Listen to the history of the Alice Fong Yu Garden Above.

The well-established school garden sits near the top of the school site along Lawton Street, and flows downhill toward the middle school yard. The raised beds in the garden were built to accommodate the hill’s topography, and make excellent use of this space. The garden includes a tool shed, an informal outdoor classroom space, and a well-loved digging bed. It is used by garden classes on a daily basis, and is also used: by the students’ garden club; as a lunch break play space (when supervised); by the GLO after school program; on parent work days; and as a venue for special events. – Green School Yard Alliance at AFY

Education Outside 
Education Outside is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that helps public-school students of all backgrounds develop science skills, a love for nature, healthy eating habits, and resource conservation practices. We recruit, hire, train, and support the Corps for Education Outside, the nation’s first service corps dedicated to teaching science, sustainability, and food education in school gardens. Learn more at http://www.educationoutside.org.

About Our Corps Member

EO Bio PicKristin Owyang is the Education Outside Corps member at AFY.  This is her first year of service.  Kristin was raised in the agriculture-rich city of Sacramento but didn’t experience the joy of growing her own food until she graduated from college and volunteered on a farm in England. After spending her summer on the farm, Kristin moved to Berkeley for graduate studies in molecular and cell biology. There, she developed a preschool science education program as a volunteer at Hopkins Preschool and continued to learn about growing food in cities through local urban agriculture organizations. She merged these interests when she began volunteering at the Edible Schoolyard at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. Kristin quickly learned that there is no better place to learn science than in a school garden. She is excited to join the team at Education Outside and looks forward to bringing out the inner scientist (and gardener!) in all of her students at Alice Fong Yu.

Previous AFY Garden Coordinators

Patty Fung (2011-2014). Patty’s favorite part of garden time is watching the kids take care of the space by doing  maintenance work, hearing their discoveries in the garden, holding school garden farmers markets and taking kids out on field trips around San Francisco. In addition to working at AFY, Patty enjoys spending time working on multimedia/audio documentary work. She started the AFY Garden Blog website in August 2011 as a way to document the garden program and to connect what’s happening in the program to the larger community. It has reached over 17,000 views as of 2014! She also loves skateboarding and surfing. She is the staff advisor for Skateboard Club in addition to Green Club.

Stephanie Ma (2008-2011). Favorite memory in the AFY Garden: TOO MANY TO RECOUNT! Some are 1) When returning 3rd grade students remembered the scientific term for rolypolys and ran up to me the following year asking “Ms. Ma!! Can we go look for isopods!?!” 2) Putting on a big cooking show for the 1st grade class and they started to say…”HEY! It’s the Ma 先生 cooking show!! Featured on the Garden Network Channel!” 3) Singing the “Making Butter Song” with the K and 1st Graders!
Fiona Dunbar (2007-2008)
Rachel Pringle (2003-2007) Rachel Pringle was garden coordinator at AFY for 4 years from 2003 to 2007. She is now the Director of Programs for the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance (where Arden is Executive Director), an advocacy and support organization for school gardens and green schoolyards in San Francisco. She and Arden co-wrote How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers, from Timber Press.  Rachel worked in the environmental education and conservation field prior to AFY, bringing students from the city out to experience their National Parks while working with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. She hails from the great state of Maine where she grew up on a small farm raising cattle and kept a garden. She misses the students at AFY and is so proud of her experience working in within that incredible community.
Arden Bucklin-Sporer (1995-2003). Is the founder of the AFY Garden back in the mid-90s. She now currently is the Director of Education Gardens, working to develop networks of SFUSD school gardens. One of Arden’s favorite memories in the AFY Garden was, “Back in the day, we used to do this activity called the Mississippi River (we lived in New Orleans for some years before coming back to SF). I would start a trickle of water from the spigot at the top of the hill (this was before the middle school was built) and a whole classroom of kids would dig a water trench to carry water to the bottom of the hill. It was fabulous, an entire class of 7 year old Army Corps of Engineers, building dams, dykes, oxbows, cities along the banks with sticks and rocks, and finally a big lake at the bottom. Looking back, of course it was a tremendous waste of water. The kids got filthy, but even the teachers got into the action and were impressed with the level of cooperation and enthusiasm. It was a blast, I know we all learned something, but still unclear how it connected to standards.”

2 Responses to About

  1. I’m glad to have discovered your blog! A year ago in October I was in SF for a conference, and in my spare time I toured a few school gardens with Nan (also with schoolyard alliance.) I learn so much from looking into best practices elsewhere, so I’m looking forward to reading your stories.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s