On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, youth from the Sunnydale Boys and Girls Club planted two Just One Tree lemon trees at the Cleo Nelson Community Garden in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood. Urban Sprouts and JOT facilitators led the group through the planting, which was preceded by a story introducing the kids to Nobel Peace Prize-winner Wangari Maathai, Kenya’s environmental activist who founded the Greenbelt Movement that planted 51 million trees.
“The children have already started talking about lemonade, and residents that have seen [the lemon trees] have also mentioned wanting some,” Urban Sprouts Garden Educator Herman Yee reports back. He predicts the positive effects will only continue: “I feel the donation of trees and the planting have added a sense of care and anticipation that trees can bring, since they will take time and care before bearing fruit.”
A local hero for which this small but vibrant garden plot is named, Cleo Nelson was a longtime Sunnydale housing project resident who was the first to nurture and transform the urban garden plot. Better known as “Ms. Cleo” by the rest of the neighborhood, her uplifting spirit and dedication to gardening were embraced by the community and seem to live on in the garden she loved.
We look forward to seeing the new Just One Trees thrive at the hands of Sunnydale youth!