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.  

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 on the nine member PUG committee.

Portola Green Plan
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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 report, 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 both strengthening the identity of the Garden District, past and present.

With guidance from this first community-informed phase of the Portola Green Plan, The Greenhouse Project and PUG continue collaborating to implement the Portola Green Plan. In 2016 PUG applied for and was awarded a Community Challenge Grant to begin implementing the plan. With the support of Supervisor David Campos and his successor Supervisor Hillary Ronen, as well as State Assemblymember David Chiu, in early 2017, PUG installed a 40' x 20' sign welcoming passersby into what is officially the Garden District of San Francisco, and landscaped the land beneath the sign in the style of commercial nursery style rows of native drought tolerant flowering plants. 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.

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Photography by Michael Blumenfeld