Garden, this year's event is dedicated to the children of our community and the Botanical Garden Society's commitment to share with them the wonder and joy of the natural world, whatever their background, whatever their circumstance. Available to participating schools and community programs without charge, we reach 10,000 children a year, most from San Francisco public schools and many from the City's most underserved neighborhoods.
Please join us on September 15. Enjoy a delicious lunch. Watch the premier showing of our new video about the Youth Education Program. Celebrate the leadership and commitment of three remarkable individuals as we launch our new Youth Education Garden Champion Awards. Participate in our silent and live auctions. And, most important, help to make an important difference in the lives of children whose connection to the world of nature and plants is often quite limited.
If you have not yet purchased a ticket, it is not too late. Tickets are available for purchase through FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9.
This September also includes a critical milestone in our plans to bring a new Nursery: Center for Sustainable Gardening (CSG) to San Francisco Botanical Garden. FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16 is the last day to submit public comments in response to the San Francisco Planning Department's issuance of the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration (PMND) for the CSG under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The PMND, issued last month, thoroughly and conservatively analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the CSG Project, and concludes that with the implementation of certain mitigation measures, the project will have no significant environmental impacts.
The CSG will replace dilapidated, inadequate nursery facilities, installed more than 40 years ago, that were never intended to be permanent. The new facility will be as beautiful and appropriate for its setting as it will be functionally and environmentally noteworthy. Targeted for LEED Platinum certification, the CSG will be the heart of the Garden's collections-management and plant-propagation activities.
There are many reasons to support the CSG Project. As essential as the CSG will be to maintaining and developing the Garden's exceptional collection of plants, it will do much more. One of the CSG's most important features is its accessibility to Garden visitors. Through the CSG's open design and public displays, San Francisco residents and visitors of all ages will be able to learn about plants, horticulture, climate change, sustainability and measures they can take in their own homes and gardens to help preserve the environment. Our community's children will be among the primary beneficiaries. The CSG's proximity to the Children's Garden means that we will be able to offer more extensive Youth Education programming than we do today.
This is an important legacy project for the Garden, Golden Gate Park and the people of San Francisco. If you are interested in submitting comments to the San Francisco Planning Department, please visit the Planning Department's website or the SFBGS website for further information. Please also feel free to send comments or questions directly to the Society at CSG@sfbg.org.
We have raised almost half of the funds required to complete the project. We will keep you updated as the CSG proceeds through the entitlements process. And we will be reaching out to you and others in our community as we build our fundraising campaign to complete the CSG.
With many thanks,
Sue Ann Schiff