The East Cut Community Garden: Project Updates

***For current project updates, scroll down below the image of the garden location***

The East Cut Community Benefit District is pleased to share updates regarding the forthcoming community garden in our neighborhood! The project, located at 29 Essex Street behind Rene Cazenave Apartments, was initially conceived in late 2019, with further development in 2020, and is supported by the City’s Community Challenge Grant program, as well as funding from the Guy/Lansing Neighbors, and The East Cut CBD.

It has long been a goal of The East Cut CBD and the residents living within the District for there to be a community garden in the neighborhood; a place where residents have space to socialize and grow their own produce, herbs, and flowers. With few remaining open lots left in The East Cut, the CBD worked with the Office of Community Investment & Infrastructure (OCII) to create a temporary community garden design for Block 11b at Essex and Folsom streets. The intention is for the bulk of the project to be constructed by volunteers, with larger items installed by contractors. The project has been designed to be temporary in nature due to the planned future development of the lot, which may include the touchdown for the future Bay Bridge bike lane.

Once completed, the project will accommodate 20 garden plots – 3 communal and 17 individual – and will provide a common area for East Cut residents and visitors, complete with work tables and string lights for evening events. The garden plots will be installed utilizing a wood planter design, all built by volunteers. Also included in the design is a garden shed to house tools, wood compost bins to provide additional soil and a place to store discarded organic material, and containers for trash and recycling. For planting, a lemon tree will be planted near the northeast corner of the site, along with rosemary and lavender shrubs along the Essex Street fence. For site utilities, water service and a meter will be applied for through the SFPUC and six hose bibs will be installed so that users can water their garden plots. Lastly, the string lighting will be powered by a solar panel situated on the hillside.

Membership to the community garden and the opportunity to garden is first open to all residents within the boundaries of The East Cut Community Benefit District. If there is insufficient interest to fully allocate the garden plots to residents of The East Cut CBD, the remaining plots will be opened to all residents of San Francisco. To ensure that all interested gardeners receive an equal opportunity to be selected for a garden plot, The East Cut CBD will schedule lotteries for both Below-Market Rate residents and Market Rate residents to allocate garden plots within 60 days of construction completion. The East Cut CBD will conduct outreach to ensure that local organizations and neighbors are aware of the lottery process by posting on garden bulletin boards, informing local neighborhood organizations, and utilizing email lists and social media communications to inform people about garden plot availability. If there is insufficient interest to fully allocate the garden plots, the remaining plots will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis until the garden is fully allocated.

Existing site just south of Rene Cazenave Apartments

Below, please find a list of the anticipated schedule and milestones for the community garden project:

Latest Update: November 12, 2021

In October, the soil samples collected from the site were tested and last week the soils report determined the soils are non-hazardous. So, this week, Catmex Landscape proceeded with trench work for the water supply line and preparing the backflow preventer mock-up for SFPUC review. The CBD plans to order wood for the garden beds and will schedule workdays to begin building the 20 garden plots in January. You can volunteer to help build the garden plots here!

  • October 2021: Soil samples were taken and analyzed by a lab.
  • November 2021: Construction of contracted items (water line installation, tree planting, etc.), and garden materials will be ordered for the volunteer build, to be scheduled in December.
  • Fall 2021: Lottery process for garden plot assignment will be completed
  • Q1 2022: Garden grand opening!

October 8, 2021 Update

This week, work FINALLY began on the Community Garden, with our contractor, Catmex Landscape, taking soil samples in order to test for potential hazards. As long as the soil tests come back clean, work will continue throughout October to complete the heavy construction items. Once the contractor has reached substantial completion (about 3-4 weeks from now), the CBD will order wood for the garden beds and will schedule workdays to begin building the 20 garden plots. In the interim, the CBD has ordered and received the Community Garden Rules Sign, which will also be part of the volunteer installation effort!

  • September 2021: Construction scheduling delayed due to contractor workload
  • October 2021: Construction of contracted items (soil testing, water line installation, tree planting, etc.), and Volunteer Days will be scheduled to build garden beds and complete other site work
  • Fall 2021: Lottery process for garden plot assignment will be completed, and the garden officially opened

September 9, 2021 Update

In August, our contractor had to complete other contracts they had taken on while the CBD completed coordination with OCII on the permit. Catmex Landscape is also helping the East Cut Landing Partners with the cleanup of the Temporary Transbay Terminal site, and that work will move forward prior to the garden work beginning.

  • August 2021: Construction scheduling delayed due to contractor workload
  • September 2021: Construction of contracted items (soil testing, water line installation, tree planting, etc.), and Volunteer Days will be scheduled to build garden beds and complete other site work
  • Fall 2021: Lottery process for garden plot assignment will be completed, and the garden officially opened

August 13, 2021 Update

In July, the CBD continued coordination with OCII to finalize the Permit to Enter (PTE). A sticking point that led to some delay was the procurement of necessary insurance forms, which has now been resolved. The PTE has been finalized, and construction can begin the week of August 16th! As a reminder, Catmex Landscape is the contractor that will construct the more complicated elements of the garden, including the water line and water spigots, posts for the string lighting, and planting the hillside. Work is expected to take a few weeks, and the CBD will schedule volunteer days, beginning in late September.

  • July 2021: Insurance and Permit to Enter coordination with OCII.
  • August 2021: Construction of contracted items (soil testing, water line installation, tree planting, etc.)
  • September 2021: Volunteer Days will be scheduled to build garden beds and complete other site work
  • Fall 2021: Lottery process for garden plot assignment will be completed, and the garden officially opened

July 8, 2021 Update

In June, the CBD selected Catmex Landscape as the contractor to construct the more complicated elements of the garden, including the water line and water spigots, posts for the string lighting, and planting the hillside. After some coordination regarding the necessary insurance and permitting through OCII, construction is set to begin the week of July 12th. Work is expected to take a few weeks, and the CBD will plan to begin volunteer days in late August/early September.

  • June 2021: Contract negotiation, insurance procurement, and water department service coordination
  • July-August 2021: Construction of contracted items (soil testing, water line installation, tree planting, etc.)
  • September 2021: Volunteer Days will be scheduled to build garden beds and complete other site work
  • Fall 2021: Lottery process for garden plot assignment will be completed, and the garden officially opened

May 13, 2021 Update

  • May 2021: Four contractors were asked for bids. TEC is currently evaluating bids received. Once a contractor is selected, TEC will negotiate and execute the contract.
  • June 2021: Construction of contracted items (soil testing, water line installation, tree planting, etc.)
  • July-September 2021: Volunteer Days will be scheduled to build garden beds and complete other site work
  • Fall 2021: Lottery process for garden plot assignment will be completed, and the garden officially opened

March 10, 2021 Update

  • April 2021: Request quotes from landscape contractors and award construction contract
  • May-June 2021: Construction of contracted items (soil testing, water line installation, tree planting, etc.)
  • June-August: Volunteer Days will be scheduled to build garden beds and complete other site work
  • Fall 2021: Lottery process for garden plot assignment will be completed, and the garden officially opened

Have questions or thoughts on the community garden project? Reach out to us! Contact The East Cut CBD via info@theeastcut.org