What Is Permeable Landscaping?
How-To [Do It Yourself]
Donate to Plant*SF
DOWNLOAD a Plant*SF flyer to share with your friends and neighbors.
DONATE to Plant*SF through its non-profit parent, the San Francisco Parks Trust.
ASK a question and a Plant*SF volunteer will respond.
VOLUNTEER by sending a note about your interest to info@plantSF.org.
San Francisco Magazine (1/2011)
Landscape Architecture Magazine (6/2010)
San Francisco Chronicle (12/2009)
Financial Times (11/2009)
Dwell Magazine (6/2009)
Who Can Do Sidewalk Landscaping?
Owners: Any property owner in San Francisco is eligible to apply for a Sidewalk Landscaping Permit. Have you received a "30-Day Notice to Repair" the sidewalk? The "Sidewalk Landscaping Permit" satisfies the requirements for repair. You may receive an extension to the 30 days by notifying the sidewalk inspector that you've initiated the process. Follow the "How-To" section or contact Plant*SF for more information. You don't have to wait to be cited to do your project however.
Renters: Would you like to green up the sidewalk in front of your home or neighborhood? The process requires property owner signature, though anyone may do the planning and planting. Some landlords are willing to allow plantings where renters are on-site to maintain them. In other cases you may wish to work with a neighboring property owner on their property. Plant*SF is available on your behalf to educate property owners about the many benefits of plantings to landlords.
Tours and Talks
TOURS: Guided walking tours of permeable sidewalk gardens tailored to you or your group's interests are now available. Views gardens while discussing their benefits and challenges as well as the process of creating them. Currently by appointment - contact Plant*SF.
TALKS: Looking for more information? Plant*SF is available to make a presentation to your neighborhood association, design firm, garden club or other group. Talks are tailored to the audience and are a great first step to starting your project. Contact info@PlantSF.org to schedule.
PROJECT: Planning for stormwater infiltration and greening renovations is underway at Fillmore Plaza, intersection of O'Farrell in the Fillmore District. (2/14)
PROJECT: The last of 5 demonstration sites were planted in the Tenderloin at supportive housing for formerly homeless residents. These projects were done jointly with DISH (www.dishsf.org) and partially funded by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Urban Watershed Stewardship Grant and the Community Challenge Grant. (1/14)
EVENT: Plant*SF presented project work at the Smart Cities Conference in Bogota, Colombia alongside panelists from Spain showing projects from Europe and South America. (10/13)
VOLUNTEER / DONATE: Planting volunteers are requested for the weeding and refreshing of the 23rd Street demonstration garden at 23rd and Harrison Streets. Date in April 2013 to be announced. Monetary donations ($5, $10, $20) are now being accepted to sponsor the purchase of replacement plants. For more details email info@plantSF.org. (3/13)
UPDATE: SFDPW has incrased permit fees slightly to help cover costs of the inspector's time to review planting sites. Please see details by clicking the 'Forms' tab above. NOTE: There is still a discount for neighbors sending applications in together. (1/13)
VOLUNTEER: Planting volunteers are requested for the installation of the 20th Street Biophilic Streetscape demonstration garden at 20th and Florida Streets on October 6th and 7th. For more details email info@plantSF.org or see the facebook post HERE. (9/12)
EVENT: As you may know, much of the water reaching San Francisco starts as snowfall in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Plant*SF is the non-profit selected by Absinthe Films to receive proceeds from ticket sales at the premier of their new snowboarding flick 'Resonance'. Each attendee also receives a free lift ticket to Sierra in Tahoe. Join us on November 3rd, 7pm at Fort Mason. Tickets are $10. Details and a trailer are at http://absinthe-films.com. (9/12)
EVENT: Plant*SF is pleased to have been chosen by Drink Me Magazine as a recipient for proceeds from the 'Absinthe Soiree' event at Rosewood Bar on 2/29/12. Tickets available online at http://drinkmeabsinthe.eventbrite.com. (2/12)
AWARD: Plant*SF is pleased to announce a $100,000 award from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Urban Watershed Stewardship Grant and the Community Challenge Grant to develop a 'Biophilic Streetscape'. The project is in collaboration with Shift Design Studio and NeTimeas (flour+water restaurant), Southern Exposure Gallery and Humphry Slocombe Parlour Bakery at 20th/Alabama/Florida Streets in the Mission District. Join Plant*SF on facebook for updates and opportunities to participate. (7/11)
PROJECT: The Noe Valley Uplands Sidewalk Landscaping Demonstration Projects are now complete. You are welcome to visit all five 76 Jersey, 82 Jersey, 1117 Church, 4263 26th St and 682 Douglass St. These projects were partially funded by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Urban Watershed Stewardship Grant and the Community Challenge Grant. The plant list is available HERE. (6/11)
PRESS: The work of Plant*SF is featured in "Biophilic Cities", the latest book by Timothy Beatley, Professor of Sustainable Communities, University of Virginia. (2/11)
PRESS: Plant*SF makes the "What to Watch for in 2011 Preview" list compiled by San Francisco Magazine. (1/11)
ANNUAL SUMMARY: Plant*SF had a very full 2010 and looks forward to an exciting and productive 2011. Read details HERE. (12/10)
PROJECT: Naples Green, a 'Pavement to Parks' project has arrived in the Crocker-Amazon District at Naples between Geneva and Rolph Streets. Accessible by Muni on Geneva and on Naples. See THIS LINK for photographs and information. Plant list is HERE. (11/10)
AWARD: The City of San Francisco's "Community Challenge Grant" has announced funding for Noe Valley Uplands Stormwater Infiltration Demonstration Gardens; Plant*SF is a design consultant to the project. (10/10)
EXHIBITION: Plant*SF is an invited featured project in the gallery show "Public Networks of Urban Access" sponsored by Interstice Architects from September 14 through September 25, 2-6pm at 3443 26th Street, Mission District, San Francisco, CA. Opening reception September 14th, 5pm. For details click HERE. (9/10)
EXHIBITION: Plant*SF is an invited featured walking tour in the "Architecture in the City Festival" sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIASF). Tour is on September 14, 2010 in the Mission District, San Francisco. Reservation required. For details click HERE. (9/10)
EXHIBITION: Plant*SF is an invited featured project in the gallery show "Celebrate! San Francisco" held at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts from September 9 through October 9 at 2868 Mission Street, Mission District, San Francisco, CA. Gallery events on September 22nd and October 9th. For details click HERE. (9/10)
EXHIBITION: Plant*SF is an invited featured project in the gallery show "DIY Urbanism: Testing Grounds for Social Change" at the SPUR Urban Center [San Francisco Planning and Urban Research] from September 7 through October 29 at 654 Mission Street, Financial District, San Francisco. Opening party on September 7, 2010. For details click HERE. (9/10)
YOUTH GARDEN FUNDRAISER : An invited garden facilitator, Plant*SF created a street garden during the 'Out Side Art' Block Party benefitting youth and art in San Francisco on August 1, 2010 at 161 Erie Street. In addition to the garden project, the block party featured live mural painting, live music and food. The public is invited to attend and participate. Details HERE. Feel free to visit this planting which features native and climate adapted plants. (8/10)
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT: A sidewalk landscaping demonstration site has arrived in the Inner Sunset District at 5 adjacent properties on 5th Avenue between Irving and Parnassus. Accessible by Muni N-Judah train. See the 'Featured Projects' section for photographs and information. Plant list is HERE. (7/10)
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT: A sidewalk landscaping demonstration site has arrived in the Outer Sunset District at 46th Avenue at Wawona, near the zoo, ocean and Sloat Gardens Nursery. Accessible by Muni L Taraval train (end of the line). See the 'Featured Projects' section for photographs and information. Plant list is HERE. (3/10)
AWARD: The City of San Francisco's "Community Challenge Grant" has announced funding for site improvements at the Inner Sunset Farmer's Market on 9th Avenue near Irving Street; Plant*SF is a design consultant to the project. (12/09)
AWARD: The City of San Francisco's "Community Challenge Grant" has announced funding to implement sidewalk landscaping near Guerrero Park; Plant*SF is a design consultant to the project. (12/09)
AWARD: The City of San Francisco's "Community Challenge Grant" has announced funding for the Harrison Greenway Phase 3 (Mission Verde); Plant*SF is a design consultant to the project. (12/09)
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT: Attention Sunset District residents: The call for applications from "property owners interested in receiving the design and installation of a sidewalk garden featuring native and drought tolerant plants and permeable pavers free of charge" closed on December 10, 2009. Results will be communicated to applicants by 12/31/09. You may still download the informational flyer in ENGLISH | SPANISH | CHINESE. (11/09)
PRESS: Read about the widespread issue of combined sewer water pollution in this New York Times series: Toxic Waters. (11/09)
FEATURE: View the information sheet and plant list for new Guerrero Park located at 28th Street and San Jose/Guerrero Streets. (9/09)
AWARD: The City of San Francisco's "Community Challenge Grant" has awarded a grant to Plant*SF to conduct a stormwater infilatration garden project in the Sunset District. (7/09)
SUPPORT: Quite a number of sidewalk landscaping projects have benefited by the financial support of local grants. Notably, the City of San Francisco's "Community Challenge Grant" gave over $65,000 in their January 2009 round and the San Francisco Parks Trust 'Innovator Award offers $500 to $2,000 per project. (1/09)
PROJECT: "Hanging Basket Intervention Project" - Planted hanging baskets are gaining popularity in San Francisco and while beautiful, daily watering and use of 'disposable' plants keeps them far from being sustainable. Plant*SF has initiated climate adapted, self-propogating alternatives. View sample HERE. (10/08)
RESOURCE: "Free Plants" for your community and/or public space garden are now available through the San Francisco Parks Trust's "Plant Bank". See www.sfpt.org for details. (8/4/08)
PAVERS: In response to interest in locally produced permeable pavers, Plant*SF has successfully lobbied for the inclusion of more options on the official DPW list. Call 311 to request the current 'Special Sidewalk Surface' list from the Bureau of Street Use and Mapping. Look for "Calstone" products. (8/4/08)
EVENT: Plant*SF was an invited featured project at the Eau Water Zone's "L'Expo Open Source" exposition in Brussels, Belgium as part of their knowledge building and ideas sharing series of events and workshops to reimagine people's relationship to water in that area. (6/5/08)
PLANNING: The San Francisco Planning Department has received a grant to do extensive planning of greening the Mission District and is incorporating many Plant*SF concepts and projects. Learn more about the Mission Streetscape Plan HERE. (5/27/08)
PLANNING: Your input is sought for the Better Streets Plan. Visit www.sfbetterstreets.org to view the current draft and find a community meeting in your neighborhood. This is a great way to let the city know your ideas and thoughts about our how our streets and sidewalks should look. (5/24/08)
VIDEO: Plant*SF was featured on San Francisco's Neighborhood Empowerment Network video series NENtv on Tuesday 4/29/08 at 7pm. The live interview featured director Jane Martin and 26th and Bartlett community planting organizer, Zoee Astrakhan. The program is available online at www.empowerSF.org. (4/25/08)
PROJECT: "Hanging Basket Intervention Project" - Planted hanging baskets are gaining popularity in San Francisco and while beautiful, daily watering and use of 'disposable' plants keeps them far from being sustainable. Plant*SF has initiated climate adapted, self-propogating alternatives. (10/08)
WORKSHOP: The San Francisco Botanical Gardens hosted a two-day Plant*SF workshop in late March including time in both classroom and on-site. This format is available to other groups and venues, inquiries welcome. (3/31/08)
AWARD: Plant*SF was an inaugural recipient of funding from the newly formed Studio for Urban Projects. (12/10/07)
PROJECT: In conjunction with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Plant*SF has launched a project to green the sizable residual spaces near the intersection of Harrison and 16th Streets. Contact Plant*SF to become involved. (12/3/07)
IN THE NEWS: The City Star, a San Francisco daily neighborhood newspaper, features an article on the Plant*SF basics. Click HERE for a downloadable .pdf of the article. (11/05/07)
DONATE: Cole Hardware is giving Plant*SF 10% of your purchases. Plant*SF is a member of Cole Hardware's Community Partnership program. They give Plant*SF 10% of purchases made by you, everyday. Earn money for Plant*SF while shopping for your hardware needs at any Cole Hardware location. Ask the cashier to post your purchase to Plant*SF (account number 21230). (8/31/07)
CONFERENCE: Plant*SF founder, Jane Martin presented "Double Duty: Working Landscapes for Urban Settings" at the 2007 West Coast Green Residential Building Conference in San Francisco on September 22, 2007. See www.westcoastgreen.com for details. (8/30/07)
PARTNERSHIP: Plant*SF is partnering with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to create drought tolerant infiltration gardens around their properties in San Francisco. In September 2007, phase one will extend the Shotwell Greenway at 18th Street in the Mission District. This partnership aims to help PG&E be better neighbors and make good on their "Let's Green This City" campaign while bringing the message of sustainable streetscapes to a wider audience. Phase 1 opening coincides with the West Coast Green conference as well as the kick-off of "Verde que te Quiero Verde" - Green How I Love You Green - the Spanish language educational green campaign that includes energy conservation. (8/29/07)
AWARD: Plant*SF's founder was recognized by local radio station Energy 92.7 FM with an "AT&T Community Spotlight" award "celebrating people who raise the bar in the Bay Area". (8/1/07)
NEWS: A Plant*SF vision of a greener San Francisco is described in this article at www.actlocallysf.org. (7/23/07)
NEWS: Plant*SF founder, Jane Martin has been appointed by Mayor Newsom as a Commissioner on the Environment. See www.sfenvironment.org for information on the Department of the Environment and resources for sustainable living. (5/10/07)
PARTICIPATE: Your input is sought for the Better Streets Plan. Click HERE to complete a survey. This is a great way to let the city know your ideas and thoughts about our how our streets and sidewalks should look. (5/7/07)
NEWS: The origins of Plant*SF and the benefits of sidewalk gardening are featured in an article on the Urban Alliance for Sustainability website (http://uas.coop/node/480). (4/4/07)
AWARD: Plant*SF is pleased to announce the receipt of a $24,000 Community Challenge Grant (formerly Neighborhood Beautification Fund) awarded through the City Administrator's office. The funds will help offset costs for sidewalk landscaping at 26th and Bartlett Streets where neighbors have come together to plan a major greening project. Congratulations to the Fix26 neighborhood group - Look for improvements in that area soon! (3/20/07)
NEWS: Practices such as permeable landscaping, the use of drought tolerant (climate adapted) and/or native plants, and shading of building and parking lots each contribute to sustainable building and landscape practices. The Plant*SF approach to sustainable gardens contributes to the US Green Building Council's LEED certification program for such credits as Site Development, Stormwater Design, Heat Island Effect, Water Efficient Landscaping and Building Energy Performance. (3/12/07)
CERTIFICATION: Plant*SF has been certified by the Department of the Environment as a "San Francisco Green Non-Profit". This designation verifies compliance with all environmental regulations and program criteria for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste. In addition to the sustainability focus of its work, Plant*SF is pleased to have its office and organizational practices recognized by this progresssive program. (1/25/07)
NEWS: The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is currently developing the 30 Year Cleanwater Master Plan which includes Low Impact Development (LID) features such as the sidewalk plantings and permeable pavers promoted by Plant*SF. See sfsewers.org to learn more. (1/15/07)
NEWS: Plant*SF is participating in the creation of new streetspace design standards in San Francisco. Director, Jane Martin was selected to participate as the Citizen's Advisory Council assisting the Planning Department with the "Better Streets Plan". (12/15/06)
NEWS: Plant*SF was invited to give a site tour of the Shotwell Greenway to the San Francisco Planning Department and their consultants on the "Better Streets Plan". Participants are considering the installation as a model for the future of sidewalks and streetscapes in the city. (10/27/06)
FEATURED ON THE WEB: Plant*SF is featured at Metroblogging San Francisco. (10/12/06)
RESOURCE: Research on Permeable Pavers is now available in our Resources section. Click "Permeable Pavers". (10/10/06)
PLANTING: Plant*SF is currently working with groups in the Marina, Lower Haight, Mission District, Alamo Square and Noe Valley. Contact Plant*SF to become involved or to learn more about planting in your area. (10/06/06)
EVENT: See documentation of an event to celebrate greening in urban public areas. Plant*SF and the San Francisco Mayor's Office jointly took over the Mayor's parking spot in front of City Hall on Thursday, September 21, 2006 with an installation celebrating the official city flower, the dahlia. In conjunction with PARKing Day. (9/21/06)
SUCCESS!: The new "Permeable Sidewak Landscape Permit" passed through the Board of Supervisors and was signed into law by Mayor Newsom on June 8, 2006. It is available for use through the Department of Public Works. Click on the "How To" section above for more details. (06/08/06)
EVENT: Plant*SF was an invited participant in "Shape Up San Francisco", a kickoff workgroup session on April 26, 2006 sponsored by the Mayor's Office and the Department of Public Health addressing the connection between the physical environment and mental and physical health. (04/26/06)
AWARD: The San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council has awarded the Pacific Edge Traffic Island Volunteers with an award for Outstanding Effort for a Capital Project for their conversion of the "Taraval Triangle". Plant*SF provided education and support for this project. The public is invited to attend the free awards event and luncheon on May 23rd, 2006. See www.sfnpc.org for details and to rsvp. (04/25/06)
PROJECT: Plant*SF served as liaison between the Port of San Francisco and 1800 Illinois Street Tenant's Association to develop publiic space landscaping and community gardens between Marin Street and Islais Creek. This project is one of the first installations constructed along the BlueGreenway component of the San Francisco Bay Trail. (03/20/06)
UPDATE: With Plant*SF's assitance, the City of San Francisco has created a new, streamlined and less costly "Permeable Sidewalk Landscape" permit process. See updates in the "How To" section. (02/18/06)
OPPORTUNITY: Join the "Gardening and Composting Educator Training Program" classes at the San Francisco Garden for the Environment. (02/23/06)
PROJECT: Plant*SF is a participant in "The 1 Percent" Project, connecting design professionals with community oriented, non-profit projects nation-wide. (02/22/06)
AWARD: Plant*SF received a "Clean and Green City Summit Award" from Mayor Newsom, City Administrator Lee, SFDPW and the San Francisco Clean City Coalition, for "leadership in sustaining a clean and green San Francisco". (02/15/06)
EVENT: Plant*SF was a featured presenter at the DPW "Clean & Green City" Summit on February 15, 2006. Michael Kinsley from the Rocky Mountain Institute and Astrid Haryati from the City of Chicago were guest speakers. (2/15/06)
EVENT: Plant*SF was a non-profit partner of the Mayor's Office of City Greening's "Green Valentine" Event on February 14, 2006 from 5-7pm at San Francisco City Hall. Guest speakers: Gordon Price from Vancouver was the guest speaker.(2/15/06)
EVENT: Plant*SF was a featured presenter at the San Francisco Green Trust kick off party on January 19, 2006. SFGT is a developer/community partnership established to fund and promote a network of open space starting in the Dogpatch District. (1/28/06)
- Check out the recently created reclaimed landscape in a very wide asphalt street at Taraval at Great Ocean Boulevard in the Outer Sunset near the Pacific Ocean. (12/02/05)
- Take a look at the recently planted major conversion of a concrete median on Guerrero/San Jose Blvd south of Cesar Chavez. (11/18/05)
COMMENDATION: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed a Resolution commending the work of Plant*SF. (10/27/05)
ON THE WEB:
The Shotwell Greenway is featured in the online magazine "San Francisco from the Inside". (11/2/05)
The Estuary Newsletter covered the Shotwell Greenway in their June 2005 issue (6/05).
RESOURCE: A San Francisco Native Plant List is now available in our Resources section. Click "Plant Selection".
PRESS RELEASE: San Francisco Mayor Newsom announces Better Streets Program and new position, Director of City Greening. Plant*SF founder, Jane Martin, is named to the Mayor's Green Vision Council.
AWARD: San Francisco Beautiful presented a Beautification Award to Plant*SF at their Awards Dinner on October 20, 2005 in San Francisco. Details HERE and HERE (10/20/05)
HONOR: The California State Assembly (Mark Leno) has honored Plant*SF with a Certificate of Recognition. (10/20/05)
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