The Circular Ribbon Garden

By Pat Moore

In 2011, after three years of intense work by a roster of some 35+ volunteers, Circular Avenue was changed from an unofficial dump into a beautiful SF Park: the Circular Avenue Ribbon Garden, so-named because it consists of the 6′ of land between the curb and the 280 Freeway fence, running the 3/4 mile stretch from Monterey Blvd. to Havelock, near CCSF. It’s cleaner now, but needs regular attention. And we have plans for the future!

Circular_Ave_Ribbon_Garden_opening_ceremony_Mayor_Ed_Lee
The 2011 opening ceremony for the Circular Ribbon Garden, with Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Scott Wiener in attendance, along with local residents who helped make it happen, including Pat Moore, Ming Louie, Bob Abra, and many others.

map_Circular_Ribbon_Garden_2019
Location of Circular Ribbon Garden along Circular Avenue in Sunnyside, from Havelock Street to Monterey Blvd.

After the dedication ceremony by Mayor Lee and other city and neighborhood officials, maintenance was continued by some of these same volunteers who became official SF Park Stewards, picking up trash, pulling weeds, and caring for the greenery. Over time, however, there was attrition in the ranks, as people moved away or found that time constraints made it impossible to continue.

Recently, attention was drawn to the current run-down state of the Garden by the Stewards who have continued their efforts. (A special shout-out to Keren and Bob Abra, Eileen Shields, and Diane Pianairi here!)  In spite of their efforts, the Garden has again become a trash heap!

In February we held one clean-up day, and will be continuing working to reclaim the entire length until it’s up to the standard that was set when it opened.

Our next work day is this Saturday, April 20, followed by clean-up days every other Saturday, and accelerating to every Saturday soon.  Mark your calendar, and we’ll keep you posted.

After the Garden has been brought up to snuff, in anticipation of the housing which will be added to Sunnyside in the coming years, we will add an enhancement phase all of Circular Avenue.

Working on both sides, we will be clearing out curb and sidewalk weeds, taming plants, and adding art works in the form of sculptures on both sides of the street; murals on walls, fences and garage doors; and the decoration of public works such as the power box cubes and light poles that dot the area.

A lot of ideas are floating around, and we invite yours.  Why should the Mission have all the Street art?  As we move ahead in parallel with the other beautification projects in Sunnyside, such as the Detroit Steps Project and the Havelock Pedestrian Bridge improvements, we’ll aim at making Sunnyside one of the outstanding and fun places to live in SF.

So PLEASE JOIN US this next Saturday, the 20th at 8:00 a.m., at the corner of Circular and Congo.  There will be coffee and Monterey Deli’s marvelous pastries to get you started.  Bring your own tools and gloves if you want, plus safety vests will be provided.  We’ll work until 12:00, although you may stay longer if you wish.


PHOTO CREDITS: All photos (except first two images) courtesy Bill Wilson Photography http://billwilsonphotos.com

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