Mission Greenbelt: Planting Seeds as Napkins

April 2008

During November and December of last year the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery hosted my artwork, Mission Greenbelt Campaign Headquarters. This public awareness campaign had two main objectives. The first was to inform San Francisco residents about the proposed Mission Greenbelt project, an urban earthwork, which aims to inspire and enable San Franciscans to build a continuous strip of sidewalk gardens along a selected route in the Mission District. The second objective was to let residents know about the Sidewalk Landscaping Permit. This newly passed legislation is integral to this project as it allows San Francisco landowners to build sidewalk gardens.

Unfortunately, the Mission Greenbelt Campaign did not reach enough of the people who live and/or work along the proposed Mission Greenbelt. Because these residents are essential participants, I am seeking support from the SOEX garden related project fund to publish 12,000 napkins (price quoted at $393) with a Mission Greenbelt message printed in English and Spanish.

The message will read something like this:
Mission Greenbelt
We have the opportunity to build small parks/gardens in the sidewalks in front of our homes and businesses.
Lets transform the sidewalks into native plant gardens to clean the air and shelter pedestrians from street traffic. Our communities will come together to plan, build and thereafter enjoy these small urban oases. By growing and tending the gardens, we create new natural habitat. Also, the newly exposed soil will collect rainwater that will seep into the soil where it is most needed.

Build a Mission Greenbelt Garden

Once the napkins are published, I will contract several Mission District ice-cream cart and taco truck vendors ($100 per vendor) to distribute the napkins along the proposed Mission Greenbelt. This street action will happen over the course of one weekend in May or June 2008.

To carry out this work, I am requesting $693 from the SOEX garden related project fund.

Note: If there is positive response to this street action, I plan to extend this piece by publishing an additional 36,000 napkins (price quoted at $1,285) with another Mission Greenbelt message. I will offer these napkins to restaurants, bars and cafes along the proposed Mission Greenbelt.