I wanted to take this moment to announce to the gardeners and extended Koshland Park Community that Thursday, August 31st was my last day working with you (well, officially). I have accepted a new position as The School Garden and Compost Program Manager for the Garden for The Environment (also known as the GFE!). I am super excited about this opportunity, but am very saddened to leave this amazing, inimitable group of people. The past 14 months has served as the most significant personal and professional growth of my life! When I stepped into this position over a year ago I never could have imagined walking away with the insight and experience that I have today.
This community is the epitome of commitment, dedication, and compassion for social change. Each of you exemplifies a piece of this vision and it gives me goose bumps to think about your smiling faces. I will miss all of you something fierce, but am hopeful that our paths will cross again somewhere along the way. This city is way too small!!
I, also, want to take this time to recognize a couple of folks that have guided me through this process and have changed my perspective forever! I want acknowledge Barbara Wenger for (going out on a limb) and providing me this opportunity even though my enthusiasm for the job far exceeded the experience she was looking for to fill this role. You have given me the chance to discover a part of myself that has only made me a stronger, more confident person. You are the founder of an invaluable organization that should function as a model for all other neighborhood park groups! Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom….and for all of the delicious Friday afternoon meetings☺
I also want to recognize the Hayes Valley/Western Addition/Lower Haight “community organizer extraordinaire”, Richard Johnson. You have absolutely mastered the art of mobilizing a community to step outside of the box and challenge the system. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with you and the Hayes Valley Partners as they seem to achieve the impossible on a daily basis. Your dynamic personality and dedication to social justice is beyond imaginable. Thank you for all that you do. I will carry the experiences and wisdom that you have shared with me everywhere I go. I look forward to continuing this partnership in my other position!!
Rebecca, lord woman, I do not know where to start with you! You are amazing!! The dedication you have to this garden, this community, and this cause is beyond inspiring! Thank you so much for taking me under your wing and guiding me through this wonderful experience. Prior to this job, I had never had the chance to work so closely with another person. Looking back at what we accomplished, the ideas we shared and the projects we realized, it all seems magical to me! You have been more than a mentor, you have become a close friend to me that I will always hold to dear to my heart! I absolutely admire you and your ability to make dreams come to life. This is what this experience has been for me—a dream that I realized, but not without your wisdom and heart to help make it happen. I love you, girl!