SFGSA's homepage: www.sfgreenschools.org


Back to the main page of the SFGSA Conference website






This conference is made possible by the generous contributions of our conference co-sponsors:

Department of the Environment, City and County of San Francisco

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

San Francisco Beautiful

San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance (SFGSA)

San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR)

San Francisco Unified School Distric



If you have any questions about this webpage, please contact the webmaster at: sharon@ecoschools.com

EcoSchool Design™ www.ecoschools.com

San Francisco

Green Schoolyard Alliance (SFGSA)

2004 Green School Grounds Conference

October 8 & 9, 2004


Photographs from the Conference!

Saturday, October 9, 2004



Workshops held at Commodore Sloat Elementary School in San Francisco

The workshops on Saturday, October 9, 2004 were held at three different schools in different parts of San Francisco. Please click the links below to see the photographs from each workshop held at Commodore Sloat Elementary School.

M. Bird & Butterfly Gardens (AM & PM)
N. Brighten the Schoolyard with Tile Mosaics (AM & PM)
O. Learn to Plant Living Willow Play Elements (AM & PM)
P. Terracing and "Urbanite" Construction (Recycled Concrete) (AM & PM)
Q School Gardening 301 (AM)
R. Schoolyard Master Planning Techniques (PM)

Workshop M: Bird & Butterfly Gardens

Instructors: Gregory Kellett and Jen Marks, Coevolution Institute

Workshop participants learned about the habitat needs of birds, butterflies, and other creatures, and then helped to plant a garden that will attract and nurture these beautiful winged creatures. The morning session of this workshop included K-5 curriculum connections, and the afternoon session addressed middle school curricula.


Workshop N: Brighten the Schoolyard with Tile Mosaics

Instructor: Robert Buechting, Mosaic Tile Artist

Participants in this workshop learned mosaic tile techniques while getting hands-on experience with a variety of different types of tile materials and tools. The children at the school helped to design the garden-themed mosaic that the adults installed in the workshop. The mosaic was installed along the edge of a previously plain concrete garden planting bed.

The photographs below were taken on the day of the workshop.

These photographs, taken on a rainy day in November 2004, show the completed mosaic work. It looks great!

Workshop O: Learn to Plant Living Willow Play Elements

Instructor: Ellen Miramontes, Landscape Architect

Participants in this workshop learned how to use living willow branches to create innovative play spaces. The project for the day was to create a living willow play dome in front of the host school. Hurray! It was completed by the end of the day.


Workshop P: Terracing and "Urbanite" Construction Techniques (Building with Recycled Concrete)

Instructor: Josho Somine, Sustainability Educator

This workshop taught participants about a range of materials and techniques that they can use to build raised garden beds and small terraces on sloping ground. The main project for the day was to help contour and terrace a small slope using reclaimed concrete (often referred to as "urbanite" in the green building field). The terraces built for the workshop will be used as raised garden beds by the host school, and will help to stop the erosion problems on this small hill.

Hurray! The project was completed by the end of the conference day! Great work, everyone! Thanks!

The eroding hillside in the schoolyard, April 2004:

Urbanite wall construction in progress during the conference, October 9, 2004:

Finished urbanite walls helping to stop the hillside erosion on a rainy day in November 2004. (The areas shown with wood chips in this photo will become garden planting beds.):


Workshop Q: Gardening 301

Instructor: Tina Poles, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

Calling all accomplished gardeners! This workshop focused on advanced gardening methods including pruning, hard and soft wood propagation, schoolyard animal husbandry, and more.


Workshop R: Schoolyard Master Planning Techniques

Instructor: Jane Hayes, Evergreen (Toronto, Canada)

This workshop taught participants how to reach out to their school community to include them in the green school ground transformation process. The workshop included hands-on approaches to analyzing and creating a concept plan for their own school site.


If anyone has additional photographs from this workshop, please email them to sharon@ecoschools.com and I will post them here. Thanks!