Representing community needs and interests, the Portola Urban Greening Committee (PUG) works to increase neighborhood greenspace, walkability, and overall thriving through green projects and the promotion of neighborhood environmental sustainability.
2014 - 2015
To support the Portola District's goal of expanding and deepening its identity as San Francisco's Garden District, in 2014, a diverse group of neighborhood stakeholders joined to form the Portola Urban Greening (PUG) Steering Committee. In its first year, Juan Carlos Cancino and David Gabriner represented The Greenhouse Project (TGP) on the nine member PUG committee. With support from Supervisor David Campos, the committee spent the spring of 2014 through the spring of 2015 thinking and talking with neighbors about what's next for the Garden District. The result of those efforts was the Portola Green Plan, which catalogues conversation with Portola residents and now serves as a roadmap for future projects and community engagement.
The Portola Green Plan is a long-range vision intended to increase opportunities for community engagement as well as improve the quality and consistency of improvements and projects undertaken in the neighborhood. It represents the outreach and opportunities portion of the larger vision of strengthening the identity of the Garden District, past and present. Click here to download.
2015 - 2016
In its second iteration the PUG furthered the Portola's Garden District identity both in city hall and within the community. On October 25th 2016, PUG celebrated a longtime effort to recognize the Portola as the official Garden District of San Francisco when the SF Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Resolution 161023. Back in the Portola, the PUG selected priority projects from those identified by the community in the Portola Green Plan, and began working towards implementation. In the first half of 2016 the PUG and TGP applied for and were awarded a Community Challenge Grant to carry out the first Green Plan project - the Green Placemaking Initiative activating a neglected Caltrans parcel at a major entrance to the neighborhood at San Bruno Avenue and Silliman Street.
2016 - 2017
In year three the PUG successfully completed the Green Placemaking Initiative. With the support of former Supervisor David Campos and his successor Supervisor Hillary Ronen, as well as State Assemblymember David Chiu, in early 2017, PUG worked to design and install a 40' x 20' hand-painted sign welcoming passersby into what the now official Garden District of San Francisco, and landscaped the area beneath the sign with native drought tolerant flowering plants in the style of commercial agricultural rows. The PUG and TGP were also awarded a second Community Challenge Grant for Play in the Greenway, an effort to work with the community to envision the future of another Caltrans parcel (this one located directly south to the much-loved Burrows Pocket Park) and begin the first phase of physical improvements.
2017 - 2018
Looking ahead to its fourth round, the PUG is excited to gather the community to imagine the future of the Burrows Pocket Park expansion, further collaborate with other green groups in the neighborhood, and continue to advance priorities identified in the Portola Green Plan with city agencies.
The PUG and TGP are excited to continue working with the community to install projects that exemplify the Portola's goals of safety, beauty, green education, places of interest, and connections beyond the neighborhood.
Please visit www.portolaurbangreening.org for more information.
Photography by Arthur Koch