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January 2021 | Volunteer Spotlight: Ina Acuña

Green Hairstreak Corridor Nov 2019
My name is Ina Acuña. I’m the Director of Sustainability here at PMI-SFBAC. Basically, what I do is create educational opportunities for people about sustainable practices. The goal is to connect people to the earth and open their minds to the possibilities of integrating sustainable solutions into their professional and personal lives. The program is a mix of discussion topics led by sustainability experts and outdoor environmental stewardship events. People love our outdoor events and getting to know each other working side by side taking care of the environment. We had our first East Bay stewardship event in February 2020, and the East Bay folks were thrilled. When it is safe to gather again outdoors, we will do so. Until then, we’ll continue inviting guest speakers for our webinars.  
Living Arroyos Livermoor Feb 2020

I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. My dad is retired Navy and a huge golfer. My mother is a pediatrician who has inspired maybe 100 kids from Corpus from multiple generations to become doctors and nurses. I went to Boston University to study engineering. After graduation, I treated myself to 18 months in Italy for art school and to really “live” another culture and its language. My plan had been to live in a lot of different places after high school before deciding where to settle down. I’ve lived abroad and up and down both coasts of the U.S. San Francisco won, and I came back here in 2005. My husband and I met at work here in SF, and we have a five-year-old.




I love the pedestrian life. When I went to school in Boston, the first thing I fell in love with was public transportation. We didn’t have it in South Texas. I also hadn’t had the chance to appreciate the outdoors much before Boston because it was too hot to be outdoors where I’m from. I love being outside in the fresh air. I love water – the smell of the ocean, snorkeling, diving.  Public transportation is brilliant. The electric rail called the T in Boston made such an impression on me on its approach to the environment. I love these small “towns,” packed with culture and commerce and pedestrian thoroughfares: Boston, Florence, San Francisco. You can walk them; you can bike them. The weather is fantastic in SF, though, and you don’t have to leave town to get to the great outdoors.  

I started painting again a few years ago by taking classes at Sharon Art Studio. At the time, it was impossible to get a break as a new mom unless I left the house, so that’s where I went once a week. I discovered the San Francisco Bay Area Urban Sketchers this past summer, and it’s been a great way to rediscover San Francisco while the studio is closed. Drawing and painting is an exercise in mental restoration for me, to get out of your own head and immerse in your subject. I also play the piano, but my son is still at the age where he will take over after I play for a few seconds. We are able to sketch together now, though. I learned to start carrying a sketchbook for him with my art things because he started wanting to draw in mine when I started urban sketching.

For 2021, there will be a new rhythm of work and school for my family to get used to. I am also building out my sustainability team and hoping to distribute 50% of the workload to them. The webinar format has been successful for us and is working well for the speakers and attendees. We also recently received approval to spend the funds we raise through sustainability events to give back to the community. We will be using our 2020 funds for project materials to build garden plots for disadvantaged families as part of the 2021 SF Community Garden rebuild project at the Minnie and Lovie Ward rec center. 



Don’t miss our great line up of sustainability topics and speakers for 2021!
• Jan 20 Datacenter Sustainability - Water and Wastewater Impacts with Dave McCabe of Carollo Engineers
• Feb 24 If You Build It, They Will Come. But Will They Stay? with Mei Ling Hui of SF Community Gardens
• March 24 Climate Change Affects Us All with Adrienne Pierce of Climate Reality


Planning for Climate Change March 2020