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If You Build It, They Will Come. But Will They Stay?



Event Description:

Community Gardens are critical urban infrastructure, providing far more than food security to city residents. In 2017, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (SFRPD) began work restructuring and reinvigorating their Community Garden and Urban Agriculture Programs. Mei Ling Hui was brought in to lead this work, and with significant high-level support from SFRPD, has focused heavily on emphasizing the “community” aspect of community gardening. Focusing on user-centered design, engagement strategies, and increased transparency, Mei Ling led the development of programs and policies that more than tripled the number of San Franciscans that typically access SFRPD’s Community Garden sites in her first year and has continued to double engagement year over year. Mei Ling will outline the theories and guiding principles she applied to affect change, as well as some of her current program work and priorities. Then we will open up the floor for a Q&A session to respond to your questions on designing, building, and engaging community members for effective public land management. 

The registration fee is a donation we are collecting for community service project materials. If you are facing financial hardship, please reach out to sustainabilitydirector@pmisfbac.org for a fee waiver.

Who should attend:

Those interested in sustainable practices and goals.

Event structure:

5:15 PM – 5:30 PM Zoom room opens to check connections and light networking

5:30 PM – 5:35 PM Welcome

5:35 PM – 6:30 PM Featured Speaker

Webinar: Zoom link will be displayed after you have registered and paid.
PDUs: 1.0 (0.5 Strategic; 0.5 Technical)


About the Speaker:



Mei Ling Hui

Mei Ling Hui is the Community Garden and Urban Agriculture Program Manager for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (SFRPD). She manages 41 garden sites, including a 4-acre food-security focused urban farm, engaging 2,500 community garden members and 200 lead volunteers. Mei Ling has led SFRPD's shift to focus on the "community" aspect of community gardening; towards community development and social cohesion as the primary Community Garden Program goal, instead of a byproduct. To that end, she developed strategies and opportunities to increase site access through staffed workdays, many workshops, garden material giveaways, and other events that serve all San Franciscans, whether or not they are members of SFRPD's community garden locations. Through these programs, SFRPD's Urban Agriculture Program engages over 10K non-garden members in a typical year, helping reduce barriers to anyone who wants to grow food anywhere in the city.

Mei Ling serves as the Urban Agriculture Representative on the San Francisco Food Security Task Force and volunteers with the UC Cooperative Extension as a Master Food Preserver. She previously supported policy development and managed grant investments for community-led greening projects in the areas of urban forestry, urban agriculture, environmental justice, and the San Francisco Carbon Fund through her work with the San Francisco Department of the Environment. Her greening career started at Friends of the Urban Forest, where she worked as a Planting Manager overseeing community-led street tree planting and FUF’s first sidewalk landscaping installations.


Cancellation and No-Show Policy:

If you have made a reservation and find that you will be unable to attend, please send an email to sustainabilitydirector@pmisfbac.org to cancel your ticket as early as possible. All cancellations are subject to a minimum $15.00 fee if done at least 3 days before the event. Cancellations after the event starts are subject to full charge to ensure the Chapter does not incur excessive expenses. You may also offer your seat to another student.

It is no longer possible to register for this event

It is no longer possible to register for this event


Type of category: Virtual Sustainability

Type of activity: Technical

Date: February 24th, 2021

Hour: 5:30PM to 6:30PM

# of PDUs: 1


Members: $20.00

Non members and Guests: $25.00