We are a multi-generational and multi-cultural cohort of youth, volunteers, supporters, environmental educators, habitat restoration specialists, community organizers and social justice advocates dedicated to connecting people to local urban open spaces to restore ecology, improve environmental health and strengthen community.
Based out of Candlestick Point State Recreation Area CPSRA, and a formal partner of California State Parks, the goal of Candlestick Point Eco-stewards (CPE) is to work through ecological restoration, community engagement and public education to restore the ecology of Southeast San Francisco parkland, and help residents both reconnect to their natural heritage and enjoy their right to a healthy and biologically diverse environment.
A project of Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), CPE is striving to undo the environmental degradation of the natural environment in Southeast San Francisco, and address the inequality in public access to open space. We seek to create a Southeast San Francisco where ecology and communities are connected, strong, healthy and thriving.
Everyone should have the opportunity to thrive in a clean, healthy and just environment. Yet San Francisco’s Bayview Hunter’s Point community has long faced disproportionate challenge to this right due to industrial pollution and massive job loss since the late-1960s. Although the neighborhood contains only 4% of San Francisco’s population, it is home to more than two-thirds of San Francisco’s pollution sources and approximately one-third of the city’s hazardous waste sites.
Established in 1979, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area (CPSRA) is a 3.2 mile unique coastal resource that holds tremendous potential as a place for community members connect with their natural heritage and each other. In fact, this was the vision when it was first developed as a “State Park for the People.” At that time, a powerful “Friends of Candlestick” group - comprised of local community members - played an integral role in CPSRA being developed.
“Candlestick is the example of if you leave people to their own devices, they really do have sense, and that really is what the fundamentals of democracy ought to be about. Instead of us always having to react to other people’s visions for us, Candlestick was one place where people were able to express their own vision for their own park and their own neighborhood – and that’s ultimately what came about.” - Community Leader Claude Everhart
Yet today, no identifiable group of friends advances the original vision or protects the park, which leaves the hopes and goals for CSPRA largely unfulfilled.
CPE seeks to fill these gaps, serving as the point of connection to engage community members, youth, volunteers and supporters in coming together to restore ecology, improve environmental health, and strengthen community.
The Eco-stewards host regular standing workdays at our native plant nursery and at Candlestick Point SRA.
Groups can also Connect With Us to schedule their own workdays.
Volunteers like you make a tangible and lasting impact on the land and community, and are absolutely critical to advancing this restoration and community development.
Our standing work days at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area Native Plant Nursery and Community Garden:
Nursery volunteers grow native plant stock for restoration projects in Candlestick Point State Recreation Area and help out with special projects.
Volunteers work in the field restoring the wetlands at Yosemite Slough and three other sites at Candlestick Pt. SRA.
A donation to CPE is an investment in a healthy and just future for Southeast San Francisco. Donations from supporters like you, combined with grants from foundations and government agencies help cover all elements of our work. Here are some examples of the benefits of your donation:
$100 helps to grow 50 plants
$250 supports a school group in having a hands-on experience
$4,000 funds a BYE youth intern for the year
$10,000 provides stewardship of 4 acres of open space for the year
$25,000 provides 500 students with three hands-on environmental stewardship programs at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area
$50,000 helps to connect over 1000 volunteers to California's first Urban State Park
Native Plant Nursery
1150 Carroll Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124