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2021 List | Summary | Detailed

American Forests

2022 - $25,000 Cool Corridors
2021 - $20,000 Tree Equity

American Forests


American Forests
2022 - $25,000 Cool Corridors
2021 - $20,000 Tree Equity

By piloting a new “Tree Equity Score” tool in the Bay Area, Seed Fund has laid the foundation for what has potential to become a revolution in greening cities nationwide. In part, Tree Equity Score is a way to build broader awareness that urban tree canopy is too often a map of income and ethnicity; as climate change worsens trees are becoming a critical life-saving and quality of life infrastructure. It is also a state-of-the-art platform that grounds this awareness in a simple metric, providing governors, mayors, city agencies, frontline organizations and residents a new way to mobilize action, attract resources, and track progress toward achieving Tree Equity in every neighborhood.  

In 2019, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation funded American Forests to develop some sort of a national GIS-based decision support tool to address this issue. Having pioneered such technology in the 1990s and 2000s, staff were all too aware that the field of urban conservation had become saturated with sophisticated mapping tools. Yet, that data was still not packaged in a way that told an effective story to generate and maintain momentum at the scale needed to substantively improve green infrastructure where it is most needed.

Seed Fund’s support to pilot a concept for a 0-100 scoring index down to the neighborhood level proved to be the perfect laboratory through which to develop and ground-truth an idea for a tool that could define a new, equity-focused narrative structure for urban forestry.

The first step was to develop the critical underlying methodology to measure how well a neighborhood or municipality is ensuring the benefits of urban tree canopy are reaching populations that are most vulnerable to climate change and public health impacts. The final factors, weighted equally against tree canopy and development density, were designed to be compared within a metro area but sought to avoid comparisons between different cities in vastly different ecoregions across the country. These datasets include:

  • Income: Percent of the population below 200 percent of poverty; 
  • Employment: Unemployment rate below regional average;
  • Race: Percent of the population that is not white non-Hispanic;
  • Age Dependency: Percent of the population under 18 and over 65 years old;
  • Climate: Urban Heat Island severity using surface temperature;
  • Health: A new layer that includes respiratory, heart disease, diabetes and hospitalizations.

If Tree Equity Score was to be a vehicle for a movement, it would need to provide more than a number. An online user experience that distills such complex information into a simple narrative for diverse audiences would be critical. The Bay Area pilot allowed for an iterative design process that included gathering feedback from local stakeholders like San Francisco’s Friends of the Urban Forest, Oakland’s urban forestry leaders and the California Urban Forestry Council. This process eventually led to what has become a very well-received mixture of design and function, as users have remarked at how much complex data is synthesized so clearly in the platform.

A mapping company called EarthDefine was so impressed with what they saw in the pilot phase they donated their own high-resolution national data layer to the project. Rather than spending a year developing such a layer, unique Tree Equity scores could be calculated and released in June, 2021 for more than 150,000 neighborhoods in 3,810 municipalities across all 486 urban areas of at least 50,000 people in the contiguous United States. These scores are accompanied by a suite of support tools. These include Vibrant Cities Lab’s Climate and Health Action Guide to help optimize urban forests to address climate change and public health issues, as well as the Community Assessment and Goal-Setting Tool that uses a separate gap score to guide stakeholders in structuring an inclusive, multi-organization urban forestry program.

Tree Equity Score and the critical issue it addresses has generated so much interest that American Forests was invited to co-author a New York Times data article to mark its nationwide release. With 522 million new trees needed to achieve Tree Equity nationwide, this level of visibility will be critical to contextualizing the large scale of investment needed from public, private and foundation sectors to grow this infrastructure that captures carbon, air pollution and storm water in the Bay Area and beyond. 

www.americanforests.org

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

2021 - $10000 Micromobility As a Tool Towards Economic Equality

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation



Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
2021 - $10000 Micromobility As a Tool Towards Economic Equality

Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation is the nation’s first community development corporation. Created in 1967 through grassroots activism and the bipartisan support of Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Jacob Javits, Restoration serves 50,000 people annually as an advocate, coalition-builder, and direct service provider. Based in Central Brooklyn, BSRC is rooted in the largest population of African-Caribbean diaspora in the United States where there is a convergence of economic, health, environmental disparities. Since 2015, Restoration has been a local, city-wide, and national leader in the bike share and micromobility sector. 

BSRC’s mission is to disrupt and close the racial wealth gap to ensure all families in Central Brooklyn are prosperous and healthy. With a vision of a flourishing Brooklyn community consisting of strong families, businesses, and institutions and anchored in a culture of equity and inclusion, for over a decade their Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (CHN) aims to change the structural conditions that drive the inequities in chronic disease, focusing on policies, systems and environmental change within the food and transportation sectors.  

Since Citi Bike’s further expansion into Bedford-Stuyvesant in 2015, BSRC has led the NYC Better Bike Share Partnership (NYC BBSP) to increase access to and usership of bike share in low-income communities of color in Brooklyn and throughout NYC. Restoration partnered with then Citi Bike operator Motivate, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). The efforts of the partnership has resulted in the expansion of the $5 a month Reduced Fare Bike Share membership option to all SNAP recipients, the Citi Bike for Youth and Prescribe-A-Bike programs, the formation of Lyft’s Equity Advisory Board, and an increase in bike share access among low-income residents by over 77%. 

The work of the NYC BBSP is centered on increasing access to active transportation options thereby, improving access to employment, education and other resources while increasing physical activity options in underserved communities. Ensuring that decisions around policies, investment and infrastructure in low-income areas are made by people with lived experiences in those communities will lead to better services and safer streets. This in turn allows for greater adoption of active transportation, and better access to resources that support health and economic opportunities.

With support from Seed Fund, BSRC is spearheading a multi-pronged initiative to increase employment and business opportunities, as well as representation of people of color from low income communities in decision-making positions within the micromobility sector. To accomplish this BSRC will:

  • Significantly increase the number of low-income people of color with living-wage employment and business opportunities in the transportation and micromoblity industry, as well as their representation in transportation planning fields;
  • Host mentorship programs and create paid fellowships for students from marginalized groups, working with them to develop skills leading to analyst, planning and tech positions;
  • Change recruitment practices within micromobility/transportation planning organizations, modify hiring rubrics and create programs for internal advancement of staff in lower-paid positions;
  • Engage schools and areas with more students of color, and enhance the field’s image to attract a diverse workforce.

restorationplaza.org

California Bicycle Coalition

2021 - $10,000 Engaging with California Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure (CAPTI)
2020 – $15,000 Toolkit for Temporary Road Closures/ Biking During COVID-19 Pandemic
2019 – $15,000 General Support
2019 – $10,000 General Support

California Bicycle Coalition



California Bicycle Coalition
2021 - $10,000 Engaging with California Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure (CAPTI)
2020 - $15,000 Toolkit for Temporary Road Closures/ Biking During COVID-19 Pandemic
2019 - $15,000 General Support
2019 - $10,000 General Support

The California Bicycle Coalition Education Fund (CalBike) advocates for equitable, inclusive, and prosperous communities where bicycling helps to enable all Californians to lead healthy and joyful lives. 

CalBike is guided by a vision of California where:

  • Public spaces, especially our streets, are safe, appealing, and accessible for Californians of every economic status, race, gender, immigration status, or ability.
  • Communities are prosperous, whether rural, urban, or suburban, and all Californians enjoy a high quality of life and freedom from poverty, violence, and oppression.
  • California's communities are able to invest in affordable housing safely connected on foot or by bike to the places we learn, work, play, and access healthcare.
  • Our cities build convenient and affordable public transit networks.
  • Decisions about transportation in California are made by those who are most impacted and burdened by our current system. Low-income communities and communities of color no longer bear the greatest burdens of the environmental and public health and safety impacts of transportation.
  • Bicycling is loved and appreciated by everyone for its role in supporting prosperity, health, safety, and joy that all Californians benefit from.

Since 1999, CalBike has promoted sustainable transportation and healthy communities. They have organized trainings, conferences, workshops and direct support for bicycle and equity advocates, sharing best practices with local and state-level leaders. They have created toolkits and how-to guides to give local leaders the information they need to implement great bicycle infrastructure. They have succeeded in pressing Caltrans to greatly increase bike/walk infrastructure funding. They have shaped state-level guidelines to encourage protected bike lanes and intersections, making California a leader in the kind of people-friendly street design that encourages bicycling among people of all ages, cultures, genders, and income levels.

CalBike's focus is on the intersection of social justice and sustainable transportation, and their policy team works to redress the discriminatory transportation policies that have divided and polluted California's disadvantaged communities, especially where those policies have disadvantaged people who ride or want to ride bicycles. To that end, CalBike has succeeded in shaping grant guidelines and priorities to ensure that a majority of state bike/walk funds go to disadvantaged communities. They have pushed Caltrans to use highway maintenance funds to build Complete Streets, streets that serve all users, and pressed them to devote more safety funds to biking and walking, along the state highways that often serve as main streets in disadvantaged communities. They work with local community advocates in disadvantaged communities, offering training to help them access bike/walk infrastructure funding. They have worked to connect BIPOC transportation advocacy leaders with the skills and knowledge to effectively promote sustainable transportation policy, and to bring representation of BIPOC communities to the halls of power, including the California Transportation Commission. 

CalBike works closely with advocates across the state and in Sacramento, collaborating with them on intersecting issues such as pedestrian access, transit and housing.

CalBike projects the Seed Fund is supporting in 2020-2021.

Complete Streets
All roads in California should be safe and inviting for people of all ages and abilities to bike, walk, or ride public transit. That’s the vision for CalBike’s Complete Streets Campaign. After significant pressure, Governor Newsom and Caltrans leadership have stated support for Complete Streets, and promised to implement them where appropriate. However, Caltrans has in the past instituted but failed to implement good Complete Streets policies. CalBike is acting as a watchdog, holding Caltrans and the governor accountable to their stated promise to prioritize Complete Streets. 

Changing the Conversation Around Climate and Transportation
Currently, the state-level conversation about reducing transportation sector carbon emissions focuses on the transition from gas cars to electric ones. While this transition is necessary, it is insufficient to address the climate crisis, and ignores as well the hopeful possibilities for a just climate transition that includes and lifts up low-income people and people of color. CalBike works to influence policymakers and environmental organizations to ensure that bicycling, walking, transit, and in-fill housing are part of the conversation.

Shared Micromobility for Everyone 
CalBike is working to save bike and scooter share from the unsustainable profit-centered model. They work to integrate public shared mobility into public transit systems so that users may access bikes and scooters on the same terms and in the same manner as public transit. Whether through a purely public service or a public-private partnership, this kind of support and integration is essential to accomplishing our goal of affordable and healthy mobility for all Calfornians, including those who live in low-income neighborhoods. 

Quick-Build Toolkit and "Slow Streets" How-To
CalBike created two guides to respond to the increase in bicycling under the pandemic. The Slow Streets How-To Guide offers communities best practices on how to implement Slow Streets—streets closed to through traffic, where people walking and biking can have plenty of room to have fun, get exercise, and get where they need to go safely. CalBike's Quick-Build Toolkit, created in partnership with Alta Planning + Design, is a comprehensive guide to quick-build bicycling infrastructure. Quick-build is a method of building bike and pedestrian safety improvements—protected bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, slow streets, parklets, and more—now, within a tight budget. In challenging times, quick-build projects are crucial to building trust in the government’s ability to deliver public benefit. And quick-build infrastructure can engage the public better than ever, and be more inclusive and equitable than traditional infrastructure. With support from the Seed Fund and in collaboration with Alta, CalBike created a 4-page brochure to convince policymakers to push for quick-build. The full 77-page Toolkit tells city planning departments step by step how to implement quick-build projects.

Emergency COVID Bicycling Resources
CalBike quickly responded to the pandemic and the resulting surge in bicycling with a host of online resources for those new to bicycling, as well as people who were already biking but had questions about how to ride safely under COVID.

calbike.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

Cycles of Change

2021- $10,000 General Support

Cycles of Change

A Cycles of Change staff member distributing helmets to Upcycle class participants

Bike Clubs students riding in the Oakland Hills

Upcycle class participants with their new bikes and helmets

Cycles of Change educator explaining helmet fit to elementary school students

Community members gathered outside of The Bikery

A Cycles of Change educator demonstrating how to test the brakes on a bike before riding

Bikery mechanics working in the shop!



Cycles of Change
2021- $10,000 General Support

Mission:

Cycles of Change works to improve the health and sustainability of East Oakland neighborhoods by increasing the use of bicycles as transportation. Cycles broadens access to biking in low-income communities of color through education programs and low cost or free resources, and connects youth with the extraordinary living ecosystems of their local area to build a diverse community of visionary young leaders.

History:

Cycles of Change is deeply rooted in East Oakland. Starting in the basement of Roosevelt Middle School in 1998, a small-but-mighty staff of 3 led young riders on after-school bike adventures and offered them opportunities to earn bikes. These programs became wildly popular and developed a huge following. Since then, the organization has expanded to offer in-school bicycle safety trainings and adult commuter programs for low income Oakland residents, as well as in 2009 opening The Bikery, a community bike shop making biking more accessible for all kinds of riders.

Through these endeavors, Cycles of Change has built deep, multi-generational relationships in East Oakland and the East Bay with schools, community-based organizations, and families throughout Alameda County. Cycles lifts up East Oakland youth and families with a multi-pronged approach including after-school Bike Clubs, in-school bike safety classes, high school mentorships, and youth job training and employment.

Vision:

Climate Justice: Cycles of Change envisions a world in which everyone has access to clean air, water, and nature. This vision is currently far from reality, as East Oakland residents are impacted every day by environmental racism baked into Oakland’s geography. Cycles of Change works to increase bike ridership and minimize reliance on cars, empowering local residents and growing access to the natural world through pedal-powered adventures to public greenspaces and ecosystems in East Oakland.

Affordable Mobility: Cycles of Change believes that every resident of the San Antonio district and East Oakland should have access to bikes, because flexible, affordable mobility boosts residents’ quality of life and grows their agency over the spaces in which they live. Through The Bikery, a community bike shop located at 23rd Ave and 12th Street, Cycles of Change seeks to make this dream a reality. For eleven years and counting, The Bikery has been an indispensable resource for community members, providing sliding-scale and pro-bono bikes and repairs to over 1,000 customers a year, facilitating high school internships and earn-a-bike programs, and serving as a hub of community for local youth to socialize and learn bike mechanics.

Values:

Equity: Cycles of Change works with an equity lens, believing strongly in a holistic framework of Transportation Justice at the urgent intersection of movements for racial, gender, economic, environmental, and disability justice. Currently, the organization is fully comprised of educators and advocates of color, committed to bold solutions in communities most impacted by climate change and environmental racism.

Collective Governance: Cycles of Change believes in shared knowledge and uses a democratic decision-making process and horizontal organizational structure that makes space for many voices. Cycles of Change commits to restorative justice and harm-reduction approaches to conflict management that do not involve law enforcement or the carceral state.

Programs:

  • The Bikery - a community bike shop offering sliding scale prices and affordable mobility for the community. The Bikery serves over 1,000 community members per year, connecting local residents with affordable transportation and serving as a hub of community while also offering youth job training, employment, and mentorship.
  • Upcycle - a class for low-income adult commuters and families that promotes access and ridership. Upcycle currently runs an average of one class a month, equipping participants with comprehensive bike riding education, a free bike, helmet, lock, and lights, so they are able to incorporate riding into their daily lives for utility and recreation.
  • Bike Clubs - an afterschool program building leadership and community at East Oakland middle and high schools. Bike Clubs run out of four Title I schools, leading students on pedal-powered adventures through East Oakland landmarks. Bike Clubs educate students on riding and mechanics, urban geography, and environmental science, while growing their agency over the neighborhoods in which they live.
  • Safety Program - an in-school bike education program serving over 5,000 students each year throughout Alameda County. The Safety program brings experiential learning to students all over the East Bay, allowing thousands of young people to learn to ride a bike or deepen their knowledge and continue their bike journey.

Community Voices:

“It feels amazing to be riding in the city I live in. It feels good because you put more force into it [compared to a car] and you get to exercise more.” --Sarayha (2021 MetWest Huerta Bike Club) 

“Learning to ride a bike feels really great because I can ride whenever I want now. I get to see places I’ve never been before, and I really like feeling the wind while I’m riding.” --Quennie (2021 MetWest Huggins Bike Club)

cyclesofchange.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

Mycelium Youth Network (MYN)

2022 - $15,000 Youth Council
2021 - $15,000 Climate Resilience Work With Youth

Mycelium Youth Network (MYN)

MYN Educational Director, Marylin Zuniga, stands with youth in the garden, offering over succulents to be propagated. In front of the two is a large amount of nutrient rich, dark soil, and behind the pair is a team of volunteers from MYN and Planting Justice, working hard to set up the Mycelium Youth Network Nursery. This nursery will be a space for Bay Area youth and families to gain access to ancestral wisdom, climate resilience knowledge, and green space. 

Mycelium Youth Network envisions a climate resilient Bay Area, where residents are equipped with the ancestral and environmental knowledge to self sustain and preserve their own communities. One of our latest projects in this area of curriculum has been the MYN Nursery, a space for Bay Area folks to have access to food justice knowledge and the tools to build a better food system. 

A MYN youth gardener at work in the garden, getting ready to transplant a lavender plant into a new home in the soil. At MYN, we focus heavily on herbal education, and encourage students to learn how to identify, use, and preserve plant allies. 

Mycelium Youth Network (MYN) is dedicated to equipping youth with the resources, training, and knowledge from the ground up that they will need to survive and thrive in a climate challenged world. We prepare our youth for a climate challenged future, today. 

Meet our Staff: MYN Mission High Educator and Gardener Linda Le working during COVID-19 in the garden in a socially distant manner. Linda is a freedom dreamer, educator, and grower of food. She loves teaching and learning in community with youth, especially around building more just futures. At MYN she’s been teaching gardening classes, helping with building out the nursery and teaching a climate resiliency class at Mission High School. In this class youth are exploring and building skills to respond to our climate crisis and hopes that all youth have a future where clean air, water and healthy foods are a reality for all.


Mycelium Youth Network (MYN)
2022 - $15,000 Youth Council
2021 - $15,000 Climate Resilience Work With Youth

Mycelium Youth Network (MYN), founded in 2017, is an all BIPOC, groundbreaking, youth-centered organization in the San Francisco Bay Area that prepares low-income Black and Brown youth in neighborhoods most impacted by both climate and environmental injustice, and who are most vulnerable to and already feeling the effects of environmental racism, for climate change.

MYN was founded to fill a curriculum gap in too many schools that fail to include climate resiliency in STEAM instruction. Through partnerships with schools and stand alone programming, they use a merger of ancestral traditions and traditional ecological knowledge that emphasize youth environmental stewardship and relationship building alongside a rigorous science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) curriculum that focuses on practical hands-on skills for climate resilience and mitigation that youth create and implement in their homes and local communities.

Youth are empowered to grow as visionary leaders and budding environmentalists, connect with ancestral teachings, and trust in the wisdom of the natural world. MYN centers this work on intersectional climate justice, which entails community-building but also preparing future leaders to carry out systemic change. In just three short years, they have provided hands-on climate-resilient training to close to a thousand frontline low-income youth of color throughout Oakland and the Bay Area. The skills youth gain in these programs are agency, leadership building, and rooted in a strong belief in the power of citizen science to change the world, crucial resources needed as the community collectively faces an increasingly precarious climate-affected world.

The Seed Fund will provide generous support for MYN’s groundbreaking current program Climate Resilient Schools which, working collaboratively with communities at several Oakland Unified School District and San Francisco Unified school sites, will create a scalable model for what community climate resilience can look like at a school across several areas of climate resilience: electricity, food, water, and air, each of which pertains to an area of their programming (Science for Survival, Growing Our Health: Food, Soil, and Carbon Drawdown, Water is Life, and Clean Air is a Right). This includes infrastructure building at schools sites, including water catchment systems, community events to foster community voice and prioritize community needs, creating aligned curriculum, and delivering professional development support for teachers and schools to embed the work. This pilot will create the model that aligns with MYN’s goals to scale the curriculum across both districts in the future, with coordinated learning pathways across middle and high school curricula. Even more, MYN envisions this work as going beyond the local community and into the larger world, creating data points for educators, adaptation professionals, and climate scientists to use in the promotion of tools to support global efforts to fight climate change. Data collected in this work will also be instrumental in guiding future curriculum and projects both locally as well as a guide for other cities and states.

This funded project directly supports MYN’s theory of change and organizational mission that building the capacity of front-line communities to address climate change not only mitigates the worst of climate change in the short-term but creates new ways for communities to engage with their natural resources sustainably in the long-term. Additionally, centering climate resilience at school sites ensures youth and their community members see themselves, their communities, and their futures directly aligned with school curricula, creating an important opportunity for real, collaborative, community-based climate solutions—all led by youth—bringing hope, resilience and youth-led community preparedness to those who are most impacted by climate change and environmental racism.

Mycelium is already considered a pioneer in climate education, named as one of the only organizations doing specific climate related work (International Transformational Resilience Coalition press release on 1/8/2019) and recognized internationally by the Quaker United Nations People’s Empowerment Climate Series. They have been profiled in SF Chronicle, KQED, Estuary Magazine, our podcast in We Rise productions, and a blog on us by Columbia University’s State of the Planet at their Earth Institute. MYN has also served as a core member of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition (OCAC) and was instrumental in drafting culturally responsive youth-oriented solutions to climate change.

www.myceliumyouthnetwork.org

Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC)

2022 - $20,000 Climate Lab
2021 - $15,000 General Support

Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC)

A summer intern planting sea grass in Sunset Cove, Jamaica Bay. Photo credit_ Natural Areas Conservancy

Our Citywide Trails Team working in Forest Park, Queens. Photo credit_ Natural Areas Conservancy

A staff member from our Citywide Trails Team blazing a trail in Bayswater Park, Queens. Photo credit_ Natural Areas Conservancy

2020 CUNY summer interns learning plant identification skills outside in Jamaica Bay Park. Photo credit_ Natural Areas Conservancy

Kayakers touring Jamaica Bay with the Natural Areas Conservancy and the Jamaica-Bay Rockaway Parks Conservancy. Photo credit_ Natural Areas Conservancy

Natural Areas Conservancy’s Executive Director, Sarah Charlop-Powers, speaking at our 2019 Forests in Cities National Workshop with special guests. Photo credit_ Natural Areas Conservancy

Volunteers in Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan. Photo credit_ Natural Areas Conservancy


Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC)
2022 - $20,000 Climate Lab
2021 - $15,000 General Support

Started in 2012, the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) is a non-profit organization devoted to restoring and conserving New York City’s 20,000 acres of forests and coastal areas. The NAC is the first park conservancy dedicated exclusively to New York City’s natural areas, which comprise one third of the city’s park system. The NAC works in more than 50 parks across the five boroughs and takes a science-based approach to conserving the city’s nature, improving coastal resilience, and ensuring healthy forests. They believe that natural areas are vital to sustaining air quality, improving public health, providing New Yorkers with access to nature, and strengthening our communities. 

Through their internship program, the NAC mentors a diverse group of STEM majors from the City University of New York to become the environmental leaders of tomorrow. Since 2016, they have trained 70 young adults through their paid summer internship program. NAC staff guide student research and train interns in botany and ecological data collection and analysis. The data collected and analyzed by the interns are used by the NAC and the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation to manage forests and wetlands across the city. In 2020, the NAC expanded the program to be year round. In 2021, the NAC expanded the internship program to include shoreline monitoring projects in NYC wetlands and trail improvement projects citywide. There is also a goal to expand the program to include high school students in 2022.

Since 2019, the NAC has convened Forests in Cities (FIC), a national network of colleagues from 12 U.S. cities who are working to restore and manage forested natural areas. The NAC has facilitated the publication of over 25 case studies and the first national report on urban forested natural areas, including responses from over 100 organizations across the country. Over the next three years the NAC has committed to advancing the following goals: 1) Nurture and grow a national network of experts focused on the care of forests in cities; 2) Advance urban forest science and practice, including documentation of successful practices, and the creation of new knowledge to advance this field; and 3) Advocate for increased resources and support. 

The NAC is focused on building a better understanding of the role that natural areas play as a part of the solution to climate change. Using extensive data, they have established an approach to make New York City’s forests more adaptable to future climate related threats and have quantified their role in storing and sequestering carbon. In their research, the NAC has calculated that forested natural areas account for 69% of the carbon stored in New York City’s trees, despite being only 25% of the tree canopy. These calculations have also revealed that healthy forests store twice as much carbon as degraded forests. The NAC is using this information to activate partners and policymakers and advance innovative management strategies needed to ensure forests survive under hotter conditions and more severe and frequent storms. 

To address the needs of our vast and complex park system, the NAC created a citywide trails team in 2017 to conduct trail improvement projects on over 300 miles of official and unofficial trails, and to train non-profit partners and individual volunteers in trail management techniques. Since 2017, the team has formalized over 136 miles of trails in 19 parks, and has trained 48 advanced volunteers to adopt 60 miles of trails. To increase this effort to the level needed for New York City and to bring more funding and volunteer resources to the city’s trail system, the NAC developed a Strategic Trails Plan which launched in June 2021. The goal is to formalize the entire 300 mile trail system by the end of 2023, and to have every mile of official trail adopted by an advanced volunteer.

Through their robust series of public programs in natural areas, the NAC has engaged over 7,500 individuals in tours, lectures, and volunteer events. In 2020, they responded to COVID-19 by making all of their events and programming virtual. The NAC’s programs focused on topics — such as top nature trails to explore and plant identification lessons — that would help New Yorkers get outside and safely spend time in local nature. With this new programming, they experienced a 150% increase in overall attendance and engagement. Looking ahead, the NAC is planning flexible programming that can be adapted to changing safety conditions during the pandemic. NAC’s virtual events will include interactive content to allow participants to experience New York City’s natural areas from the comfort of their homes. 

naturalareasnyc.org

Nature in the City

2021 - $15,000 Climate Resilience Work
2017 - $5,000 Backyard Natives Nursery Program
2017 - $10,000 General Support
2014 - $5,000 General Support grant
2011 - $5,000 Green Hairstreak Butterfly project
2010 - $5,000 Green Hairstreak Butterfly project
Nature in the City leads restoration and stewardship efforts of San Francisco’s natural heritage.

Nature in the City


Nature in the City
2021 - $15,000 Climate Resilience Work
2017 - $5,000 Backyard Natives Nursery Program
2017 – $10,000 General Support
2014 - $5,000 General Support
2011 - $5,000 Green Hairstreak Butterfly Project
2010 - $5,000 Green Hairstreak Butterfly Project

As the only non-profit organization dedicated to restoration & stewardship of San Francisco’s natural heritage, Nature in the City plays a critical role in securing the city’s wild lands for future generations. Nature in the City connects with the city at large through the sponsorship of nature walks, events for children and families, eco-literacy training, volunteer opportunities, and resources for community groups wishing to start their own citizen science projects.

Green Hairstreak Butterfly project
Discovered by modern science in the late 1800s from “the hills of San Francisco” the Green Hairstreak (Callophrys dumetorum) is a small, nickel-sized butterfly isolated in three remaining remnant habitats within the city: Hawk Hill and Rocky Outcrop overlooking the Sunset District and the coastal bluffs of the Presidio. The primary goal of the Green Hairstreak Project is to connect two disjunctive butterfly populations in the Sunset District with street level plantings of host and nectar sources. If the two populations can interbreed, their genetic viability and diversity will be more secure.

natureinthecity.org

Our Streets Minneapolis

2021 - $10,000 Reimagining I-94

Our Streets Minneapolis



Our Streets Minneapolis
2021 - $10,000 Reimagining I-94

Our Streets Minneapolis is a transportation advocacy organization that organizes for a community where biking, walking, and rolling are easy and comfortable for everyone. Their work is volunteer driven and is grounded in community organizing. 

As part of their mission to transform transportation in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities region, they have been leading a campaign to reimagine Interstate 94 as part of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Rethinking I-94 project. The Rethinking I-94 project will determine the future of I-94 approximately between the downtowns of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. 

I-94, like many urban freeways in America, was intentionally routed through low income and communities of color. The freeway destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses when it was constructed in the mid 20th century. In Minneapolis, one out of every twenty residents lost their home to freeway construction. 80% of Black Minneapolis residents lived in the communities where freeways, including I-94, were built. 

I-94’s harm has been ongoing ever since it was constructed. The freeway’s traffic generates hazardous air pollution that contributes to health disparities including one of the region’s highest rates of asthma hospitalization. The sunken freeway trench divides neighborhoods and limits transportation options for households without access to a car. The freeway also occupies a large swath of land that could be returned to neighboring communities to address local needs including affordable housing, commercial space for local businesses and greenspace. This isn’t to mention the freeway’s climate impact. Transportation is the largest greenhouse gas emissions sector in Minnesota and little progress has been made in recent years as fuel efficiency improvements have been mostly negated by increases in vehicle miles traveled.

The Rethinking I-94 project represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redress these harms and reimagine the freeway corridor. Our Streets Minneapolis’ advocacy is focused on building a community vision to remove this segment of I-94 and replace it with a multi-modal transportation corridor that increases walking, biking and transit access, improves health outcomes and puts the needs of adjacent communities first. 

Many people aren’t fully aware of how I-94 impacts their daily lives. It can also be difficult to imagine what the corridor could look like without a freeway. However cities across the world have already removed and replaced freeway segments and many more have projects in the works. Our Streets Minneapolis is going directly to the people who are most impacted by the freeway by door knocking throughout the project corridor to highlight these examples and help expand community imagination for what is possible. These conversations are helping to raise awareness about the project and build public pressure on MnDOT and other decision makers to ensure that they deliver a project that improves the lives of people who experience the freeway’s harms daily. 

To learn more about this project, go to ourstreetsmpls.org/rethinkingi94

ourstreetsmpls.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

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

The Tenderloin Community Benefit District (TLCBD)

2021 - $15,000 Climate Justice Project
2020 - $10,000 Safe Passage Program

The Tenderloin Community Benefit District (TLCBD)

The Tenderloin Community Benefit District (TLCBD)
2021 - $15,000 Climate Justice Project
2020 - $10,000 Safe Passage Program

Leveraging existing programs and funding, the TLCBD is partnering with the SeedFund to invest in the future environmental health and equity of Tenderloin. With the support of the SeedFund the TLCBD is committed to incorporating climate education, organizing and policy advocacy - within our Resident Voice and Inviting Spaces programs - to elevate the climate change mitigation and environmental resource management priorities of the Tenderloin residents. Issues such as waste reduction and water conservation, walkability and reductions in automobile traffic, improvements in the built environment and energy conservation will be explored through community forums and amplified through community-led actions and policy input with city officials. Through our Park Resident Advisory Council and Block Groups, we will incentivize a community-led initiative for policy education and engagement. Climate impacts will be disproportionately felt by the most under-resourced. San Francisco boasts 6,925 acres of green space. Only 9.4 of those acres are in the Tenderloin. In a neighborhood where urban blight, open-air drug trafficking, and houselessness abound, the TLCBD - together with other anchor institutions and partners - is leading an initiative called TL Transforms. TL Transforms is the physical improvement strategy for the Tenderloin community; through "greening", planting and maintaining natural spaces, trees, and beautifying common spaces through art and cultural activation. With SeedFund's support we will expand and accelerate that change.

The Tenderloin Community Benefit District (TLCBD) is a leadership minded non profit working to ensure San Francisco’s Tenderloin is a vibrant community for ALL. With strong community partnerships and collaboration with city agencies, the TLCBD is focused on creating sustainable, positive change through a variety of projects and programs in fostering neighborhood pride, economic opportunity as well as clean and safe inviting public spaces. Find out more at www.tlcbd.org, and follow them on all social platforms at @TLCBD. For more information about our recent work, check out the TLCBD 2020 Year in Reflection.

About TLCBD Safe Passage

The roots of TLCBD Safe Passage program are planted firmly in the advocacy of neighborhood mothers and community leaders who identified a need for safer streets for their children navigating between home, school, and other youth serving programs.
The Tenderloin is home to an estimated 3,500 children.

In 2016, the Tenderloin Safe Passage merged into its sister organization. Through TLCBD, Safe Passage grew from an all-volunteer effort to a robust team of full-time and part-time staff positions, as well as other stipended volunteers, known as Corner Captains. At its core, TLCBD Safe Passage works to build a culture of safety, helping people feel safe and be safe through education, visibility, and engagement.

In addition to supporting the safety of neighborhood youth, the program has expanded to support the many seniors who call the Tenderloin home. In addition, the program plays a pivotal role in providing safe access to Turk-Hyde Mini Park, Sgt John Macaulay Park, and Boeddeker Park. Through TLCBD Pedestrian Safety program, Safe Passage has been able to advocate for transformative changes to support pedestrian safety and other neighborhood-serving efforts Block Safety Groups, a placed-based model for connection and agency for residents.

Investment in this program is not just about creating a culture of safety in the Tenderloin, but about changing lives. TLCBD Safe Passage has a daily impact on children, seniors, and other community members while empowering Corner Captains with a sense of agency, pride, and economic opportunity.

During the pandemic, TLCBD Safe Passage pivoted to respond to the needs of our community.

Among the biggest community-identified needs during the pandemic were inadequate food security and a sense of isolation for residents. In collaboration with partners from neighbor organizations suchas TNDC, La Voz Latina, Salvation Army Kroc Center, the SF-Marin Food Bank, area schools, and the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF), Safe Passage Corner Captains began supporting the Tenderloin’s food distribution efforts.

To foster connection, continuity, and well being, TLCBD Safe Passage developed weekly virtual trainings open to community members and Corner Captains, as well as a support network of regular phone calls to program participants. TLCBD Safe Passage ultimately returned to provide on-the-ground support for neighborhood parks and newly open pedestrian spaces and street activations through block closures.

TLCBD Safe Passage continues to be an inspiration to the organization, its program participants, and all who live, work, or visit the Tenderloin. It has also provided technical assistance to other agencies and organizations interested in modeling the program for its best practices.

tlcbd.org

Trust for Public Land

2022 - $20,000 Green Schoolyards Oakland
2021 - $20,000 India Basin
2018 - $20,000 India Basin Waterfront Park
2017 - $20,000 Parks for People project: India Basin, San Francisco
2017 - $20,000 Innes Avenue project
2016 - $20,000 Innes Avenue project
2015 - $20,000 Innes Avenue project
The Trust for Public Land is dedicated to helping local communities with their conservation needs by raising funds, conducting research, designing and renovating parks, playgrounds, trails and gardens, as well as acquiring and protecting land.

Trust for Public Land


Trust for Public Land
2022 - $20,000 Green Schoolyards Oakland
2021 - $20,000 India Basin
2018 - $20,000 India Basin Waterfront Park
2017 - $20,000 Parks for People Project: India Basin, San Francisco
2017 - $20,000 Innes Avenue Project
2016 - $20,000 Innes Avenue Project
2015 - $20,000 Innes Avenue Project

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is dedicated to helping local communities with their conservation needs by raising funds, conducting research, designing and renovating parks, playgrounds, trails and gardens, as well as acquiring and protecting land. With over 30 offices across the nation, TPL works to provide access to nature for everyone and has completed over 5,000 conservation projects nationwide.

Locally, TPL is developing a plan to transform the 900 Innes Avenue property from an industrial brownfield into a vibrant community park featuring climate-smart infrastructure. Redeveloping the property is an important step in creating a more resilient shoreline that is adapted for sea level rise. 900 Innes will create green space and alternative transportation options for the under-served residents of Bayview/Hunters Point.

tpl.org

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

Walk San Francisco

2022 - $10,000 General Support
2021 - $10,000 20mph Speed Limit in the Tenderloin: Data Study
2016 - $10,000 Green Connections
2014 - $10,000 Vision Zero
2013 - $10,000 General Support
2012 - $6,000 General Support
Walk San Francisco speaks up for safer, more pleasant streets for everyone to walk on.

Walk San Francisco

Mayor London Breed, State Senator Scott Wiener, Walk SF executive director Jodie Medeiros, and children from El Dorado Elementary School get ready for the 2019 Walk & Roll to School Day. Photo: Greg Zeppa

Walk SF was part of an action on Market Street pushing for permanent removal of private vehicles. 500,000 people walk on Market Street every day, and five of the city’s top ten most dangerous intersections are on Market. Photo by Walk SF.

Walk SF was part of an action on Market Street pushing for permanent removal of private vehicles. 500,000 people walk on Market Street every day, and five of the city’s top ten most dangerous intersections are on Market. Photo by Walk SF.

Walk SF was part of an action on Market Street pushing for permanent removal of private vehicles. 500,000 people walk on Market Street every day, and five of the city’s top ten most dangerous intersections are on Market. Photo by Walk SF.

At a March 2019 action on the steps of City Hall to shine a light on recent traffic fatalities. Photo by Walk SF.

A memorial to the lives lost in traffic crashes in San Francisco since January 2014. From the 2020 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Photo by William McLeod with permission from Walk SF.


Walk San Francisco
2022 - $10,000 General Support
2021 - $10,000 20mph Speed Limit in the Tenderloin: Data Study
2016 - $10,000 Green Connections
2014 - $10,000 Vision Zero
2013 - $10,000 General Support
2012 - $6,000 General Support

San Francisco can and should be the safest, most walkable city in the United States. Yet every day, at least 3 people on average are hit by cars while walking in our city.

Walk San Francisco exists to change this. Walk San Francisco (Walk SF) was founded in 1998 by a small group of volunteers united by the belief that the city’s streets and sidewalks should be safe and welcoming for all.

Today, Walk SF is known as a tireless advocate in pushing for – and winning – life-saving changes across the city. Some defining wins include: 15 MPH speed zones around 181 schools; San Francisco’s second-in-the-nation commitment to Vision Zero; the removal of private vehicles from Market Street; the tax on Uber and Lyft; and groundbreaking changes to some of the city’s most dangerous streets.

Walk SF also founded and supports San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets, a group of traffic crash survivors and the loved ones of people who have been killed or injured in traffic crashes. Members offer emotional support and work together to win changes to prevent more lives from being destroyed by traffic violence. Each November, Families for Safe Streets and Walk SF hold World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

In addition, Walk SF works to increase the number of children safely getting to school on foot, bicycle, scooter, and transit as part of the San Francisco Safe Routes to School Partnership. Walk SF also brings together the voices of the 30+ community-based organizations, nonprofits, and civic groups that make up the Vision Zero Coalition, plus leads the Senior and Disability Work Group. And throughout the year, Walk SF offers a variety of walks to both explore the pure joys of exploring the city on foot and the challenges faced due to unsafe streets.

In 2019, Walk SF launched its first-ever three-year strategic plan. The long-term goals outlined in it are to: 1) end pedestrian traffic deaths and severe injuries, and 2) increase the number of trips people take on foot.

As part of the strategic plan, Walk SF prioritized both what it works on and how it will work. Crash data shows that San Francisco’s residents living in communities of concern suffer the most from traffic violence. These are communities with the most low-income people, immigrants, communities of color, seniors, children, and people with disabilities. That is why while Walk SF works in the interest of all pedestrians in San Francisco, Walk SF prioritizes its efforts on communities and/or geographies where issues of equity are most at play.

Walk SF also focuses its outreach and education in communities and populations that have disproportionately been impacted by traffic violence and often not engaged in the community process. Walk SF works hard to ensure a community’s voice is authentically brought forward to guide advocacy efforts, and build coalitions across diverse communities. That’s why Walk SF goes much deeper in its community engagement and advocacy work in neighborhoods like the Tenderloin, where traffic violence is a daily reality for the nearly 40,000 people who live there.

Walk SF’s vision is for a San Francisco where everyone – of every age and ability – can get around safely. And the benefits of making this vision a reality ripple far beyond the precious lives that will be saved. When it is safe and inviting for many more people to walk in San Francisco, it also means reducing climate emissions. It means thriving neighborhood businesses and greater health. It means changing the fact that people of color are more likely to live, work, and walk on dangerous streets. It means stronger and more connected communities.

A memorial to the lives lost in traffic crashes in San Francisco since January 2014. From the 2020 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Photo by William McLeod with permission from Walk SF.

At a March 2019 action on the steps of City Hall to shine a light on recent traffic fatalities. Photo by Walk SF.

walksf.org