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2018 List | Summary | Detailed

California Academy of Sciences

2018 - $10,000 Biodiversity Toolkit for Cities
2016 - $10,000 Citizen Science Program
2015 - $10,000 Citizen Science Program
2007 - $5,000 Capital Campaign, Green Roof
The California Academy of Sciences is a multifaceted scientific institution committed to leading-edge research, to educational outreach, and to finding new and innovative ways to engage and inspire the public.

California Academy of Sciences


California Academy of Sciences
2018 - $10,000 Biodiversity Toolkit for Cities
2016 - $10,000 Citizen Science Program
2015 - $10,000 Citizen Science Program

2007 - $5,000 Capital Campaign, Green Roof

The California Academy of Sciences is a multifaceted scientific institution committed to leading-edge research, to educational outreach, and to finding new and innovative ways to engage and inspire the public.  The Academy's mission - to explore, explain and protect the natural world - extends to all corners of the institution; from a research expedition in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, to a teacher training program in a California classroom, to an interactive game on the museum exhibit floor.

One of the highlights of the Academy of Science’s Museum is the living roof.  The masterstroke of rooftop’s design lies in making the park's environment such a visible part of the building itself. The rooftop's seven undulating green hillocks pay homage to the iconic topography of San Francisco and blurs the boundary between building and parkland.

Citizen Science Program
Following the San Francisco Urban Biodiversity Summits in 2013 and 2014, the California Academy of Sciences has been leading charge in convening biodiversity leaders in the Bay Area and  through their Citizen Science Program. In order to address the lack of knowledge on the biodiversity of California, the Academy aims to crowd-source data through observations of plants and animals by citizen scientists, encouraging people of all backgrounds to work together to build the data set of biodiversity required to make local and global conservation decisions.

calacademy.org

Climate One

2022 - $15,000 General Support
2021 - $18,000 General Support
2019 - $15,000 General Support
2018 - $15.000 Resilience Programming
2017 - $15,000 General Support
2017 - $15,000 General Support
2015 - $15,000 Resilience Program
Founded in 2007, Climate One is a branch of The Commonwealth Club that focuses on climate-related programming and discussions that offer the broad public access to prominent business people, politicians and scientists.

Climate One


Climate One
2022 - $15,000 General Support
2021 - $18,000 General Support
2019 - $15,000 General Support
2018 - $15,000 Resilience Program
2017 - $15,000 General Support
2017 - $15,000 General Support
2015 - $15,000 Resilience Program

When Greg Dalton set off for the Russian Arctic in 2007, he didn't know how profoundly his life was about to change. Upon returning home, Greg worked with Commonwealth Club CEO Gloria Duffy to launch Climate One. 

Climate One is rooted in the belief that climate disruption is the single greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. A  sustainable, just, and equitable path forward starts when we come together to talk about our concerns, share expertise, and put forth bold ideas. 

Since its founding, Climate One has provided a unique and respectful space for influential, inclusive discussions. Dalton and his team have prioritized a broad, evidence-based conversation about climate disruption and its consequences by bringing leaders and experts on different sides of issues together in pursuit of empathy, common ground, and cross-sector solutions.

Now in their second decade, Climate One is doubling down on their mission to be the premier platform for the conversation about the climate emergency. Through their podcast, national radio show, and live convenings for thought leaders and concerned members of the public, Climate One creates opportunities for dialogue that inspire a more complete understanding of the current crisis. 

A pioneer in the podcast arena, Climate One has seized on the opportunity to become an influential voice in a previously untapped media segment, exceeding 100,000 downloads each month. In parallel, radio stations across the country have taken notice and Climate One now airs on more than 50 public radio stations in red and blue states from Texas, Georgia and Florida, to Pennsylvania, California and more. By building credibility and a broad community, every conversation they publish reaches more than 50,000 people, and that audience is growing rapidly. 

In addition to their weekly climate show, they support leading science communicators through the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Science Communication. Created in 2010, the Schneider Award has honored a variety of natural and social scientists such as Dr. Robert Bullard, Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe and more. In a world so littered with disinformation, Climate One is committed to recognizing the scientists who have dedicated their lives to understanding the climate crisis and informing the public. 

Imperative to a constructive conversation is diversity and representation. Across the nation, in all aspects of life and governance, the BIPOC community has been marginalized. Climate One recognizes that the climate conversation has been no exception. While black and brown communities are affected first and worst by the pollution, severe weather, sea level rise, and economic upheaval brought on by climate change, their voices have not been heard. In 2020, Climate One renewed their commitment to amplifying the voices of BIPOC speakers and perspectives on their program. Climate change is a racial justice problem, and needs to be covered as such. 

Climate One envisions a world where a clear-eyed awareness of the climate crisis shapes decisions ranging from personal behavior to public policy and where the full spectrum of humanity’s wisdom, talent, and expertise is marshaled toward the wellbeing of all life on Earth. That is why they are going beyond simply raising awareness to catalyzing action with a conversation that can expose the web of interrelated issues and the impact on the global ecosystems, economies and communities. They set the stage for one-time adversaries to develop empathy and perhaps become partners who develop solutions that inspire us all.

climateone.org

Climate Ride

2022 - $8,000 General Support
2021 - $4,000 General Support
2020 - $4,000 General Support
2019 - $3,000 General Support
2019 - $3,000 General Support
2018 - $3,000 General Support
2017 - $3,000 General Support
2016 - $3,000 General Support
2015 - $3,000 General Support
The Climate Ride is a 340 mile bike ride- along different routes in America- that encourages riders to raise money and awareness for climate related organizations and causes.

Climate Ride



Climate Ride
2022 - $8,000 General Support
2021 - $6,000 General Support

2020 - $6,000 General Support
2019 - $6,000 General Support
2018 - $3,000 General Support
2017 - $3,000 General Support
2016 - $3,000 General Support
2015 - $3,000 General Support

Mission

Climate Ride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that organizes life-changing charitable biking, running, and hiking events to raise awareness and support sustainability, active transportation, and environmental causes. 

The Cause

Climate Ride, founded in 2008, inspires and empowers people to work toward a sustainable future. Climate Ride unites advocacy and philanthropy. We use sport as a means to change lives and build an effective, citizen-based sustainability movement.

You have the right to a healthy environment, yet the environment is one of the least funded sectors in American philanthropy. Climate Ride aims to change that. Climate Ride creates opportunities for people to engage in a way that is uniquely positive, life-affirming, and transformational while providing grants to environmentally-focused non-profits. Climate Ride participants take on a challenge much bigger than themselves and share their journey with their personal networks helping to amplify support for the cause. Our organization endeavors to foster environmental giving as a priority for new and seasoned donors. Climate Ride is the only organization taking this approach in the environmental sector. Our goal is to bring people and nonprofits together to inspire action and make protecting the planet a philanthropic priority for everyone.

We create and organize multi-day bike rides, runs, and hikes, as well as virtual and independent events. These challenges serve as a catalyst for participants to engage new stakeholders and strengthen advocacy for the environment while creating a substantial grants program for environmental and active transportation non-profits. Climate Ride supports participants with strategies to help reach out to thousands of people as they raise funds for our grants program. This creates unique opportunities to push for environmental justice and climate advocacy. Participants get to select the projects and organizations they fund from a list of groups working on climate change, environmental justice, clean energy, active transportation, sustainable infrastructure, and public health.

We are all feeling concerned, anxious, or overwhelmed by climate change. The threats to our world are numerous and growing more complex each day. While so many people care deeply and want to help address the problem, the enormity of the challenge and the political tone around climate change can feel dispiriting and disempowering. Climate Ride offers a way to make a difference while building new friendships and connections with a global network of outdoor advocates. 

The Movement

Our mission is to inspire and empower citizens to work toward a sustainable future. By using personal challenges as a means to change lives, Climate Ride is building an effective, citizen-based sustainability movement. Climate Ride empowers participants to actively engage in the fight against climate change by completing multi-day outdoor adventure events to fundraise for the organizations they value most and take action together for the planet. Our community proves that immersive outdoor experiences and personal challenges are powerful tools for generating the behavioral change to help ignite activism on climate policy, raise critical funds, and influence public opinion. 

Take Dave for example. Dave is a retired firefighter in California who Dave heard about Climate Ride from a local bike coalition he donated to annually. He decided to take on the challenge and along the way raised several thousand dollars. On the ride, he was inspired by speakers and found a movement he could believe in. Since that first ride, he’s raised over $50,000 for Climate Ride grants program and become a huge advocate in his community. Climate Ride is a growing movement of people like Dave who are joining together to take positive action to help our planet.

At a Glance:

  • Climate Ride has raised over $6.2 million for climate, clean energy, and bicycle/pedestrian advocacy grantees
  • Over 3,600 people have participated in Climate Ride events since 2008
  • On average, a participant reaches out to more than 200 people about climate and sustainability
  • 30% of Climate Ride participants are 30 years old or younger
  • Climate Ride participants are a diverse group from 47 states and 12 countries

Recent Accomplishments

Because of the extraordinary efforts of the record 600 Climate Riders, Runners, and Hikers in 2019, Climate Ride awarded over $800,000 in grants. These powerful grants have resulted in direct support to help fight legal battles for public lands and clean air. Climate Ride amplified diverse voices in sustainable transportation and provided funds for organizations building safer options for bicyclists and walkers. These grants have led to renewable energy projects in national parks, relieving pollution in critically impacted ecosystems. Climate Ride helped brace an environmental movement that needs new voices and an active citizenry willing to walk the walk and bike the bike.

We expanded our Community Leaders awards program, which provided unparalleled opportunities for young sustainability leaders to experience the enrichment and inspiration of a Climate Ride. Our inaugural Green Fondo Weekend event engaged a record 250 cyclists – 70% of whom were new to the Climate Ride cause. Overall, we delivered 107 grants to beneficiaries working in sustainability, renewable energy, climate action, conservation, and public health. In 2020, Climate Ride needed to postpone several events due to challenge of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We launched a new virtual event, Climate Rise, which brought together over 400 people for the cause, and generated more than $100,000 in grants.

climateride.org

Environmental Action Committee of West Marin

2019 - $10,000 Coastal Resiliency
2018 - $20,000 Regional Strategy
2016 - $9,000 General Support
The Environmental Action Committee of West Marin is a tenacious, highly effective grassroots advocacy organization founded in 1971 that is dedicated to the protection and appreciation of West Marin’s wild lands, wildlife, wilderness, watersheds, and rural character.

Environmental Action Committee of West Marin


Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
2019 - $10,000 Coastal Resiliency
2018 - $20,000 Regional Strategy
2016 - $9,000 General Support

In response to impending threats of climate change and sea-level rise, several municipalities along the California coast are preparing comprehensive planning documents to provide public guidance on the consequences of rising seas.  Strong public standards and guidelines are needed to address how changing environmental conditions, like flooding, runoff, erosion, salinity changes, temperature changes, and ocean acidification will affect habitats in tidal zones, coastal dunes, estuaries, and riparian corridors.  In addition, planning documents need to provide comprehensive and realistic solutions for property owners and municipalities that are located within flood plains and include options to utilize new technology and green infrastructure that are balanced in the best available science.

The Environmental Action Committee (EAC) is uniquely positioned to review Marin County’s proposed guidelines in their amended Local Coastal Plan's environmental hazards chapter.  The EAC will provide comments and public information to the community based on a comprehensive review of the County’s proposals.

eacmarin.org

Exploratorium

2022 - $15,000 Urban Fellows Program
2021 - $15,000 Urban Fellows Program
2019 - $10,000 Coastal Resiliency Collaboration
2019 - $10,000 General Support
2018 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2017 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2017 - $10,000 Habitat: Bay As It Is Symposium
2016 - $5,000 Habitat: Bay As It Is Symposium
2016 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2015 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2015 - $10,000 Center for Art and Inquiry
2014 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2013 - $10,000 Jane Wolf, Bay Lexicon
2013 - $1,000 Living Innovation Zone
2011 - $10,000 Capital Campaign
The Exploratorium is a San Francisco museum of science, art, and human perception that believes that curiosity and asking questions can lead to amazing moments of discovery and learning.

Exploratorium

The Exploratorium is a LEED-Platinum rated building and the institution is working toward energy neutrality through systems like the solar panels on Pier 15. © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

The Exploratorium’s Pier 15 and 17 is centrally situated on San Francisco’s Embarcadero Waterfront, with access to public transit, and a working dock for visiting ships of all types.© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

The Exploratorium welcomes over 800,000 visitors every year, from field trip students to adult After Dark audiences to curious individuals from every walk of life. © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

The Fisher Bay Observatory is home to many of the incredible environmental programs of the Exploratorium. Among its many incredible exhibits and programs, it houses the Wired Pier—an array of sensitive instruments around the Exploratorium campus that measure and record conditions in the environment—the weather, Bay water, pollution, and more © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

The entire Exploratorium is a hub of environmental programming—our working dock welcomes NOAA research ships and other vessels, our buoy gathers information year-round, and the Fisher Bay Observatory convenes the leading minds in urban resilience and sustainability. © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

The Exploratorium’s Gallery 4 is dedicated to Living Systems and is one of the only informal learning institutions in the country with a working wet lab on site. © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu


Exploratorium
2022 - $15,000 Urban Fellows Program
2021 - $15,000 Urban Fellows Program
2019 - $10,000 Coastal Resiliency Collaboration
2019 - $10,000 General Support
2018 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2017 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2017 - $10,000 Habitat: Bay As It Is Symposium
2016 - $5,000 Habitat: Bay As It Is Symposium
2016 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2015 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2015 - $10,000 Center for Art and Inquiry
2014 - $10,000 Urban Fellowship
2013 - $10,000 Jane Wolf, Bay Lexicon
2013 - $1,000 Living Innovation Zone
2011 - $10,000 Capital Campaign

Since 1969, the Exploratorium’s museum in San Francisco has been home to a renowned collection of 650+ exhibits that draw together science, art, and human perception, and that have changed the way science is taught. Our award-winning programs inspire visitors, empower teachers through our cutting-edge teacher development program, and influence a global movement where 80% of science centers across the globe contain Exploratorium exhibits. The exhibits on the floor are designed to enable experimentation with physical phenomena while simultaneously strengthening thinking and inquiry skills. This is true not only for our audiences of over 850,000 people a year in San Francisco, but for an estimated 250 million people who experience our exhibits at science centers around the world. As founder Frank Oppenheimer saw it: “A lot of people have given up trying to comprehend things, and when they give up with the physical world they give up with the social and political world as well. If we stop trying to understand things, I think we’re all sunk.” The Exploratorium continues to build on his foundational belief that citizens who are curious and empowered to learn about the world are more likely to take action and tackle problems in their communities.

The Exploratorium’s location on Piers 15 and 17, and in particular our investment in the Fisher Bay Observatory, has provided an unprecedented opportunity to engage the public with a wealth of data about the area’s natural and built environments and dynamic access to the researchers collecting it. Since our relocation from the Palace of Fine Arts in 2013, we have been continually evolving exhibits, programs, and partnerships to engage diverse audiences in understanding the complex ecologies that emerge through the interaction between social, cultural, and natural forces and systems. The facility serves as a new model for a combined research and learning space—an open laboratory for researchers, policy makers, and the public. We are educators who have learned that as we face global climate crises, our strategy must be expansive including the contributions of scientists, educators, artists, designers, historians and cultural workers, as well as practitioners in the realms of policy and advocacy. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Exploratorium closed its doors on March 12, 2020. Our museum has always been a playground of discovery and hands-on learning, but as we remain closed, our educators, exhibit developers, scientists and other staff have gotten creative in sparking curiosity online. From helping teachers make science come alive in virtual classrooms, to engaging families all over the globe in tinkering projects, to illuminating timely science through online events like Covid Conversations and After Dark, the Exploratorium’s online content highlights what the Exploratorium does best: creating learning experiences that are engaging, interactive, inspiring, and trustworthy.

The digital programming and resources reach audiences from young kids to adults, and present a full range of topics from nearly all Exploratorium departments, from biology, to the environment, to Cinema Arts. In all, our digital resources are being used more than ever: traffic to our website, which serves 2M people annually, is up by nearly 300%. The Exploratorium is proud to continue sparking curiosity wherever people are, whether the kitchen table laboratory, the virtual classroom, the outdoors, or—eventually—back at Pier 15

Urban Fellowship
The Exploratorium's new Urban Fellow program will address issues related to climate change and rising sea levels.  This program situates an artist or urban practitioner in a residency within the Bay Observatory to explore the human relationship to the urban environment.  Fellows could explore concrete forms: such as architecture and infrastructure: as well as human forms: such as approaches to planning or individual practices within the city.  This investigation is both important and timely as urban areas globally explore the issue of climate change and coastal resiliency.

Jane Wolf, Bay Lexicon
Bay Lexicon is an illustrated field guide to San Francisco’s shoreline. Using methods and tools from landscape scholarship, design, and science education, Bay Lexicon aims to encourage observation and enquiry about the natural world and its relation to culture.

Living Innovation Zone
The LIZ project is a place making project, which encourages people to engage with their environment and each other in new and surprising ways.  The Exploratorium relies on this kind of open-ended inquiry as a means of engaging people and encouraging them to learn about themselves and the world around them.

Capital Campaign
It is the Exploratorium’s goal to be the world’s first net zero energy, carbon neutral museum.  Their LEED Platinum certification sets the stage as they continue to work on their sustainability goals.  The new location on San Francisco’s waterfront showcases a premiere “green” building, operating with maximum energy efficiency and preservation of the atmosphere.

exploratorium.edu

Island Press

2022 - $10,000 Founders’ Pot
2021 - $15,000 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work
2021 - $10,000 Founders’ Pot
2020 - $15,000 Online Programming During COVID-19 Pandemic
2020 - $25,000 Founders’ Pot
2019 - $25,000 General Support
2018 - $5,000 Founders’ Pot for General Operating Support
2017 - $5,000 Founders' Pot for General Operating Support
2017 - $5,000 General Support
2016 - $5,000 General Support
2015 - $5,000 General Support
2013 - $10,000 Sustainability Knowledge Network
2011 - $5,000 General Support
Since 1984, Island Press has been a trusted publisher of environmental information.

Island Press

Rep. Jose Serrano reads from an Island Press op-ed in The Washington Post calling for a return to science-based decisionmaking at the Environmental Protection Agency

Solutions that Inspire Change: Recent Titles from Island Press

Carey Gillam, author of Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science (Island Press, 2017) testifies to the European Parliament about the dangers of glyphosate 

Steven Higashide, author of Better Buses, Better Cities: How to Plan, Run, and Win the Fight for Effective Transit (Island Press, 2019)

Book launch party for Transit Street Design Guide (Island Press, 2016)


Island Press
2022 - $10,000 Founders’ Pot
2021 - $15,000 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work 
2021 - $10,000 Founders’ Pot
2020 - $15,000 Online Programming During COVID-19 Pandemic
2020 - $25,000 Founders’ Pot
2019 - $25,000 General Support
2018 - $5,000 Founders’ Pot for General Operating Support
2017 - $5,000 Founders’ Pot for General Operating Support
2017 - $5,000 General Support
2016 - $5,000 General Support
2015 - $5,000 General Support
2014 - $5,000 General Support
2013 - $10,000 Sustainability Knowledge Network
2011 - $5,000 General Support

Island Press supports the environmental community in advancing their knowledge and practice which, ultimately, improves the natural systems on which humankind depends. A non-profit organization, its mission is to provide the best ideas and information to those seeking to understand and protect the environment and create solutions to its complex problems. 

From its growing network, Island Press identifies promising thinkers, inspiring stories, and game-changing ideas to publish some 30 books each year. Island Press’ publishing expertise delivers critical information that enhances the work of thousands of professionals striving to create healthier, more sustainable, and more just communities. Today, Island Press is one of the nation's leading providers of environmental ideas and solutions. 

Island Press’ goal is to spark lasting solutions to environmental problems. Its approach is two-fold: 

Identifying and Developing Ideas 

Island Press identifies and shapes the best ideas, methods, and approaches into accessible content. The most valuable lessons come from those who are doing the work—the scientists, activists, and professionals who are leading change every day. But these problem-solvers often need guidance on how to share their experience with others. Without the editorial and communications support Island Press provides, important new voices would be left unheard, and effective approaches unknown.

Promoting and Distributing Content

The field needs cutting-edge information and practical solutions to a wide range of problems. Island Press taps into a distribution network of environmental movement leaders, researchers, policymakers, professionals, and the public. The organization’s reach extends into many areas, ranging from transportation planning and food systems to affordable housing and green space.

Setting this work apart from for-profit publishers, Island Press is committed to providing reliable, science-based knowledge in digital formats—webinars, articles, opinion pieces, and online courses—most of them free. 

Island Press has developed a body of environmental literature that is considered by many to be the most comprehensive, rigorous, and innovative available. This work is shaping policies, establishing thought leaders, and advancing influential concepts that have had important real-world impacts.

Notable Accomplishments 

Creating Safer Streets for All: Publishing the Urban Street Design Guide guided billions of dollars in infrastructure spending for energy-saving, carbon-reducing public transit and pedestrian-friendly streets across the country. 

Reducing Toxic Chemicals: The award-winning Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science led to limits on the cancer-causing chemical glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup) in several countries, as well as on college campuses and public lands across the U.S. 

Regulating Overfishing: The Most Important Fish in the Sea led to the first-ever limits on menhaden fishing, which had reached unsustainable levels. The quota resulted in a 26% reduction in the menhaden catch—a huge victory for fishing communities and conservationists.

Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

As workplaces closed and events were canceled, Island Press moved quickly to create more online offerings for professionals and students who were now working from home. Island Press released a dozen e-books for free and nearly tripled its schedule of free webinars for professionals. As a result, attendance to online trainings more than doubled. This evolving approach helped the organization grow the number of people it serves, and has widened its geographic reach.

islandpress.org

Literacy for Environmental Justice

2021 - $15,000 General Support
2019 - $10,000 Interpretative Signage
2019 - $10,000 General Support
2018 - $10,000 Nursery Expansion
2017 - $10,000 Justice Installations and Educational Outreach Materials at Candlestick Point Recreation Area
2017 - $10,000 Nursery Expansion and Capacity Building
2016 - $10,000 Candlestick Point State Recreation Area Rehabilitation
2015 - $10,000 Candlestick Point State Recreation Area Rehabilitation
Established in 1998 by a coalition of youth, educators and community leaders, Literacy for Environmental Justice strives to promote community development in Southeast San Francisco through eco-literacy, environmental stewardship and workforce development opportunities to empower and support locals in securing a healthier future.

Literacy for Environmental Justice


Literacy for Environmental Justice
2021
- $15,000 General Support
2019 - $10,000 Interpretative Signage
2019 - $10,000 General Support 
2018 - $10,000 Nursery expansion
2017 - $10,000 Justice Installations and Educational Outreach Materials at Candlestick Point Recreation Area
2017 - $10,000 Nursery Expansion and Capacity Building
2016 - $10,000 Candlestick Point State Recreation Area Rehabilitation
2015 - $10,000 Candlestick Point State Recreation Area Rehabilitation

Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) is a non-profit youth development organization in Bayview Hunters Point that works to address environmental justice issues in San Francisco with two native plant nurseries, ecological restoration projects, youth outdoor education, and green job training.

Their neighborhood's mix of industrial and residential zoning and geographic location result in poor air quality & high particulate matter concentrations, exposure to radiation and hazardous waste, difficulty accessing open space, and flooding issues amplified by climate change and sea level rise.

LEJ’s priority is to empower young environmental leaders and to care for open spaces. They do this by 1) providing free environmental education programs for low-income youth that focus on hands-on environmental stewardship and recreation, such as kayaking, hiking and camping; 2) operating two native plant nurseries that grow thousands of native plants per year used for habitat restoration; and 3) running a multi-track, year-round internship program designed to get young, diverse leaders into ‘green’ careers. The 2018 San Francisco Biodiversity Initiative named LEJ a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the environmental field.

Since the onset of COVID, LEJ has still held to its mission of serving local, San Francisco youth. The Eco-Apprentice program was deemed an essential service by the City, for work in ecosystem restoration. Our eight (8) Eco-Apprentices are local, low-income young adults (approximately 18-25 years old). In normal years, Eco-Apprentices run ecological restoration activities and youth programs. This year, they have focused entirely on restoration work, as youth programs were not safe to operate.

Eco-Apprentices normally facilitate over 2,000 youth and volunteers in stewardship and environmental education programs each year, which contributes greatly to our ability to grow native plants and perform park stewardship. This year, Eco-Apprentices have completed 100% of the native plant nursery and park stewardship work, achieving the same targets that were in place last year with the help of youth and volunteers. Eco-Apprentices are scheduled to begin facilitating Covid-safe youth community kayaking events beginning in March 2021. They are planning to host 1-2 kayaking events per month, as long as it is Covid-safe, until the pandemic subsides.

In two decades of work in the Bayview community, LEJ has restored over 100 acres of public, urban open space with over 250,000 newly planted native plants. Currently, there are about 450 San Francisco native species still intact, of which LEJ grows about 200 species. LEJ’s community-based restoration has led to the resurgence of several rare, threatened, & endangered species, including: the Clapper Rail, Burrowing Owl, Western Meadowlark, Western Pigmy Butterfly, Pacific Ring-Neck Snake, Chorus Frog, Long-Tailed Jack Rabbit, and more. As California and San Francisco have rolled out their biodiversity initiatives, LEJ is poised to lead even larger-scale restoration and green-infrastructure installation in these urban areas.

This winter 2021, LEJ is breaking ground to double the size of their native plant nursery and community garden. This will allow LEJ to hire and train more young environmental leaders and to amplify the ecological restoration work they do in Bayview Hunters Point and Southeast San Francisco.They've already raised over $1 million dollars and only need $150 thousand more to bring this project to completion by the summer of 2021. You can help them get there by donating here: https://lejyouth.networkforgood.com/

Check out LEJ’s website for volunteer opportunities and other ways to connect with the organization.

To learn more about LEJ's Eco-Apprentices, check out “Literacy for Environmental Justice: Cultivating Youth Leaders in Southeast San Francisco” from Kristin Tieche on Vimeo (8 min): https://vimeo.com/324521956

lejyouth.org

Marin Carbon Project

2019 - $20,000 Carbon Cycle Institute
2018 - $20,000 Point Reyes Carbon Farming
2017 - $20,000 Point Reyes National Seashore Carbon Farm Plan

Marin Carbon Project

MALT staff conducts a baseline assessment to determine the composition of grassland species at a ranch.

MALT staff digs a soil pit to analyze soil characteristics at different depths.

Soil scientists collect soil samples that will measure changes in organic carbon through time (carbon sequestration); soil texture and bulk density (structure and compaction); soil pH (acidity); and soil fertility (nutrient availability).

A soil scientist takes a sample which will be analyzed for bulk density, a measurement of compaction.

Compost is applied to a grazed rangeland at Stemple Creek Ranch. 

Marin RCD staff maps the location of compost application onto different pastures.

A profile of native grass and its root system.  photo credit: PRathmann


Marin Carbon Project
2019 - $20,000 Carbon Cycle Institute
2018 - $20,000 Point Reyes Carbon Farming
2017 - $20,000 Point Reyes National Seashore Carbon Farm Plan

As much as one-third of the surplus CO2 in the atmosphere driving climate change has resulted from land management practices, including agriculture. Carbon farming, a whole-farm approach to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote long-term carbon sequestration in agricultural ecosystems, holds the potential to significantly reduce GHG by increasing the rate of transfer of atmospheric carbon dioxide to plant material and the soil organic carbon pool, leading to enhanced soil health and increased farm productivity. 

Years of rigorous research undertaken by the Marin Carbon Project (MCP), under the leadership of UC Berkeley Professor Dr. Whendee Silver, has culminated in robust confirmation of the GHG-mitigating efficacy of organic matter amendment on rangeland soils. Dr. Silver’s research demonstrated that agricultural land management practices can measurably increase rates of carbon sequestration, resulting in enhanced soil quality and soil water holding capacity and increased soil carbon and forage production (Ryals and Silver 2013). 

With this research and field validation, MCP integrates carbon farm planning into the existing conservation planning program that help land managers meet their natural resource management goals while supporting productive lands, thriving streams, and on-farm wildlife habitat. The program is applicable to a diversity of land uses and enables MCP partners to identify and quantify practices to increase carbon sequestration and reduce GHG emissions on farm in a whole-farm planning context. These practices support climate change resiliency by reducing atmospheric CO2 levels, improving soil health, water holding capacity, and crop and forage production. By increasing soil water holding capacity, carbon farm practices promote water conservation, reduce overland flow and sediment and nutrient transport, reduce irrigation needs and reduce stream withdrawals, thereby enhancing water quality and instream habitat. Agroforestry practices, such as hedgerows, silvopastures and windbreaks, sequester CO2 while enhancing on-farm microclimate and wildlife and pollinator habitat.

MCP prescribes these climate-beneficial practices by completing Carbon Farm Plans for farmers. MCP partners have completed 19 CFPs across 8,000 acres for dairy and grazing operations in Marin County. The plans have been used to inform Drawdown Marin and the new (2020-2030) Marin County Climate Action Plan. Carbon farm plan data has been used to scale up and estimate agriculture’s potential to meet the goal of reducing GHG emissions and enhancing carbon sequestration on the working lands of the county. An average of eight practices are prescribed in each plan which, if implemented, would collectively sequester 11,585 MTCO2e annually. Over twenty years, this is 258,237 MTCO2e sequestered. The Marin County Climate Action Plan establishes an annual target of 55,752 MT CO2e reduced or sequestered on county working lands, with a target date of 2030.

MCP has already begun the work of helping farmers with practice implementation. In partnership with farmers, public agencies and the Seed Fund, MCP has kicked off the implementation of climate-beneficial practices as prescribed in plans. These practices are improving water quality and quantity for farms and fisheries on coastal agricultural lands. Practices are collectively sequestering 136.2 MTCO2e annually (108 cars driven per year), as calculated using COMET-Planner, an on-farm GHG model developed by Colorado State University, USDA-NRCS and the Marin Carbon Project. Cumulatively, the completed carbon farm practices total: 3,088 linear feet of hedgerow; 1,315 linear feet of 2-3 row windbreak; 2 acres of silvopasture; 518 linear feet of riparian planting; 0.34 AC of critical area planting, and 23.5 acres of compost application.  A total of 2,542 trees and shrubs were planted in conjunction with implementation of these plans. 

The Seed Fund has supported the following MCP endeavors:

  • Carbon Farm Plan Development and Implementation
  • Soil Sampling
  • Assessment of carbon farming potential in the Point Reyes National Seashore
  • Programmatic environmental review of carbon farming practices for streamlined permitting

marincarbonproject.org

Marin County Bicycle Coalition

2020 - $10,000 Funding for More Emergency Bike Lanes During COVID- 19 Pandemic
2019 – $15,000 General Support
2018 – $20,000 The Alto Tunnel Project

Marin County Bicycle Coalition


Marin County Bicycle Coalition

2020 - $10,000 Funding for More Emergency Bike Lanes During COVID-19  Pandemic
2019 - $15,000 General Support
2018 - $20,000 The Alto Tunnel Project

MCBC General

Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s mission is to promote safe bicycling for everyday transportation and recreation. MCBC sees the bicycle as a vehicle for change capable of making Marin’s communities happier and healthier by improving air quality and public health, and reducing traffic congestion.

MCBC has been a leader in bicycle advocacy at the local, state, and national levels since 1998. Using a two-pronged approach to promote bicycling, MCBC teaches children and adults how to ride responsibly and safely, while also advocating for the infrastructure improvements needed to make bicycling a safe and convenient option in all of Marin County.

As part of a new 5-year Strategic Plan, MCBC’s goal is to create a bicycle-centric Marin and build the power and influence of MCBC across all of this county’s communities. In order to make bicycling a viable option for the thousands of Marin residents who are able to bike but experience hurdles, MCBC is exploring how to promote and overcome obstacles to bicycling for transportation through outreach and engagement strategies. This work will focus on addressing the transportation needs and barriers in communities of concern that will be most impacted by severely reduced transit service, including Marin City, San Rafael, and Novato.

MCBC is advocating to make bicycling safe and convenient for people of all ages and abilities. With a goal to share the joy and benefits of bicycling for transportation and recreation with new and emerging riders, MCBC is adding several exciting programs targeting women, children, BIPOC, and underserved communities over the next five years.

Program/Funding Updates

Several programs that have benefited from Seed Fund’s support include advocating for Slow Streets during Shelter-in-Place in 2020, supporting community ambassadors in “Communities of Concern” in Marin, and spearheading the advocacy effort to complete the North-South Greenway with the Alto Tunnel Project.

During Shelter-in-Place in early 2020, MCBC promoted and suggested ways in which each jurisdiction in Marin might repurpose streets, and provided technical assistance to those that were interested in opening streets to pedestrians and people on bicycles. MCBC also took this opportunity to promote the quick-build approach to creating bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as the simplicity and effectiveness of “open streets.”

Many downtowns around Marin went car-free to create space for people to dine outdoors. Nearly all of Marin’s cities and towns approved ordinances allowing businesses to expand operations into adjacent public spaces, including on and off-street parking. As a result, families arriving to town centers by bike experienced a heightened quality of life, especially important during the Shelter-in-Place. Several towns including Novato, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Tiburon, and Sausalito went a step further and completely closed portions of their main streets to cars weekly for the entire summer.

Alto Tunnel Project

Since its founding in 1998, MCBC has been instrumental in building the political will and securing the funding needed to close several gaps along the North-South Greenway. Alto Tunnel is now the highest priority project within the Greenway.

Alto Tunnel is the lynchpin of the North-South Greenway, a regional connection that will make bicycling a safe and convenient option for people who live, work, and visit Marin and Sonoma Counties. When reopened, it will greatly enhance the ease with which people can bike between Central and Southern Marin, and by extension, San Francisco.

MCBC continues to work with and guide community-based group Friends of Alto Tunnel (FOAT) to champion this effort. MCBC is committed to providing FOAT with support through technical assistance, strategic guidance, and community outreach assistance en route to building the remaining political support needed to pursue federal, state, and regional funds for the project.

MCBC has always known that reopening the tunnel would require a sustained and resolute effort. With no studies remaining, the advancement of the project is at a critical juncture. MCBC is now looking to win political support--thereby moving toward implementation--by catalyzing neighborhood-level discussions aimed at 1) demonstrating the tunnel’s value, 2) answering financial questions, and 3) addressing neighborhood concerns.

The Seed Fund’s support is enabling MCBC's community outreach coordination and strategic guidance by 1) aiding in the recruitment, training, and mobilization of neighborhood representatives, and 2) assisting with the facilitation of community workshops, walking tours, and listening sessions aimed at addressing and mitigating concerns related to neighborhood impacts.

Perhaps more importantly, though, the community engagement work enabled by the Seed Fund is helping this project to serve as a national model in building grassroots support for visionary bicycle and pedestrian projects that face local resistance due to high capital costs and perceived neighborhood impacts.

marinbike.org

Outdoors Empowered Network

2018 - $10,000 Grant for Capacity Building
2017 - $10,000 General Support
2016 - $5,000 General Support
2015 - $7,500 General Support
2014 - $10,000 General Support
Outdoors Empowered Network grew out of the Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) program, and works with affiliate programs to provide the BAWT model in three additional urban metro areas — Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago.

Outdoors Empowered Network

Youth taking a moment of rest and reflection on an overnight backpacking trip with an OEN member organization.

Youth enjoying an overnight backpacking trip with an OEN member organization.

OEN helps member organizations secure outdoor gear to ensure that youth are safe, warm, and dry on all their trips.

Youth at a river crossing on a day hike with an OEN member organization.

An example of an OEN member organization’s gear library. Each library is set up differently depending on the needs of their community.

An outdoor leadership training at one of OEN’s member’s campsite-based programs.

Keynote speaker, Autumn Saxon-Ross at OEN’s 5th annual National Summit in 2019. 


Outdoors Empowered Network
2018 - $10,000 Grant for Capacity Building
2017 - $10,000 General Support
2016 - $5,000 General Support
2015 - $7,500 General Support
2014 - $10,000 General Support

Outdoors Empowered Network is a national network of community-led, youth-centered outdoor education groups that are dedicated to increasing access and diversity in the outdoors through gear libraries and outdoor leadership training.

OEN’s member organizations support access to outdoor adventures for tens of thousands of youth each year. Members partner with youth service agencies, schools, and other youth-centered groups to make transformative outdoor experiences through these core programs:  

  • Gear Libraries - Members reduce one of the biggest barriers to getting outside—cost of gear—by curating and providing access to outdoor equipment libraries that cater to schools, youth service organizations, and families. Gear libraries can look different in different communities, using a wide array of partnerships.
  • Outdoor Leadership Training - Members provide experiential, skills-based trainings for teachers and youth workers in their regions so they are empowered to take youth outdoors on their own. For every adult trained, 20+ youth get a chance to experience the power of nature and the outdoors. For many young people, this is the first time they’ll see the Milky Way, hear a rushing waterfall, or experience an environment free of the urban cacophony of horns, sirens, and cell phones. Nature-based experiences change lives.
  • Community Support - Members often provide mini-grants, transportation subsidies, and connections through social media and listservs. Some also provide campgrounds, simplifying the preparations required for teachers and youth mentors as they plan their trips.

Being part of OEN gives members the opportunity to build networks, share best practices, fundraise for gear, and see the national impact of collective work. The core “train and support” program model brings together a wide variety of members, all working together to bring equity and access to the outdoors. 

Outdoors Empowered Network supports members in the following ways:

  • Outdoor Gear Acquisition - Our members are responsible for twenty gear libraries throughout the United States, reducing one of the biggest barriers to access for hundreds of thousands of young people. Outdoors Empowered Network supports these gear libraries through fundraising for in-kind and monetary donations, bulk purchases, and programmatic design.
  • Member Support - From designing new programming to applying for grants, running an outdoor education organization can involve a lot of hard and lonely work. OEN staff works hard to create connections, problem-solve, and support new program design.
  • Professional Community - From monthly calls to ad hoc virtual meet-ups to our annual  Summit, OEN cultivates a professional community for outdoor educators and administrators. Our network model gives members a community to work with as they explore new ideas, develop programming and best practices, and face inevitable challenges.
  • Thought Leadership - We support conversations about issues like diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors by bringing in external thought leaders and facilitating conversations among our members. Our annual Summit is a highlight of these ongoing opportunities for growth and leadership.

Member programs are at the heart of the work of Outdoors Empowered Network. Together, the network is working to increase our collective impact on the world, and create equitable access to nature. 

outdoorsempowered.org

Pie Ranch

2019 - $15,000 General Support
2018 - $15,000 Climate Beneficial Farming at Año Nuevo
2016 - $10,000 General Support
2015 - $10,000 General Support
2010 - $10,000 Capital Campaign
2009 - $10,000 Capital Campaign
2008 - $10,000 Capital Campaign
2007 - $15,000 General Support
Pie Ranch was established in 2005 with the vision to become a model center of sustainable farming and food system education.

Pie Ranch


Pie Ranch
2019 - $15,000 General Support
2018 - $15,000 Climate Beneficial Farming at Año Nuevo
2016 - $10,000 General Support
2015 - $10,000 General Support
2010 - $10,000 Capital Campaign
2009 - $10,000 Capital Campaign
2008 - $10,000 Capital Campaign
2007 - $15,000 General Support

PIE RANCH'S MISSION IS TO CULTIVATE A HEALTHY AND JUST FOOD SYSTEM FROM SEED TO TABLE THROUGH FOOD EDUCATION, FARMER TRAINING, AND REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS.

Pie Ranch works with Bay Area youth and the public via hands-on programming to foster awareness about where food originates, to gain insight into the issues farmworkers face and to understand the benefits of climate-smart farming. Apprentices train to prepare for their own careers in local agriculture by living on site and participating in every aspect of a working farm. Pie Ranch works with partners like the Amah Mutsun, the San Mateo Food Systems Alliance, Puente and others where interests intersect to advocate for a more equitable food system and a healthier planet.

In March of 2020, programming at the farm halted due to COVID-19. Seeking a way to be of use to the Greater Bay Area while regular programming was in abeyance, the Directors crafted a Farm Fresh Food Relief Program that utilized Pie Ranch’s program staff to aggregate, pack and distribute fresh produce to already marginalized communities suffering additional hardship from the virus’ economic impact. To date, this ongoing weekly program has served over 20,000 families with healthy, nutritious food.

August brought the CZU fire to Pie Ranch and to southern San Mateo county. Several Pie team members lost their homes while the farm’s historic house (the heart of Pie Ranch, home to its apprentices for over a decade and site of the Pie admin offices), its greenhouse, and countless trees fell to the blaze.

The extended Pie Family, including the Seed Fund rallied to support Pie Ranch’s ongoing efforts to recover from the twin catastrophes of the fire and assist with the organization’s effort to ameliorate the effects COVID-19. Seed Fund assistance ensures Pie’s program team has the resources to reach and teach youth and the public with online videos, creating socially-distanced curriculum at school gardens and implementing these same types of activities for small pods from partner schools and organizations at the farm.

The Emerging Farmers’ program lives on in a different iteration at neighboring Cascade Ranch , a climate - resilient regenerator farm that seeks to create wealth and equitable building opportunities for early stage farmers that have traditionally been excluded from land ownership. Land, mentorship, equipment access, and business planning are just some of the resources Pie Ranch funnels towards participants in this innovative program with the help of donors like the Seed Fund.

Pie’s Farmstand was able to stay open as an essential business providing this isolated community with farm fresh produce and in addition, a source of revenue for the farm during a time when other income streams have dried up.

Pie Ranch’s continued efforts in regional advocacy work took on a new significance this year with COVID exacerbating the fissures in the ailing food system and then climate change, drought and fires threatening the local Bay Area agri-system like never before. Pie’s advocacy efforts, partially supported by the Seed Fund, towards crafting a more sustainable Coastside is integral to the viability of our agriculture: Pie puts forth the vision of a more localized food infrastructure as described in the Local Food and Farm Bill, and this will help create a more just and planet-friendly food system.

pieranch.org

Point Blue Conservation Science

2022 - $15,000 Natural Infrastructure
2019 - $15,000 Coastal Resiliency
2018 - $15,000 Rangeland Watershed Initiative

Point Blue Conservation Science

Native grass no-till seeding at sunset. This regenerative practice that promotes water and carbon storage was implemented on a ranch in Yolo County. (Photo credit: Corey Shake/Point Blue)

Ranchers and biologists survey the land together in Bohler Canyon (Mono County, CA).  (Photo credit: Alissa Fogg/Point Blue).

Working Lands Group Director Dr. Libby Porzig in the middle of a soil and vegetation survey on the California coast. (Photo credit: Point Blue)

A Ridgway’s Rail observed in the Corte Madera marsh during field monitoring. Birds and other wildlife rely on wetlands and coastal habitat that is threatened by development and rising sea levels. (Photo credit: Megan Elrod/Point Blue)

A Point Blue biologist in the middle of a field survey in the Black John Slough off the Petaluma River. Marshes like this can help prevent or reduce flooding for coastal communities while also conserving wildlife habitat. (Photo credit: Megan Elrod/Point Blue)

Fourth grade students from Live Oak School in Northern California plant native plants in a marsh as part of a project to help restore the marsh’s basic ecosystem functions, including creating wildlife habitat, storing carbon, and buffering the adjacent lands in storms and high tide events. (Photo Credit: Lishka Arata, Point Blue) 


Point Blue Conservation Science
2022 - $15,000 Natural Infrastructure
2019 - $15,000 Coastal Resiliency
2018 - $15,000 Rangeland Watershed Initiative

Point Blue Conservation Science is an internationally recognized leader conserving birds, other wildlife, and ecosystems through science, partnerships, and outreach. Point Blue develops nature-based solutions to climate change, habitat loss, and other environmental threats on land and at sea to benefit wildlife and people. Based in California, where the organization was founded in 1965, Point Blue works from the Sierra to the Pacific and has international programs spanning 13 countries from Alaska to Antarctica. Its hundreds of organizational partners range from Native American tribes to K-12 schools, from farmers and ranchers to government agencies. With a foundation of collaborative climate-smart conservation actions today, natural and human communities will thrive well into the future.

Point Blue shares its scientific findings widely to facilitate the adoption of best practices. Through collecting data over decades, the organization identifies trends that provide guidance for government managers. Findings are shared through workshops, digital tools, and publications in scientific journals.

The Seed Fund’s support has facilitated success for the Sustaining Working Lands Initiative, operated in a unique partnership with the US Department of Agriculture. In counties across California, 12 Point Blue partner biologists live in local communities and help their ranching neighbors implement sustainable conservation on their land while simultaneously increasing production of food for livestock. Practices contributing to soil health and minimizing greenhouse gases include planned grazing, soil amendments, and wildlife habitat restoration. These practices increase the ability of soil to hold water, improve fish and wildlife habitat and water reliability downstream, and protect open space. In addition to addressing climate change, Point Blue’s working lands conservation work on tens of thousands of acres each year contributes to improved human health through reduced air and water pollution.

Point Blue also helps farmers and ranchers manage their lands for fire resilience, providing guidance for prescribed burns on private lands across five California counties. These planned burns can help minimize the risk of wildfire while also improving habitat for wildlife.

Point Blue biologists are using drones and associated novel technologies that make mapping rangeland at large spatial scales and fine resolutions efficient. This development can help support improved stewardship of these ecologically valuable landscapes.

To help coastal communities respond to climate change, Point Blue’s Protecting Our Shorelines Initiative improves the ability of wildlife and people to adapt to flooding and erosion caused by rising seas using nature-based solutions. Restoring beaches can reduce wave energy, conserving and restoring wetlands will increase buffer zones and creating elevated spots in marshes provides spaces for wildlife to retreat to. Point Blue created the Sea Level Rise Adaptation Framework, a handbook for coastal decision makers to help determine which nature-based measures and outcomes are suitable for their location (produced with the San Francisco Bay Estuary Institute and Marin County). This guidance is in demand by municipal planners throughout California. With a grant from the Seed Fund, Point Blue is adapting the handbook to create curriculum and pilot a new training for local government planners, which offers the opportunity to apply what they have learned. From this pilot project, the training can be scaled for coastal government planners to learn best practices for adapting to rising seas with a focus on nature-based solutions, throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Point Blue partners with the U.S. Geological Survey, California government agencies, and others to deliver the state-of-the-art projections for sea level rise and storm induced flooding through our web tool, Our Coast Our Future. The tool has been used by more than 70 local, state, and federal agencies to plan for impacts from sea level rise and we will be adding a new user interface this year to make it even easier for diverse audiences with various levels of technical expertise to use this tool. Point Blue continues to work with coastal stakeholders across CA to apply the best available science and tools, such as Our Coast Our Future, to ensure resilience of our coastal communities and ecosystems from the potential impacts of sea level rise and climate change.

pointblue.org

San Francisco Baykeeper

2022 - $15,000 Rewilding Coasts
2019 - $15,000 Coastal Resiliency
2018 - $15,000 for Sediment removal prevention

San Francisco Baykeeper



San Francisco Baykeeper
2022 - $15.000 Rewilding Coasts
2019 - $15,000 Coastal Resiliency
2018 - $15,000 Sediment Removal Prevention

San Francisco Baykeeper is the only organization that regularly patrols the Bay for polluters, by both sea and air, and uses environmental laws and the latest science to hold them accountable.  

Baykeeper is a fierce champion for the Bay, monitoring the biggest threats to the Bay’s health. This can include municipal sewage outfalls, as well as government agencies and industrial operations that are out of compliance with the anti-pollution laws that keep the Bay and Bay Area communities healthy. In many cases, the polluters can be convinced to fix what isn’t working, but Baykeeper's team of scientists and attorneys is always ready to fight for the Bay in court. 

The organization was founded in 1989, and got off to a start worthy of Barbary Coast legend. A tipster called the Baykeeper hotline—which still takes calls to this day—and alerted Baykeeper about a renegade shipyard that was illegally scooping tons of toxic mud off the Bay floor and dumping it onshore. Patrolling by kayak in the dark of night, Baykeeper caught the culprits red-handed—and in the end the Bay won: The company paid stiff fines, and its officers went to jail.   

Baykeeper's recent wins for the Bay Area include securing a ban on the handling and storage of toxic coal in Richmond, which will keep more than 1 million tons of toxic coal out of the East Bay community every year. Also, Baykeeper took legal action against the US Coast Guard that secured changes in how the Coast Guard cleans its buoys, which will keep toxic heavy metals out of the Bay—and out of all the waters where the Coast Guard operates.   

Baykeeper defeated the Trump administration in 2020 when a federal judge ruled in the organization's favor in Baykeeper vs EPA to protect 1,400 acres of potential wetlands, which would also buffer South Bay communities from the destructive effects of sea level rise.

Baykeeper recognizes climate change as the greatest threat facing the San Francisco Bay today, along with consequent sea level rise. The Bay Area has a dense waterfront population, with people living next door to over 1,000 toxic industrial sites along its shore. This includes Superfund sites in Hunters Point, Alameda, Oakland, Richmond, and San Jose. These toxic sites pose eminent danger to Bay Area residents.

There is a very real possibility that during a storm, the already elevated waters of the Bay would flood toxic sites, flushing pollutants into the surrounding neighborhoods. Bay Area homes, schools, and businesses would be flooded with poison. Critical infrastructure would be under water too, including SFO and Oakland Airport, roads and freeways throughout the Bay Area, wastewater treatment facilities, and more. 

The Bay Area needs to institute a region-wide climate adaptation plan with teeth and a timeline—a plan that also identifies and prioritizes contaminated shoreline areas and industrial sites for cleanup. 

Baykeeper's scientists and attorneys are there to help bring that plan together, and to keep an active eye out for polluters. Bayeeper fills a singular role in protecting the San Francisco Bay, the geographic feature that makes the Bay Area unique in the world. The wave that breaks against the shoreline in Tiburon is made of the same water that nourishes the wetlands of Redwood City.

Fighting for Healthy Sediment in San Francisco Bay (2018)

In order to make the Bay more resilient to climate-driven sea level rise, which could devastate San Francisco Bay shorelines and communities, the layers of sand and mud on the Bay's floor need to stay healthy. When healthy, this sediment replenishes shorelines and wetlands, providing natural protection against rising tides. But private companies, as well as federal and state agencies, have mismanaged and exploited this resource. Baykeeper, with support from the Seed Fund, uses environmental law and science to advocate for safer, state-of-the-art dredging practices, and won a landmark legal victory when the California Court of Appeal ruled that state agencies may not consider sand mining and other mining in waterways to be in the public good.

Preparing San Francisco Bay for Sea Level Rise (2019)

San Francisco Bay is uniquely vulnerable to the ravages of climate change. There are well over 1,000 toxic sites along the Bay, active or no longer in use, that could flood the Bay and adjoining neighborhoods with industrial poisons if the sea level rises—as science predicts it will. With support from the Seed Fund, Baykeeper investigates potentially polluting sites along the Bay that should be prioritized for cleanup, protects wetlands and potential wetlands from development—including prevailing against the Trump administration in Baykeeper vs EPA, which saved South Bay salt ponds from being paved over—and educates decisionmakers about the critical need for regional planning to guard against the effects of climate-driven sea level rise. 

baykeeper.org

San Francisco Estuary Institute

2021 – $15,000 Urban Nature Lab Website
2019 – $10,000 Operational Landscape Units Project (with SPUR)
2018 – $10,000 General Support
2018 – $10,000 Biodiversity Integration into the SPUR Regional Plan
2017 – $10,000 Catalyzing Urban Biodiversity Book Project by Robin Grossinger
2017 – $10,000 Operational Landscape Units Project (with SPUR)
2017 – $10,000 Framework for Sea-Level Rise Adaptation
2016 – $15,000 Framework for Sea-Level Rise Adaptation
2014 – $10,000 Center for Resilient Landscapes
San Francisco Estuary Institute helps to define environmental problems, advance public debate about them through sound science, and support consensus-based solutions that improve environmental planning, management, and policy development.

San Francisco Estuary Institute


San Francisco Estuary Institute
2021 - $15,000 Urban Nature Lab Website
2019 - $10,000 Operational Landscape Units Project (with SPUR)
2018 - $10,000 General Support
2018 - $10,000 Biodiversity Integration into the SPUR Regional Plan
2017 - $10,000 Catalyzing Urban Biodiversity Book Project by Robin Grossinger
2017 - $10,000 Operational Landscape Units Project (with SPUR)
2017 - $10,000 Framework for Sea-Level Rise Adaptation
2016 - $15,000 Framework for Sea-Level Rise Adaptation
2014 - $10,000 Center for Resilient Landscapes

The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) delivers visionary science that empowers people to revitalize nature in their communities. Created by the region for the region, we are a unique local science think-tank supporting diverse organizations to improve the environmental health of the Bay Area and beyond. We provide independent science on water quality, urban sustainability, and ecological resilience to public agencies, NGOs, communities, and business leaders. These organizations collaborate with our team of 70 dedicated scientists and technologists for the innovative solutions needed to make our region, and the people who live here, healthy and resilient.

For more than a quarter century, SFEI has served as a trusted science advisor to local and state agencies charged with implementing natural resource mandates. Our pioneering historical ecology research has established an ecological foundation for large landscape restoration efforts in watersheds throughout California, prompting paradigm shifts in management. In the Bay, SFEI staff have provided science leadership to the California Coastal Conservancy’s 2015 Baylands Goals—a blueprint to accelerate the restoration of tidal marsh in San Francisco Bay toward a goal of 100,000 acres. In the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, our landmark studies have supported a partnership between state agencies and major water users by creating science-based options and a vision to restore up to 30,000 acres of Delta wetlands habitat. In cities, our Urban Nature Lab uses the quantitative science of nature in cities to help advance innovative, ecologically based urban planning and design.

SFEI develops nature-based solutions to improve conditions across the landscape -- along shorelines, in cities, and in rural areas. We use science-based planning to create multi-benefit approaches to improve ecosystem functions for people, like reducing flooding and sequestering carbon, and for nature, like creating habitat for native wildlife. These interventions are cost-effective, resilient, and can be implemented across the land-use spectrum from high in watersheds, through the valleys that hold our cities and agriculture, down to the edge of the Bay and Delta, with the intention of ensuring equitable outcomes for all communities. Our approach takes advantage of natural processes by restoring wetlands, floodplains, and riparian areas; creating high-performance networks of nature throughout; realigning creeks to reduce flooding and improve sediment delivery to protect the shoreline; and managing landscapes to sequester carbon rather than emitting greenhouse gases. 

Our vision of the Bay Area, as a model for other urbanized regions facing similar challenges, encompasses:

  • Healthy ecosystems supporting people and nature across the landscape: along the shoreline, in cities, in agricultural areas, and in open space,
  • Natural infrastructure helping urban areas and their surrounding landscapes manage sea-level rise, water supply challenges, higher temperatures, water pollution, more severe drought and flooding, and other climate-related threats, and
  • Green space in developed areas improving the health and quality of life for all residents and for native wildlife.

For more information about SFEI and the Resilient Landscapes Program, please see our Strategic Plan.

Seed Fund Specific Projects

  • The SF Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas is guiding local and regional strategies to adapt to sea level rise.
  • Hidden Nature SF reveals the San Francisco landscape before the city.
  • SFEI’s Urban Nature Lab uses the quantitative science of nature in cities to help advance innovative, ecologically based urban planning and design.

Our novel research on cities, published in The Biological Deserts Fallacy (BioScience 2021), identifies the different pathways by which cities can benefit regional ecosystems 

sfei.org

San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR)

2021 – $15,000 Transit Priority Program
2019 – $10,000 Operational Landscape Units Project
2018 – $20,000 Regional Plan
2017 – $10,000 Operational Landscape Units project (with SFEI)
2017 – $10,000 Framework for Sea-Level Rise Adaptation
2016 – $15,000 Framework for Sea-Level Rise Adaptation
2014 – $15,000 Fossil Fuel Reduction Report
2014 – $10,000 Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program
2013 – $10,000 Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program
2012 – $10,000 Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program
2010 – $8,000 Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program
2007 – $5,000 General Support
Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR promotes good planning and good government in the San Francisco Bay Area over the past five decades.

San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR)

SPUR’s We Are the Bay exhibition

Farmer’s market in San Francisco; photo credit Sergio Ruiz

Rising tides threatening to flood; photo credit Sergio Ruiz

SPUR’s How We Move exhibition

A transit + design workshop held at SPUR’s Urban Center

San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR)
2021 - $15,000 Transit Priority Program
2019 - $10,000 Operational Landscape Units Project2018 - $20,000 Regional Plan2017 - $10,000 Operational Landscape Units Project (with SFEI)
2017 - $10,000 Framework for Sea-Level Rise Adaptation2016 - $15,000 Framework for Sea-Level Rise Adaptation2014 - $15,000 Fossil Fuel Reduction Report
2014 - $10,000 Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program
2013 - $10,000 Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program
2012 - $10,000 Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program
2010 - $8,000 Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program
2007 - $5,000 General Support

Work

Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR works to create an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region. SPUR practices urban policy, developing and advocating for ideas and reforms to bring about systems change. The decisions that shape housing, transportation, land use, economics, food access, sustainability and resilience have significant impacts on people’s lives. SPUR also focuses on governance because it’s how communities organize themselves to achieve collective goals and because SPUR believes in the power of government as a force for good. SPUR works across the nine counties of the Bay Area because the structural systems that shape people’s lives— the housing market, the transportation network, the economy — are regional. SPUR does deep work in San Francisco, San José and Oakland because policies set in the region’s three biggest cities have widespread impact on most Bay Area residents and because local context is critical for effective policy. SPUR believes that community and individual well-being are healthiest when a society achieves equity, sustainability and prosperity. Equity because systemic racism continues to create unjust and unacceptable outcomes for many members of our community. Sustainability because human well-being depends on a healthy and thriving natural environment. And prosperity because meeting individual and collective needs requires resources. SPUR conducts its work through research, education and advocacy because these tools have the power to change minds and shape outcomes. The organization believes that profound systems change requires addressing beliefs, relationships and policies, and SPUR works at all three of these levels. SPUR grounds its work in a spirit of inquiry and a big-tent perspective that engages partners and communities across the region.

Goals

SPUR has many key goals related to each of the organization's major policy areas, including:
Planning: Add new jobs and housing where they will support equity and sustainability, and make neighborhoods safe and welcoming to everyone.
Housing: Make housing affordable for everyone.
Transportation: Make it fast, easy and inexpensive to get around without driving alone.
Sustainability + Resilience: Eliminate carbon emissions and make communities resilient to climate change.
Economic Justice: Enable all people to participate in the region’s thriving economy and attain economic security.
Good Government: Support a high-functioning public sector that serves the collective good.
Food + Agriculture: Create healthy, just and sustainable food systems, and put an end to food insecurity.

Achievements

SPUR has accomplished many things over the course of its 100+ year history. The organization shaped some of the most important planning and urban policy issues in the region, including planning for the BART system, establishing the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, proposing San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund and more. Recent achievements of the organization in 2020, include:

  • Crafting more than 70 policy recommendations on housing, transportation, planning, sustainability and resilience and more
  • Welcoming more than 13,000 individuals to public forums covering pressing issues in the Bay Area, such as the housing affordability crisis, economic inequality, how COVID-19 affects small businesses and more
  • Co-sponsoring three pieces of legislation passed by California lawmakers, including SB288, which expands CEQA exemptions to speed up the delivery of sustainable transportation projects in the state
  • Hosting the organization's first Ideas + Action symposium, which brought together public space experts and more than 1,500 attendees from across North America
  • Released numerous reports and white papers, on topics such as the future of transportation, transit project delivery, climate hazards and modeling future places, which envisions a Bay Area that can welcome everyone
  • Hosting a forum with Mayors Breed, Liccardo and Schaaf of San Francisco, San José and Oakland to learn how cities of the Bay Area can collectively work toward a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous region
  • Leading convening efforts for the new California Home Builders Alliance, an informal advocacy coalition focusing on state legislation and regulatory reforms to build more housing

Impact Report attached; our most recent annual report was online only--it is available here: https://www.spur.org/about/annual-reports/2020

SPUR has received numerous grant awards from the Seed Fund in the past. According to our records, we received $38,000 total between 2010 and 2014 for SPUR's food and agriculture program, including urban agriculture (see first two attached photos of urban gardening in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood). SPUR's food and agriculture program strives to create healthy, just and sustainable food systems, and put an end to food insecurity. The organization works to preserve agricultural land and reduce the food systems' environmental impact.

The Seed Fund also supported SPUR's sustainability and resiliency work, including an energy task force SPUR convened in 2014 and SPUR and SFEI's collaboration to create the San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas (there is a photo in the "Seed Fund Photos Jan. 2021" doc showing rising tides along the Embarcadero which could be good for this project). SPUR's sustainability and resilience program works to eliminate carbon emissions and make communities resilient to climate change. More recently, the Seed Fund supported SPUR Regional Strategy, which is an aspirational vision of what the Bay Area could look like in 50 years should it embrace equitable, sustainable and prosperous growth and development for all residents. The Regional Strategy considers the fundamental physical form of the Bay area and how that form can adapt to better meet the region's collective needs, and it addresses how three of our most important systems--housing, transportation and the environment--are functioning today, and how to make changes within each to support a thriving region (the last attachment is an aerial photo of the bay).

spur.org

San Francisco Urban Film Festival

2019 – $5,000 General Support
2018 – $5,000 General Operating Support
2017 – $5,000 Climate Change Programming

San Francisco Urban Film Festival

Folks enjoy City Is Alive, socially distant on Egbert Avenue, a night of musical performances and interactive murals to celebrate the legacy of everyday heroes that brought joy and life to the Bayview. Photo: Lucas Bradley

Felipe Riley dances in front of an interactive mural projection of his mother, Lenora LeVon, during City is Alive. .Photo: Shantré Pinkney

Folks gather in an unfinished ground-level unit in the East Cut district of San Francisco for a film screening and panel discussion.

A film screening and panel discussion in Fern Alley, San Francisco, where audience members sit in chairs or on blankets.

Participants drafting stories at a Storytelling Workshop at the SFUFF’s 6th annual film festival in 2020.

Audience members gather in the Bayanihan Center for a SFUFF film screening and panel discussion, co-presented by SOMAP Pilipinas, on how different grass-roots organizations use arts and culture to promote community preservation and self-determination. Photo: Emma Marie Chiang

Participants work in small groups during a Storytelling Workshop in partnership with Young Community Developers aimed at building Black intergenerational wealth in the Bayview. Photo: Austin Blackwell


San Francisco Urban Film Festival
2019 - $5,000 General Support 
2018 - $5,000 General Operating Support
2017 - $5,000 Climate Change Programming

WHAT WE DO

The SF Urban Film Fest (SFUFF) gathers a diverse, engaged audience and uses the power of storytelling to spark discussion and civic engagement around urban issues. They ask what it means to live together and create just and equitable cities.

SFUFF is an interdisciplinary storytelling organization that produces an annual film festival, year-round film-based discussion events, and long-term community storytelling projects.

They collaborate with cultural, academic, grass-roots, and civic organizations including the Roxie Theater, SPUR, Imprint City, Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), and many others. Projects are often jointly initiated to combine film and community planning, most recently with Young Community Developers (YCD) in the Bayview Hunters Point and SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District in the SOMA district of San Francisco. In recognition of their impact on empowering communities using storytelling and film, the SFUFF are Artists in Residence at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA).

IMPACT

Film Festival
Since its founding in 2014, SFUFF has produced an annual film festival for 7 seasons and year round programming encompassing 115 events reaching over 8,000 people. They expect to reach many more through their virtual film festival in February 2021.

Based on their festival surveys, year after year, SFUFF attracts diverse audiences and reaches across demographic divides. Its 6th annual film festival audience was 53% people of color. Their audience was also remarkably intergenerational: 18% are aged under 25, 69% are between 26-55 years old, and 13% are aged 55+.

SFUFF engages with diverse filmmakers and panelists. 63% of our 2020 Festival filmmakers are people of color; most notably, 44% of our 2020 Festival filmmakers are women of color. Additionally, 74% of our 2020 Festival panelists are people of color.

Community Storytelling
SFUFF’s community storytelling projects create opportunities for unique cross disciplinary partnerships between community organizations, businesses, cultural institutions and public agencies.

In partnership with YCD, they organized storytelling workshops and produced a short video to kick off the Black Owner’s Campaign. The goal was to build a strong narrative aimed at galvanizing a coalition of Black property owners to support more affordable housing. The resulting video features prominently on the YCD homepage and has resulted in a local developer expressing interest in building housing for Black teachers.

The storytelling and community planning with YCD led to the production of a multi-media one-night socially distant event featuring a live streamed hip hop concert and interactive film projections depicting historic murals. The event, City is Alive, was centered on the theme of everyday heroes who fight for resources and bring joy to the Bayview Hunters Point and was produced in collaboration with Imprint City and YBCA.

SFUFF is working with the SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District on a short documentary film that chronicles the displacement of Pilipinx community by the force of redevelopment in the Yerba Buena district of SOMA during the 1970's, and the community’s resistance and struggle for self-determination that grew out of it and in face of ongoing gentrification and displacement. They are currently in community-driven pre-production with a team of Pilipinx filmmakers and archival researchers, and in late 2021, will organize work in progress screenings and community discussions centering the stories and people of the film. The process of making this film is designed to dovetail with the community planning around the creation of the cultural heritage district that already includes the famous UNDISCOVERED SF night market and Kapawa Gardens.

WHO WE ARE

The SFUFF Core Team brings rich backgrounds in civic innovation, urban planning, housing finance, media, filmmaking, and the humanities. They work year-round planning events and curating programming. During the festival season, a small army of volunteers help them with photography, marketing, ticket sales, audience surveys, and more.

Our Core Team plays artistic roles as Program Producers. They also guide organizational growth and fill administrative and technical roles. The following are brief detailed bios of SFUFF’s Core Team:

Fay Darmawi, Founder and Executive Director
Fay is an urban planner, cultural producer, and community development banker. She belongs to a persecuted Chinese minority group and immigrated to the U.S. from Jakarta, Indonesia as a child.

Kristal Celik, Festival Manager
Kristal has a background in energy and mechanical engineering and identifies with her Turkish immigrant roots.

Robin Abad Ocubillo, Program Producer
Robin is an urban designer and urban planner at the City of San Francisco Planning Department and identifies as an LGBTQ Filipino-American.

Omeed Manocheri, Program Producer
Omeed is a first generation Iranian-American multimedia producer and entrepreneur with a fine arts degree. His media projects include Daily Kabob, a new digital platform to unify the MENA and DESI communities.

Susannah Smith, Program Producer
Susannah is a documentary filmmaker interested in ways race and sexuality interact with the politics of urban development. Susannah is assistant editor on the documentary “Homeroom” premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2021. She identifies as an LGBTQ Jewish-American.

Ronald Sundstrom, Humanities Advisor
Ronald is a Professor of Philosophy and a member of the African American Studies, Critical Diversity Studies programs at the University of San Francisco (USF). He identifies as mixed-race Filipino-American and Black, and LGBTQ.

sfurbanfilmfest.com

San Francisco Waldorf School

2018 – $34,000 Outdoor Classroom
2016 – $33,000 Outdoor Classroom
2015 – $5,000 Outdoor Classroom
2014 – $7,500 Outdoor Classroom
2013 – $10,000 Outdoor Classroom
2009 – $10,000 Biodynamic Garden Program
2008 – $6,000 Biodynamic Garden Program
2007 – $10,000 High School Capital Campaign
San Francisco Waldorf School was founded in 1979 as an independent school within the Waldorf tradition whose mission is to educate students using an approach that fosters independent thought and a sense of personal responsibility.

San Francisco Waldorf School


San Francisco Waldorf School
2018 - $34,000 Outdoor Classroom
2016 - $33,000 Outdoor Classroom
2015 - $5,000 Outdoor Classroom
2014 - $7,500 Outdoor Classroom
2013 - $10,000 Outdoor Classroom
2009 - $10,000 Biodynamic Garden Program
2008 - $6,000 Biodynamic Garden Program
2007 - $10,000 High School Capital Campaign

San Francisco Waldorf School is an independent, co-educational, non-sectarian school providing education from Kindergarten through Grade 12. SFWS was founded in 1979 as an independent school within the rich Waldorf tradition whose mission is to educate students using an approach that fosters independent thought and a sense of personal responsibility. The Waldorf curriculum, designed by Austrian philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner in 1919, is based on a thorough study of child development, so that the subjects taught meet not only the cognitive developmental needs of the students, but also their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. There are over a thousand Waldorf schools around the world, each operating independently, but held together by a common understanding of human development and a recognition of the value of artistic work and meaningful social interaction.High School capital campaign

San Francisco Waldorf High School’s campus opened in September 2007. As the first school in San Francisco to be awarded the coveted LEED Gold certification, the overall goal of the project was to create an environment that is in harmony with the philosophy of Waldorf Education. Perhaps the greatest reflection of this success is the fact that the building itself will be incorporated into the curriculum as an educational resource for environmental studies. The principals of the Waldorf philosophy and the actual building serve as a teaching tool for students, demonstrating how to become actively involved in today’s social issues.Biodynamic Garden

The Waldorf School Biodynamic Garden was created to grow children's love for the earth, for meaningful labor, and for themselves and their community through infinitely fascinating work as farmers.  Located at the Little Sisters of the Poor’s St. Anne’s home, the garden acts as a teaching tool, a healthy food source for the lunchroom and a social hub for the children as well as the residents of St. Anne’s. The participating students, kindergarten through third grade, are toured through the garden to taste what is in season and observe the garden’s changes before splitting up to participate in the upkeep of the garden.  With tasks like planting apple trees, building compost and harvesting crops, every child is engaged with the garden directly, discovering the benefits of farming for themselves.Nature Program\The Waldorf School Nature Program creates an overarching program that serves as a model for other urban schools who aspire to “bring nature alive” for students, faculty and the entire community. The program brings younger children out into nature and older students the opportunity to learn more about regional biodiversity. This program will offer an ongoing educational series to facilitate community understanding and support. This series brings a wide variety of speakers to address topics that enhance understanding of environmental education, brought via lectures, workshops and events. The program's goal is to create awareness of issues and initiatives that are relevant in the San Francisco Bay Area.

sfwaldorf.org

Shaping San Francisco

2019 – $10,000 General Support
2018 – $5,000 General Support
2017 – $5,000 General Support
2016 – $5,000 General Support
2013 – $5,000 General Support
2012 – $5,000 General Support
2010 – $5,000 Ecology Emerges Project Documentation
Shaping San Francisco is a living archive of San Francisco providing people with access to its lost history.

Shaping San Francisco


Shaping San Francisco
2019 - $10,000 General Support
2018 - $5,000 General Support 
2017 - $5,000 General Support
2016 - $5,000 General Support
2013 - $5,000 General Support
2012 - $5,000 General Support
2010 - $5,000 Ecology Emerges Project Documentation

Serving the City for 25 years, Shaping San Francisco is an ongoing multimedia project in bottom-up history, offering an online archive at FoundSF.org—a place to document, discover, and shape San Francisco history—and public programming sharing the stories of daily life in the City by the Bay. Shaping San Francisco provides access to the City's lost history, with a long-term goal of facilitating its discovery, presentation, and preservation. The project seeks to create a physical and virtual commons where together we make—and understand our place within—history every day

Shaping San Francisco believes that “History is a Creative Act in the Present,” or in other words, each person is an agent of history, and every moment is historical, even if relatively little makes it on to the “historical record.” Shaping San Francisco’s public engagement promotes the idea that history can—and should—be de-professionalized, made into a popular, participatory process. More than just a website, more than just a lecture series, more than a collection of ongoing walking and bike tours, Shaping San Francisco encourages collective investigation of and creation of new shared social histories about the world we cohabitate together.

Shaping San Francisco's work encourages ordinary citizens to see the urban environment around them having been created in by a combination of social and ecological processes over time, within historic economic and cultural contexts; just as important the urban environment is shaped, too, by a ceaseless effort to challenge the meaning and direction of those processes and contexts. Shaping San Francisco has focused from its origins on San Francisco's ecological history, the relentless leveling of its famous hills and the steady filling of the bay to “make land,” which permanently altered the surrounding bay. Shaping San Francisco’s historical investigations of the changing ecology of the City have led to unique and enduring analyses integrating its tradition of dissent with the dramatic (and often catastrophic) changes that dissenters often sought to prevent.

15 seasons of FREE Public Talks provide an informative, engaging cultural forum inviting presenters and audiences to dialogue about issues covering Art & Politics, Historical and Literary Perspectives, Social Movements, and Ecology, emphasizing the intersections of multiple themes across fluid boundaries of disciplines and paradigms. This in-person discussion space is meant as an antidote to historical amnesia, creating a place to change the climate of public intellectualism in San Francisco, and an unmediated place to meet and talk. Most all of the Public Talks are archived online. Historical walking and bicycle tours—and the recent addition of Urban Forums: Walk & Talks and Bay Cruises—bring people together to learn how the City is shaped through the efforts of engaged citizens and from a perspective rooted in its overlooked and forgotten histories, including those of marginalized populations (and species!) who don’t show up in the history books.

Shaping San Francisco fosters academic and community partnerships, incorporating a service learning element to its public programming, offering historic context for the issues currently faced in the urban setting through tours to students and community members. As seasoned tour guides, editors, and educators, the directors are frequently asked to share their expertise through custom tours and classes; they create customized tours each month as well as collaborative projects year-round including teaching, guest-curating, and co-producing projects. Shaping San Francisco is a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of Independent Arts & Media, with whom successful collaborations have been forged over the course of a decade.

shapingsf.org

Streetsblog

2021 - $12,000 General Support
2019 – $10,000 General Support
2018 – $8,000 General Support
2017 – $8,000 General Support
2017 – $8,000 General Support
2016 – $8,000 General Support
2011 – $8,000 General Support
Streetsblog is a non-profit daily news source, online community and political mobilizer for the Bay Area’s Livable Streets movement.

Streetsblog


Streetsblog
2021 - $12,000 General Support
2019 - $10,000 General Support
2018 - $8,000 General Support
2017 - $8,000 General Support
2017 - $8,000 General Support
2016 - $8,000 General Support
2011 - $8,000 General Support

Streetsblog is a non-profit daily news source, online community and political mobilizer for the Bay Area’s Livable Streets movement. Streetsblog frames the public debate on transportation and planning issues, creating momentum for more sustainable streets. A team of local writers collaborates with writers throughout California and Nationally to provide full coverage of transportation reform, urban planning and the Livable Streets movement locally and nationwide.

Streetsblog began in 2006 as a single local blog covering transportation and land use issues in New York City. The experiment proved a dramatic success, and it showcased the potential for focused advocacy journalism to empower overlooked constituencies and to usher in a reform-minded transportation policy agenda - SF.Streetsblog was launched in January 2009. The blog quickly became an influential voice and a mobilizer for the local transportation reform movement. Today, it reaches nearly 70,000 direct monthly readers, and plays a key role in the Bay Area’s Livable Streets movement. Their work is published on SF Gate and Bay Citizen. Streetsblog’s drumbeat of pedestrian, bicycle and transit stories have helped keep these important issues on the radar of supervisors and policy makers at City Hall and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

sf.streetsblog.org

Urban Fellow

Urban Fellows Jane Wolff – 2013 is an associate professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her work explores cultural landscapes dealing with the hybrid ecologies formed by interactions between environmental processes and human intervention. Jane began working with the Exploratorium in 2008 as an artist-in-residence […]

Urban Fellow

Jane Wolff UF 2013 - Jane Wolff’ holding an early prototype card from Bay Lexicon. Bay Lexicon exists as an exhibit in the Bay Observatory, and will be available as a book in the fall of 2021, through McGill-Queens Press, Montreal Canada.

Jason Groves holding the Anthropocene Viewer. The viewer was designed by Smudge Studio with the intention of providing the file free for download from their website. Groves utilized the viewer in a lecture and made copies for the Bay Observatory.

Jason Groves UF 2015 - Jason Groves interacting with guests at the Atlas Tables in the Bay Observatory during an evening program.

Rene Yung UF 2018 - Rene Yung working with museum preparator, Courtney Scott in the Exploratorium machine shop on an interpretive installation for the Bay Observatory on the culture politics, history and discrimination of Chinese shrimp fishing in San Francisco Bay

Vincent Medina Louis Trevino  (Ohlone Cafe) UF 2021  - Vincent Medina during the Ricketts Symposium Boat Tour describing Ohlone territorial areas in the East Bay.

Urban Fellows

Jane Wolff – 2013 is an associate professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her work explores cultural landscapes dealing with the hybrid ecologies formed by interactions between environmental processes and human intervention. Jane began working with the Exploratorium in 2008 as an artist-in-residence where she began research for the development of a visual dictionary exploring the landscape visible from the Bay Observatory at the Exploratorium’s new home at Piers 15 and 17. She became the first Urban Fellow in 2013 and from her initial research developed Bay Lexicon, a field guide to San Francisco’s shoreline and a work of activist scholarship. It is a case study in the development of a nuanced vocabulary for observing San Francisco Bay using drawing and writing to define complex landscape terms. Bay Lexicon exists both as a physical artwork, in the Bay Observatory and will be published in 2021, by McGill-Queens University Press.  Jane and was instrumental in contributing many of the early concepts for the Bay Observatory working closely with staff and participated in numerous talks, workshops and planning sessions. With Matthew Booker and Susan Schwartzenberg, Jane collaborated on the concept and development of the - Bay As It Is Symposium after Ed Ricketts, 2017

Matthew Booker – 2014 is an environmental historian and author of, Down By the Bay, San Francisco Between the Tides. He is Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University, where he founded the Visual Narrative research program. Matthew’s fellowship launchedwith an advisor & local colleague gathering that included a visit with Jane Wolff. Matthew and Jane shared a strong interest in ways we could strengthen our ability to address contemporary Bay Area environmental issues of climate change and sea level rise as well as ways to further engage historical, social and political issues in our museum context. Matthew deepened our understanding of the human connection to the Bay – how people in the 19th and early 20th century considered the Bay as a commons - and the rocky transition into the corporate control of the Bay’s resources. Matthew engaged with staff and did research in the Observatory. He also brought scholars and potential funders into our realm broadening our circle of friends and colleagues. He advised us on a new visualization for our topographic table called Changing Shorelines – a history of sea level change in the Bay Area, from 18,000 years ago with future projections of sea level rise. Matthew authored, Observing San Francisco Bay, essay # 3, 2016. His public talks included, The Edible Bay, A History of Our Relationships with Local Foods, Intimacies of Time and Place, Reading San Francisco Bay, with Jane Wolff. Matthew and Jane were the principle designers of the Bay As It Is Symposium, after Ed Ricketts in 2017.

Jason Groves 2015 is a Germanic scholar (University of Washington, Seattle) whose work uses 19 and 20th century German thinkers, who through their literary writings sought to open up the imagination to a geological time scale. He explores how this work might help us better understand our place in life on Earth and our unique human response-ability for the planet. Jason worked with the Observatory team throughout the summer of 2015. He developed a pathway through the Exploratorium culminating in the Bay Observatory exploring the anthropocene as could be expressed in specific exhibits, views and found objects and experiences. Jason profoundly connected to the staff and contributed much to our transition from the local landscape to considering “deep” time (geologic time) and the human impact on the environment. He proclaimed that the Bay Observatory be renamed - the Anthropocene Observatory. Jason participated in several events and curated several talks including, Can Poetry Save the Bay.

Pireeni Sundaralingam - 2016 is a cognitive scientist, researcher, poet and playwright who was a principal advisor on Human Potential for the Museums of the United Nations. Pireeni began her fellowship in the summer of 2016 by organizing a public program with 100 Japanese youth (on a scholarship program to the US) who had experienced the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011. Designated as Youth Ambassadors learning to find hope after disaster – this program brought American and Japanese youth together in a series of presentations, workshops, poetry and dialogue to consider ways to persevere in this age of climate uncertainty. Pireeni further curated a series of panels and programs on the importance of language and observation in organizing human actions regarding climate change. She participated in numerous programs during her Fellowship and authored, Observing the Observer: The Observatory as incubator for Resilience, as essay # 8.

Sara Dean - 2017 is a designer and architect in the Bay Area. She is co-founder of IF/THEN Studio, a collaborative community platform in Berkeley. She is also Chief Designer at Modern Empathy, a universal-design line of homes. Her work considers the implications of emerging digital technologies on public engagement and urban life in the Anthropocene. Dean worked with the Exploratorium in two capacities: one as an Urban Fellow and another as an artist in a project entitled Artistic Practice Toward Urban Resilience (APUR). These combined efforts produced the Climate Compass project that will be launched in 2021. The Climate Compass is a large decal installed on the ground. Standing on the Compass, one may face north, towards the shore, or the hills, and see the predictions for sea level rise at that site. Climate data from RiSER (a project of the University of California, Berkeley) is combined with this installation to bring climate science more directly into the public conversation. This project was in conjunction with BART and the San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks. Climate Compass installations will eventually be at four BART stations that are at particular risk for sea level rise, as well as at the foot of Market Street and on the Embarcadero in front of the Exploratorium. 

Rene Yung - 2018 is an internationally exhibiting artist, designer, writer, and thinker, whose poetic and incisive works fluidly cross disciplines to address social and cultural issues in the globalized environment. Yung’s fellowship centered on researching the historic shrimp fishing community that once thrived on the margins of SF Bay in the late 19th and early 20th century. Her investigation concentrated on ways to bring this forgotten history into the regional discussion of sea level rise. This work led to an installation—and now public exhibit—for the Bay Observatory on the stories of the Chinese shrimpers who struggled to make a living despite discrimination and racism.  Rene is passionate about bringing cultural history into sea-level rise adaptation planning, and has participated in numerous discussions with Observatory staff, our professional colleagues and the other Urban Fellows. Yung’s Retracing the Chinese Shrimp Fishery of San Francisco Bay was published in Fall 2019 as the 10th essay in the Fisher Bay Observatory essay series. She is the founder and executive director of Chinese Whispers, http://chinese-whispers.org.

mak- ‘amham/Ohlone Café, Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino 2021 Vincent and Louis are the founders of the Ohlone Café. They are both members of traditional Ohlone communities. Vincent is Cochenyo and a member of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, and Louis is a member of the Rumsen Ohlone community. Both work to revive their cultural traditions and languages. The Ohlone café is a pop-up restaurant specializing in traditional foods. The menu changes seasonally with ingredients gathered by Native people in Ohlone territory. Vincent and Louis begin their fellowship in the spring of 2021 and will be working both with the Bay Observatory and the Living Systems Galler

urbanfellow

Urban Sustainability Directors Network

2021 – $15,000 Nexus Program
2018 – $10,000 Climate Equity Leaders Program
2017 – $10,000 General Support
2016 – $10,000 General Support
2015 – $10,000 General Support
The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is a peer-to-peer network of local government professionals from more than 130 cities across the United States and Canada dedicated to creating a healthier environment, economic prosperity, and increased social equity.

Urban Sustainability Directors Network

USDN members work together to visualize their upcoming priorities.

USDN members engage in forensic idea mapping to learn how to become more effective change agents.

USDN members and community members play “Game of Floods” to build relationships and learn to collaboratively plan for more resilient communities.

Kristin Baja (USDN Resilience Program Lead) presents to and collaborates with members in Hawai’i on the Nexus Project.

Members drawing to illustrate their plans and visions for the future.

Urban Sustainability Directors Network
2021 - $15,000 Nexus Program
2018 - $10,000 Climate Equity Leaders Program
2017 - $10,000 General Support
2016 - $10,000 General Support
2015 - $10,000 General Support

USDN is the primary network through which local government sustainability and climate practitioners access mission-critical resources and collaborate to advance their work. As of early 2021, over 230 communities and 1700 practitioners participate from across the US and Canada. As a member-led network, USDN enables groups of cities and counties to inspire and learn from each other, solve shared challenges, and engage in collective action to achieve impact in their communities. By bringing members and field partners together, USDN broadens, informs, and synthesizes perspectives on crucial issues and catalyzes new partnerships.

Programming focuses on three key areas: building practitioners’ capacity, accelerating action and innovation, and influencing enabling systems. Members highly value the support they receive through USDN and report that the network is critical to their success. From our annual member impact survey in December 2020:

  • 74% of members report that USDN enabled them to find a solution to a key challenge.
  • 73% of members reported that USDN involvement saves them time.
  • 64% said USDN participation enabled them to make a change in local policy.
  • 42% of USDN members indicated that USDN saves them money.
  • 80% of members indicate that USDN participation was a valuable asset in helping them achieve their highest impact action of the past 2 years.
  • “[USDN creates] a systemic resource for municipal sustainability professionals to access knowledge, connections, and financial resources. Such an organization does not exist in any other field, and it is a testament to its creators and the network. I simply could not be as effective as I am in my position without USDN.” -- USDN member

Two overarching strategies guide USDN programming:

  • USDN’s High Impact Practices (HIPs) are the priorities in which USDN programming helps members take impactful actions to advance equity, GHG reduction, and resilience -- the nexus of member leadership and USDN’s unique capabilities for support and action. The updated framework reflects a broad and more equity-focused summary of sustainability priorities, placing equal emphasis on both how members work as well as what work they do.  
  • In its Equity Principles and Commitments, USDN recognizes the root causes of climate change, environmental injustice, and racial inequity are the same and commits to using resources to advance members’ individual capacity to address racial equity, improve the diversity of practitioners, and transform the field. This builds off years of work in training local governments on the close connections between sustainability and equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The Nexus Project is one illustration of where USDN’s core strategies and programming focus areas converge and come to life. The Nexus is step-by-step guidance to help local government practitioners who are trying to fundamentally transform the traditional approach to climate planning and practice. It focuses on recognition of current power structures and outlines how to shift power to communities (particularly marginalized communities) as part of any process. 

Part of what is unique about the Nexus Project is that members learn to operationalize equity and work across department and technical silos in a supported process. The project provides 1:1 coaching for local government practitioners through USDN staff, and also brings in community partner coaches for government practitioners and community partner organizations to help them work together better. This holistic and multilayered approach is transforming how government practitioners approach their work and how communities and government can collaborate to build more equitable and sustainable communities.  

"We have transformed our work on climate to lead across the nexus as a result of the USDN Innovation Fund Grant - we have learned significantly from our peers in this space. The direct training and support from Baja [Resilience Director and Nexus Project Staff Lead] has helped us to build crucial interdepartmental support and relationships with other departments and jurisdictions, especially with the County. We're working to transform the countywide approach to their All Hazard Mitigation Plan because of Baja's technical support." -- USDN member 

USDN is grateful to the SEED Fund for its support of the Nexus Project. 

usdn.org

Van Alen Institute

2018 - $10,000 Climate Council
2011 - $5,000 Life at the Speed of Rail Publication
2009 - $10,000 Manhattan 2409
2008 - $5,000 David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang, Living City
Van Alen Institute is an independent nonprofit architectural organization that promotes inquiry into the processes that shape the design of the public realm.

Van Alen Institute


Van Alen Institute
2018 - $10,000 Climate Council
2011 - $5,000 Life at the Speed of Rail Publication
2009 - $10,000 Manhattan 2409
2008 - $5,000 David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang, Living City

Van Alen Institute is an independent nonprofit architectural organization that promotes inquiry into the processes that shape the design of the public realm.

For over a century, the Van Alen Institute has cultivated a fellowship of design practitioners and scholars, awarded excellence in design, and fostered dialogue about the evolving role of architecture in the public realm. The Institute’s community of fellows, members, participants and public audiences is an integral part of that dialogue, shaping and expanding our definition of ‘public architecture’ and its impact on contemporary civic life.

Living City: A Public Interface to Air Quality in New York
Living City is a full-scale prototype building skin designed to breathe in response to air quality. During their fellowship term, David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang developed one of the first architecture prototypes to link local responses in a building to a distributed network of sensors throughout the city.  With Living City, Benjamin and Yang confront the air as the most public and politicized of spaces in the city—shared by all but invisible, often divisible, and intensely debated and controlled. Using New York City as a research lab, they propose an architecture that functions as a public interface to air quality, creating a platform for an ecology of building skins where individual buildings receive, share and respond to data as part of a collective network. For more information about Living City, visit www.thelivingcity.net.

Eric W. Sanderson, Manhattan 2409
Eric W. Sanderson’s Mannahatta project envisions the long-term future of Manhattan as an ecosystem in the context of its rich ecological and social history. Sanderson uses his extensive research and documentation of the diverse ecological landscapes of Mannahatta to reflect on where New York has come from and speculates on how sustainability can be built into the structure and practice of New York over the next 400 years. During his fellowship term at Van Alen Institute, Sanderson pursued the research and writing of a brief for a design competition on the future sustainability in New York City in stages approximately 50, 150 and 400 years from now, prompted by sustainable characteristics of Mannahatta. As part of this work, Sanderson shared the data resources and ecological concepts of the Mannahatta Project with the design community at large, and he organized  a public roundtable with leading thinkers in urban sustainability and ecology to discuss and debate the ecological themes that Mannahatta raises in contrast to the city today.

Life at the Speed of Rail
How will high-speed rail change American life in the coming decades? This multimedia competition seeks the visions of the architectural design community, planners, graphic designers, artists—anyone who wants to contribute to the discussion surrounding high-speed rail. In this Call for Design Ideas, entrants are asked to produce projects and narratives picturing the wide-ranging impacts that a new transportation network will have on the nation’s communities, whether urban or rural, rail-riding or car-centric, heartland or borderland. By collecting these ideas and images of a transformed America—be they specific, pragmatic, or speculative—we’ll better understand the hopes and fears of our current moment and be better equipped to decide whether and how we build this new infrastructure.

vanalen.org