“Right now we’re standing in front of a more arid desert feature,” says my tour guide Darryl Smith. It’s an odd thing to point out in the middle of San Francisco – and the street sounds nearby don’t let you forget that you’re in the heart of the Tenderloin, but as soon as you set foot in this park, you know you’ve walked into a unique space.
Benjamin Grant is the Public Realm and Urban Design program manager at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association – also known as SPUR. He says that means he works on “public space and the physical form of the city.” He also knows quite a bit about the history of parks in the Bay Area.
The city of Richmond is notorious for its high crime rate and industrial pollution. And the Iron Triangle neighborhood – which is bordered on three sides by train tracks – just might be the city’s most dangerous neighborhood. But inside the Triangle, activist Tania Pulido is cultivating community and social consciousness through the Berryland Community Garden. Pulido is one of the winners of the 2011 David Brower Youth Awards, and she joined KALW’s Holly Kernan in studio to talk about how she got started with the garden, and her social activism.