Spring is for Plants

Our Early Childhood Education classes took advantage of the early spring weather to explore seeds, soil, water, and sun. And there’s no better way to learn about plants than through digging and messy hands.

Preschoolers at Excelsior spent the morning looking at wildflower seeds, reading stories of plant adventures, and digging holes for their seedlings to grow roots and sprout.

Pop N’ Play (a drop-in program for kids 3-4 years and parents/caregivers) spent a sunny morning learning about local San Francisco favorites, succulents. The class took place in our new Portola garden (read more below!), and families worked together to fill their gardens with succulents and sand, adding bright rocks to protect their plants.

Our New Program Space and Murals

Family Connections worked with local partners and the Portola Neighborhood Association to transform the space behind our Portola building into a dynamic, multi-purpose outdoor classroom.

This area will allow us to offer programs, play breaks, support groups, and more in a beautiful and safe garden. We commissioned artists Kaiya Canja Wong Jones and Amandalynn to create murals of “Communities in Bloom,” celebrating the agency’s participants, staff, and members of the community.

Amandalynn, “Family Garden”
“Family Garden” features native plants and insects that connect to families’ sense of home and community. Her mural depicts California and Mexican poppies, echeveria elegans, bird of paradise, Mexican marigold, lotus, plumeria, cantua, cacti, butterflies, and bees.

Amandalynn is a muralist and fine artist based in Northern California, who began creating her unique street art and large-scale murals in 2001, alongside the graffiti artists of San Francisco. You can find her work in streets and galleries throughout the Bay Area and around the world.

Kaiya Canja Wong Jones, “Equanimity”
“Equanimity” was inspired by the culture of the Portola District, which supports and encourages a thriving community through the visual arts. Her mural depicts a family of tigers, representing the rich community of Portola and the families of this neighborhood.

Kaiya Canja Wong Jones was born and raised in Portola, San Francisco. Her work focuses on portraiture, with a special interest in paintings of women of color and murals for multicultural communities. Her art style is modern, eclectic, and multicultural.